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Elements of PACE – Acceptance

A woman holding two polka dot balloons in front of her face

One barrier in attachments between mum and her children is linking the behaviour to the person. In essence, the child becomes the violence. Acceptance can help separate the behaviour from the person, which will help mum respond more effectively and show more empathy.

In the acceptance phase, the caregiver is accepting the motivation for the behaviour, but not the behaviour itself. When a child feels accepted they begin to feel safe and secure within the relationship. In acceptance, you are accepting the child for who he or she is, with all their urges, motivations, dreams, feelings and thoughts.

Examples of Acceptance

When working with young people using violence it is common for them to break property in order to go out with their friends. For example, John wants to see is friends and his mum, Emily, says no. John then punches the door and cracks the wood, while yelling at Emily to let him leave the house.

In acceptance, Emily may say:
I can see you’re frustrated because I am not letting you see your friends right now and you really want to go. I get that you are frustrated and disappointed, but we can’t be breaking things. I accept that you are frustrated right now, but we need to manage it differently.

In this case, Emily is separating John’s feelings from his behaviour. She can accept his feelings and try to help him, but she cannot accept his behaviour and there will be consequences for that.

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Understanding and Tackling Adolescent to Parent Violence

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