In today’s day and age, educators can become entangled in a sense of mutual negative reinforcement. Neither authoritarian nor anti-authoritarian education systems appear to offer a good solution for the escalation of behaviour in children and young people. Are parents or educators able to overcome their feelings of helplessness?
Methods involving NA and NVR aim to resist problematic behaviour responsibly with the aid of a support network and without any form of aggression. Clarity and transparency, open dialogue, vigilant care, but more than this moral, existential and adequate presence are the core elements of the NA / NVR approach. NA/NVR make it easier for parents and other educational figures and offer a clear compass to deal with escalating youth behaviour.
The concepts of NA and NVR were introduced and developed by Haim Omer. Inspired by the non-violent struggle of Gandhi and Martin Luther King and their stubborn resistance against oppression, exclusion and injustice – Omer brought theories of NA/NVR into practice in the fields of mental health care, youth welfare and education.
NA and NVR are basic concepts, attitudes, “a state of mind” in which different pedagogical and therapeutic paradigms (systemic, social interaction) are brought together and contextualized.
Research on problematic behaviour in children and adolescents is focused primarily on aetiology, diagnosis and treatment. However, little research is done on the most efficient intervention when the threat is at its greatest.
Haim Omer is convinced that every individual has the ability to change and that violence is counterproductive. This belief bolsters the core practices of NA/NVR and provides additional tools.
Children, youth, parents and educators are addressed together in order to prevent behavioural escalations that may have far-reaching consequences.
Despite the obvious positive impact of the concepts of NA/NVR, there remains a great need for further research into the theory and the long-term effect of possible applications of it.
There remains a lot of work for years to come….