Non Violent Resistance: In Parents’ Own Words

Limerick Co-ordinator Alan Quinn asked some of the group he worked with about their experience of participating in the Non Violent Resistance (NVR) group programme.  This was the first time NVR was run in Ireland in a group setting, and the feedback of the parents was important to see how it could work for families in the future.  These are some of the comments made about the programme and their experience of attending the group.


“Meeting every week you just look forward to it so so much. I wouldn’t miss it, I’d miss a limb first. I wouldn’t miss our meeting. It’s our meeting place. It’s our problems. Ye helped us. Helped us look at things in a different way and how we approach life with our sons and daughters. And if they don’t listen at least we still have the knowledge to pass on to others and I think that’s good as well that what we learn we pass on. So it’s a lot wider spread than just a little group here. It will span out. It was a brilliant course.”


“I just thought that joining the group was good. This was the first time I joined any group like this and I felt very apprehensive but when I got to know everyone and everyone is going through the same thing, you feel as if you’re not on your own and it’s that surety in yourself and your child that it’s not just you. I felt that my confidence just grew and grew where my child was concerned every week.”


“The bit I liked the best about the course is that no one was judgmental about my child and problems and just getting to meet everyone once a week and I miss it and I want another one.”


“The hardest part for me was telling my mother the full extent of what was going on and knowing how much my son thinks of my mother and I had to tell her what he was doing. It was the hardest thing for me to do but it was the best thing I did because with the verbal abuse he doesn’t call me those names out on the street anymore. All I get now is “Hi love, how are you”. As I said that was the hardest but the best.”


“We live it every day, go through it and it doesn’t mean a lot to us as it’s a part of our life but when you make yourself sit down and write all the things you have to talk to him about, this and then there’s that and oh there’s this too, it actually makes you think about all the stuff that needs to be announced and changed.”


“There’s a lot more calm in the house and when there is trouble and things start going out of control it’s very easy to bring things back down. I’ve learnt to walk away and not stand there fighting and answering back. He started getting confused. He didn’t know what was going on. But when I explained to him when he was calm he understood and that’s what we’ll keep doing.”


“What changed in my house is that my son doesn’t come in and roar and shout at me saying “I want this and I want that.” Now he just asks me. If I have it I’ll give it to him and if I don’t I can’t and as soon as he goes to get angry I say “I’m going to phone Granny” and he says “alright mam I’ll go for a walk” and that’s what he’s being doing.”


Alan Quinn, Le Chéile’s Limerick Co-ordinator spoke on RTE Radio 1′s Today with Sean O’Rourke – listen back here
For people wishing to read more about NVR, the book “Non Violent Resistance: A New Approach to Violent and Self-destructive Children” is available to buy at  
Parenting charity Parentline is hosting a conference dealing with adolescent anger and aggression, on Friday 6th December from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m, Wynn’s Hotel, Abbey St, Dublin 1. For more details please see

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