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Non-Violent Resistance by Haim Omer. Has anyone read this???

(86 Posts)
Swanhildapirouetting Wed 26-Feb-14 10:14:42

A friend was recommended this to deal with her 13 year old's violent rages. I've read it, just out of interest, as a counter to The Explosive Child.
He also talks about dealing with OCD children and self-imurement.
He seems to discount all "pathologies" ie: autism, or OCD and say that it is the family dynamics (specifically parental authority) that needs to be sorted.

Any thoughts? I've been thinking a lot of about control issues, child trying to control me, me trying to control child and how it all stacks up.

On the whole it seems an excellent book, promoting reconciliation, security, ending violent attacks on family members, shouting screaming, preaching, escalation...but I just wondered whether there is something flawed about his approach to child's intrinsic reasons for being violent etc. He is anti a pyschotherapeutic approach to individual child and focuses on parent more.

PolterGoose Wed 26-Feb-14 10:19:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ouryve Wed 26-Feb-14 10:32:40

So, is he saying that it's my fault that DS2 can't talk or that DS1 was echolalic? Did I do something wonderful with DS1 to make him mathematically gifted, but somehow not achieve that with DS2? How does he explain families with a mixture of children with neurological conditions and without?

Don't think I'll be buying that book. Not even to wipe my arse on.

OneInEight Wed 26-Feb-14 10:52:28

Oh gosh. Just what I needed this morning after dealing with argumentative and oppositional ds1 and ds2 to know it's all my fault.

Julia2132009 Wed 26-Feb-14 11:35:54

Families and lives are destroyed when an underlying problem like autism is ignored and misunderstood and instead parents are driven by a guilt complex and the social pressure to crack down on their authority.

My son is autistic, although it is a relatively mild form and it took us a long time to work that out and be sure of it. His stress and anxiety manifests in controlling behaviour and rages. Since he has been diagnosed the people around him have gradually understood him better and learned to help him, and only very recently he has become much happier and his rages have become rare. He has relaxed quite a lot and doesn't feel the need to control everything.

Neuroimaging has revealed the extent to which the brains of autistic people are wired differently from the very beginning, and the strong genetic component has been established by decades of research - nothing at all to do with parental authority. There are other underlying conditions that could cause violent rages in a child, and/or external problems like bullying etc. The cause needs to be identified and addressed.

Swanhildapirouetting Wed 26-Feb-14 11:52:34

I don't think the message is what you fear...the blame is not put on anyone, child or parent. It is not about blaming people, just about ending violence and self destructive behaviour in children.

It is about dealing with violent behaviour or controlling behaviour, without using violence or force. It is about increasing the child's sense of parental involvement and "presence". To some extent it uses the same strategies as the Explosive Child, showing child respect etc, asking their opinion on how to solve problems. But it is about eliminating violent behaviour in families rather than adapting to it.

I just wondered if anyone had read it? I just would like to have an overview.

There's another version of same theory by Avraham (a colleague of his) on the Kindle, which is much more akin to the approach of the Explosive Child. I would say she is much more on the child's side than Omer. Interesting that she comes across as so different although her strategies are exactly the same.

PolterGoose Wed 26-Feb-14 11:58:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Swanhildapirouetting Wed 26-Feb-14 12:03:44

julia I completely agree with you, and to some extent I have dealt with some of my children's rages by approaching it in the same way as you describe, namely understanding WHY they get stressed and upset.

But this book says they need more, they need you to insist that there is no violence or self destructive behaviour and that you will do everything your power to support them in achieving this goal. It is all broken down into steps.

It was Gandhi and Martin Luther King's approach apparently.

ouryve Wed 26-Feb-14 12:07:37

The Huebner books also achieve all that without crossing the line of diminishing the reality of autism, OCD or other neurological issues. I'm afraid that any author who does that loses their credibility pretty quickly.

Are DS1's issues with school down to "parental authority"? Are the rages, tics and dysphoria down to "parental authority"? Sorry, but it sounds like bullshit.

Swanhildapirouetting Wed 26-Feb-14 12:10:53

The Explosiive Child focused on the idea that the child had a skills deficit, and on collaborative problem solving rather than laying down the law.
This book focuses on the idea that violence or intolerable control that the child might exert over the parent, must in some way be solved before anything else can improve in the child's life because it creates such a terrible chain effect in the relationship between parent and child..

Swanhildapirouetting Wed 26-Feb-14 12:14:11

I don't think he is talking about parental authority in a monumental sense. Just about parents getting back their self respect and self esteem, and that the child needs his parents to have that.

I backtracking because he doesn't specifically deny any neurological issues, just that he still thinks they can be helped by these strategies.

YOU NEED TO READ IT!!!! anyone??

Swanhildapirouetting Wed 26-Feb-14 12:24:02

These are very dramatic case histories - parents being locked out of their living rooms, sworn at continually, children beating up other children in the family, running away from home. Parents feeling absolutely powerless.

