Do you have a child who constantly challenges your authority, breaks the rules, or acts out in negative ways? Do you feel frustrated, exhausted, or hopeless about how to handle your child’s behaviour? Do you wish you could have a more positive and rewarding relationship with your child?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you might want to learn more about the Nurtured Heart Approach (NHA), a relationship system that teaches significant adults how to strongly energize and recognize the child’s experiences of success while not accidentally giving more focus on to their experiences of failure.
In this blog post, you will discover:
- What is the Nurtured Heart Approach and how it works
- Why the Nurtured Heart Approach is effective for children with intense energy and emotions
- How to apply the Nurtured Heart Approach to your parenting or teaching style
- How the Nurtured Heart Approach can help your child develop inner wealth and positive behaviour
- Where to find more resources and support for using the Nurtured Heart Approach
What is the Nurtured Heart Approach and how does it work?
The NHA was developed by Howard Glasser, a psychotherapist and educator who noticed that traditional methods of discipline and praise often backfired with children who had intense energy and emotions. He realized that these children were seeking attention and connection from adults, but they had learned that they could get more of it by being negative than by being positive. They had also developed a negative self-image and a low sense of inner wealth, which made them feel unworthy and unlovable.
Glasser created the NHA as a way to help these children (and the adults who work with them) shift their mindset and behaviour by using three simple but powerful stands:
- Stand 1: Absolutely No (energy to what is going wrong). This means that you do not react emotionally or verbally to your child’s negative behaviour, but instead, you calmly set boundaries and consequences. You do not give them any attention or recognition for their failures, but you also do not ignore them or reject them. You simply state the facts and enforce the rules without drama or judgment.
- Stand 2: Absolutely Yes! (relational energy toward what is going right). This means that you actively look for and celebrate your child’s positive behaviour, no matter how small or ordinary it may seem. You give them genuine and specific praise, appreciation, and recognition for their successes, achievements, and qualities. You help them see their greatness and potential, and you build a strong connection with them based on trust and respect.
- Stand 3: Absolute Clarity (a call to have clear, consistent, energy-less boundaries and rules). This means that you have clear expectations and rules for your child, and you communicate them simply and directly. You do not negotiate, compromise, or make exceptions for your child’s negative behaviour, but you also do not punish,
shame, or blame them. You help them understand the consequences of their choices, and you support them to make better ones.
Why is the Nurtured Heart Approach effective for children with intense energy and emotions?
The NHA is effective for children with intense energy and emotions because it helps them channel their energy into positive outcomes instead of negative ones. It also helps them develop a positive self-image and a high sense of inner wealth, which is a combination of self-worth, resilience, confidence, creativity, and compassion.
The NHA recognizes that children with intense energy and emotions are not bad or broken, but rather gifted and talented. They have a lot of potential and passion, but they need guidance and support to use it wisely. The NHA helps them realize that they are valuable, lovable, and capable of greatness.
How do you apply the Nurtured Heart Approach to your parenting or teaching style?
Applying the NHA to your parenting or teaching style is not difficult, but it does require commitment, practice, patience, and courage. You need to be consistent in following the three stands, and avoid falling into old habits of reacting negatively or giving empty praise.
Here are some tips to help you apply the NHA to your parenting or teaching style:
- Start by observing your behaviour and reactions. How do you respond when your child does something wrong? How do you respond when your child does something right? Do you give more energy to their failures or their successes? Do you have clear and consistent rules and boundaries? Do you communicate with them effectively?
- Next, identify areas where you can improve. Maybe you need to be calmer and more clear when setting boundaries and consequences. Maybe you need to be more attentive and enthusiastic when praising and recognizing your child’s positive behaviour. Maybe you need to be more specific and genuine when giving feedback and appreciation.
- Then, start implementing the NHA in your daily interactions with your child. Use the three stands as a guide to help you respond appropriately to your child’s behaviour. Remember to give no energy to what is going wrong, and lots of energy to what is going right, while having clear and consistent boundaries and rules.
- Finally, monitor and evaluate the results of using the NHA. Notice how your child’s behaviour and attitude change over time. Notice how your relationship with your child improves and strengthens. Notice how you feel more confident and empowered as a parent or teacher.
How the Nurtured Heart Approach can help your child develop inner wealth and positive behaviour?
The NHA can help your child develop inner wealth and positive behaviour by helping them:
- feel seen, heard, and valued for who they are
- recognize and celebrate their strengths, talents, and achievements
- develop a positive self-image and self-esteem
- build resilience and coping skills to deal with challenges and setbacks
- learn from their mistakes and make better choices
- express their emotions in healthy and constructive ways
- be more creative, curious, and motivated to learn
- be more compassionate, empathetic, and respectful to others
- be more cooperative, collaborative, and responsible
Where to find more resources and support for using the Nurtured Heart Approach?
If you want to learn more about the NHA and how it can help you transform your relationship with your child (or anyone else), you can visit the website of the Nurtured Heart Institute, where you can find books, videos, courses, pieces of training, events, testimonials, research articles, and other resources.
You can also join the NHA group on Facebook, where you can connect with other parents, educators, professionals, and trainers who are using the NHA in their lives.
The NHA is not a magic bullet or a quick fix. It requires commitment, practice, patience, and courage. But it is worth it. As Glasser says: “The excellent news is that The Nurtured Heart Approach has been proven to create the transformation very quickly and in an enduring way. Instead of believing that one gets a great deal more from adults through negativity and that positive choices are a less certain bet, the child is moved to believing that he or she can fully invest energy and intelligence in successes.”
So why not give it a try? Start nurturing the existing greatness in every relationship today. You will be amazed by the results. The Nurtured Heart Approach is more than just a behaviour management strategy. It is a way of being (and seeing) that is empowering and positively addictive. It is a way to celebrate greatness in every kid (and every adult)!
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