Parenting Challenging Children

How does the Nurtured Heart Approach differ from the many other parenting approaches I have tried?

The Nurtured Heart Approach recognizes that intense, challenging children act out in negative ways because they desperately crave the energy and connection they receive when we respond to their outbursts.  When children misbehave, we become much more animated, our voices rise and we become intensely involved.  As this scenario keeps repeating itself, children experience that they must act out in order to keep receiving these powerful levels of attention and connection.  The Nurtured Heart Approach teaches us how to consistently give children intense energy and connection when they are exhibiting positive qualities.  Moreover, this approach gives us the vision to see these positive qualities which we have been heretofore unable to recognize.  It also provides us with the language to express our recognition in ways our children can’t help but accept.

Why should I praise my child for doing what is expected?

The simple answer can be summed up by the adage, “What you put your attention on grows stronger.”  By rewarding positive behaviors, we increase the likelihood they will be repeated.  Once repeated and energized, our child’s self-esteem increases and he is more likely to continue to act in successful ways.  This is a wonderful success loop.

Doesn’t all that praise get old after awhile?

On the contrary.  If the praise is specific and heartfelt, it will likely transform the way your child feels about herself.  Often, for the first time in her life, a challenging child begins to feel worthy and capable.  These are terrific feelings that children, as well as adults, do not tire of.

Do kids get addicted to frequent positive feedback?

No, in fact it continues to enrich their self-perception.  This process transforms a child’s personal portfolio from one of failure, weakness and deficits to one of high self-esteem, achievement and success.  When children feel this way, they tend to take responsibility, be helpful and make good choices.

David Schmuckler, LCSW
(928) 710-2251
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