It's About Childhood & Family, Inc.

A Central New York Not-for-Profit Agency Providing
Mental Health Services for Children & Families

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The Nurtured Heart Approach (NHA)

Developed by Howard Glasser MA

The Nurtured Heart Approach™ (NHA) is profoundly changing people’s lives everywhere. Hundreds of schools all over the world are reducing truancy, increasing academic scores, decreasing disciplinary and special education referrals, and more. Originally designed for the “difficult” child, the NHA is transformative with children who are diagnosed with ADHD, ODD, etc. However, NHA is not limited to these children as all children can benefit from this exciting new paradigm in parenting and education.

Core Elements

The Inner Wealth Initiative is a parenting/teaching model that fosters the child’s inner strength (character and spirit), giving him/her the moral compass necessary to effectively deal with and solve problems as well as succeed socially and emotionally. It transforms the child to a higher level of happiness, security, conduct, and achievement.

This social curriculum is not just another “positive” approach to parenting/teaching designed to improve behavior. Rather, it is a transformative and comprehensive approach to life – a method of recognizing and appreciating the gifts each child possesses. It is proactive – based on intention not agenda.

The techniques of the approach need only be applied as intensively as the situations merits. The more intense the child, the more intense the application required. The techniques are performed more frequently and with more detail, intent and emotion with a child who is more ‘difficult’ or intense.

What is needed by the majority of ‘diagnosable’ children is to have an entirely different kind of awareness shone upon them: an awareness of the incredible capacity for success and goodness that exists in every child, at every moment. This approach requires that we, as adults, become aware of that capacity and learn to acknowledge it with strong, inspiring, and truthful language.

3 Stands - Basic Principles

  1. Relentless pursuit of success
    Develop meaningful relationships by creatively energizing success ('time-in'). Your relationship with child is the reward. Nurture and support children in a positive, energized way; instead of merely dealing with problems, putting out fires, and waiting for the next conflagration.

    Don’t save active, enthusiastic, energetic relationship and recognition of children for those instances when problems arise; instead recognize them when things are going right, and even better, when things aren’t going wrong.

    As you make success irresistible and negative behaviors less exciting, the child is inexorably drawn to create more success. She begins to believe, in her core, that she possesses greatness – because she has repeatedly been shown, in the moment, the ways in which she is great.
  2. Refuse to energize (give relationship to) negativity
    In moments when things are going wrong, the approach requires that you withdraw your energy, your relationship.

    Establish clear line between ‘time-in’ and ‘time-out’.
  3. Strict rule enforcement
    Create an empty, unstimulating 'time-out' that consists of the child’s missing out on life's energies and relationships. When a rule is broken the child is given brief ‘reset’ (time-out) instead of a lecture (lectures only energize negativity)… and then the adult quickly discerns the next moment of success, jumping in to teach the very same ‘lesson’ through positivity.

    Let the child be fully responsible for their decisions. Don't deny them the result of a poor choice - consequence - when rule is broken. Always treat them as fully competent, right now. Always work towards future ‘time-in’.

    It is the power, honesty, consistency, and creativity of your positive acknowledgements that will make the time-out (‘reset’) work as a consequence. In this approach, the consequences are absolutely solid, but it is not the severity that leads to the transformation you will observe in the child. The new and powerful exposure to repeated experiences of success is what will awaken the child to his own greatness.

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