Thursday, February 21, 2008

Non-violent resistance - the way forward for parents?

Recently treatments for child-behaviour problems have shifted their emphasis from treating the children's behaviour to helping their parents to control them. Nonviolent resistance (NVR) is a new training model for parents which draws on the principles of the non-violent resistance movements of people like Gandhi and Martin Luther King and which aims to help parents deal effectively with their helplessness, isolation and escalatory interactions with their children. Parents commit themselves to restrain themselves form violent and humiliating responses to their children while at the same time not giving in to their demands. The parents are coached on how to prevent escalation by becoming aware of its signs as well as their own contribution to the process and alternative non-escalating reactions are discussed and implemented. A study of 73 parents in Israel found that in comparison with a control group parents who received training in NVR showed a decrease in parental helplessness and escalatory behaviours, an increase in social support and a decrease in their children's negative behaviour.

Weinblatt, Uri and Omer, Haim - Nonviolent resistance: a treatment for parents of children with acute behaviour problems Journal of Marital and Family Therapy January 2008, 34(1), 75-92

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