NVR and Attachment Theory

During the late 1990s, NVR developed as an approach to restore parental authority by combining presence and non-escalation. At that time, it was a practical crisis-management toolset with little to comment about the normative role of parenthood. This situation changed with the publication of a 2013 paper titled “The Anchoring Function: Parental Authority and the Parent-Child Bond” (see below).

This paper placed NVR within the larger theoretical context of attachment and parental authority. Haim Omer’s Anchor Theory posits that parents have an “anchor function” in their children’s lives, based on Structure, Presence, Social Support, and Self Control.

Parents need to be self-anchored to be able to anchor their children. This function contributes to two widely accepted models on parenting and development, while also serving as a bridge between them: The view of authoritative parenting as derived from Baumrind’s seminal work (1966; 1971, see paper below for reference) and the view of growth as a function of a secure parent-child bond, as epitomized by attachment theory (Ainsworth, 1991; Bowlby, 1982 – see paper below). As put by the authors:

“[The anchor function] allows us to embody the concept of authoritative parenting in a detailed treatment program with wide clinical applications […] and it may enrich our understanding of the crucial elements in the parent-child bond, by expanding on the core metaphors of the safe haven and secure base that were derived from attachment theory”.

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