Swanhildapirouetting Wed 26-Feb-14 12:28:16

My autistic child is not actually violent to me, it is the NT child who was being violent to me and other members of the family, and that is why I read this book. I was just struck by the angle.

Anyway, as no-one seems to know about it..I will gracefully retire blush

I didn't mean to offend anyone.

zzzzz Wed 26-Feb-14 12:35:24

"This book focuses on the idea that violence or intolerable control that the child might exert over the parent, must in some way be solved before anything else can improve in the child's" this is total nonsense. How does he justify this totally illogical stance??

PolterGoose Wed 26-Feb-14 12:42:02

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ouryve Wed 26-Feb-14 12:46:22

In collaborative problem solving, when you set out the problem with your child you are helping them to understand why screaming, breaking things, hitting people, hurting themselves etc is something that cannot continue. At no point does the approach advocate accepting that these things are OK. Even the empathy step doesn't accept that these behaviours are OK. I can empathise with DS1 rolling on the floor kicking walls and wishing destruction on the world when he is overwhelmed at school because a walk around Tesco makes me feel like doing the same and, even if it didn't, as a nominally NT adult I have the wherewithal to imagine a situation where I might feel that overwhelmed. That is not the same as accepting the resulting behaviour in DS1.

MariaNotChristmas Wed 26-Feb-14 14:18:34

Actually, it does look like a potentially helpful philosophical approach, with some useful practical strategies for what might work during / after the difficult behaviour episode the pdf

It looks like a brilliant way of making parents feel more in control of their experiences of a bad situation, even if the situation itself isn't amenable to obvious improvement. What it doesn't do, is look at the underlying causes of the behaviour, nor the (potentially modifiable) triggers and reinforcing factors.

I think we might find it of some help at home, but I suspect it will be of most usefulness to most MNSN-ers as a guide to interaction with 'services' wink

MariaNotChristmas Wed 26-Feb-14 14:45:32

Try again pdf

zzzzz Wed 26-Feb-14 14:59:59

I think a bit like slathering steroids on eczema without stopping contact with the washing up liquid or whatever....confused

Sticking plasters are fine for grazes but not particularly helpful for gaping wounds.

MariaNotChristmas Wed 26-Feb-14 15:15:06

Ah I don't know. It's perhaps more like learning to meditate as a method of coping with itch. Useful psychologically, but not necessarily sufficient. And counter-productive if someone outside (who should be helping) uses it to suggest that's all you need, or that your problems all stem from stress.

But enormously helpful if you simply can't get away from the washing up liquid, or if the things that should work, don't work

Julia2132009 Wed 26-Feb-14 19:26:24

"In the sit-in the parents enter the child’s room, sit down, and announce to the child that they will stay there and wait for the child’s proposal to avoid the problem behavior that triggered the sit-in. The parents are instructed to remain quiet, strictly avoiding arguments and provocations. The sit-in lasts up to 1 hr (unless an acceptable proposal is made by the child)." p80

Is it just me or does this seem insanely optimistic and provoking? Apparently for use with children as young as four.

PolterGoose Wed 26-Feb-14 19:28:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

youarewinning Wed 26-Feb-14 19:41:44

My ds is non violent.

However I'm sure if when he melts down and takes himself to his room and curls up in a ball - if I went in and staged a sit in until he could tell me a better way to deal with it - he may just become so!

zzzzz Wed 26-Feb-14 20:07:54

Definition of bully

a person who uses strength or influence to harm or intimidate those who are weaker.
"he is a ranting, domineering bully"
synonyms:persecutor, oppressor, tyrant, tormentor, browbeater, intimidator, coercer, subjugator; More
use superior strength or influence to intimidate (someone), typically to force them to do something.
"a local man was bullied into helping them"
synonyms:persecute, oppress, tyrannize, torment, browbeat, intimidate, cow, coerce, strong-arm, subjugate, domineer; More

Julia2132009 Wed 26-Feb-14 21:31:35

“Violence is not the “symptom “ of an illness but a means for imposing one’s will. Even when violence is linked to a mental disorder (e.g. in a child who suffers from attention-deficit or obsessive-compulsive disorders), it reflects the suffering child’s way of ridding herself from the demands of the surroundings, gaining freedom of action, and coercing others to do her bidding. Gradually, the child comes to experience a feeling of satisfaction out of the exercise of her own power.” P28 (of book, last quote was from pdf)”

I find this so reductive and demeaning.

This book applies a political ideology to the family - totally inappropriately, imo. The approach reduces the complexities of family relationships to nothing more than power relations. It equates parents to potential Ghandi figures bravely and peacefully resisting the oppression of their children, and it equates the children (most likely struggling with mental health issues] to corrupt, oppressive governments or white racists in civil rights era America.

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