Non-violent resistance and vigilant Care, a new parental attitude
Bringing up children in changing times is for every parent challenging. Through the years a great deal has changed in the relationship between parents and children. In the past power and authority were the norm for the relationship between parents and teachers in the upbringing of children. Nowadays the relationship is based on more equal terms. Children have more say and parents try to reach out and develop a warmer and closer relationship with their children.
Life events and the different stages of life such as puberty and adolescence are not only difficult and uncertain times for the child but can also be a very strenuous and turbulent time for the parents. Especially during these stages, even though the parents are trying their best to connect and be a good parent and the adolescent has the need to experiment and become self reliant,, the relationship is strained and parents can become unsure of what to do. The fast and ever changing norms and boundaries for adolescents and for parents in today’s society is an enormous challenge in the upbringing of children.
New Authority helps parents to keep in touch with their child and also to exercise their parental authority. New Authority is a practical programme for families where there are growing destructive patterns and the child’s development is in danger. The child’s behaviour crosses boundaries and parents feel they have lost or are losing their parental authority. Parents and children feel powerless and their interactions are enmeshed in a negative circle. The method is for parents with children between 12 and 18 years old where the development of the child and the relationship between parents and the child has run aground. The method can be incorporated in a family therapy module or group’s modules. An effective and highly valued module is the parent’s group.
The parent’s group consists of 3 to 5 parent couples, divorced parents or single parents. There are 6 sessions, each session takes two hours. Some parents are beforehand wary about taking part in a group but during the first session the recognition that is experienced takes over. Parents are always enthusiastic for a follow up day after the module is completed.
In the group parents learn the principles of New Authority and how to apply these. Sharing their experiences and learning to engage the methodology that is aimed at de-escalation, contact, intensifying vigilant care and parental presence helps parents in finding their footage again and being the good parent that they want to be. The recognition and mutual support of the group is strengthening, parallel to the thoughts of New Authority ‘ In unity there is strength’.
When is New Authority helpful?
As parent you feel that:
- the interactions with your child have got stuck in a negative circle
- you are losing all contact with your child and have become a powerless spectator
- you don’t know what your child is doing or what occupies his/ her thoughts
- you have lost your parental authority and don’t know how to get in touch with your child
- you don’t feel needed as a parent , feel pushed away, feel that your child sees you as the enemy
- however hard you try all your efforts result in escalating arguments or withdrawal
Prior to the parent’s group there is a session with the whole family to asses the situation. During the therapy process there will be regular evaluations and if necessary adjustments in wishes or aims can be made. The six sessions of the parent’s group are spread over a period of four months. It is also possible to follow a family therapy parallel to the parent’s group. If necessary or advisable parents and the therapist can ask for the cooperation of the school and network of the family or child.