There is a quiet despair among so many loving, smart, and deeply caring parents. They so desire to see their children manifest their greatness, to use their intensity well instead of having it go awry, and too often they see their best efforts to inspire respectful and responsible choices slip away to further levels of frustration.
Despite the best intentions, most methods of caregiving inadvertently backfire when applied to intense and challenging children, or even to normal children who are “in a mood.” We lecture, raise our voices, use a multitude of words in attempts to teach crucial lessons; and our biological signs of life, heart and breath rate, fly off the charts in those very moments of frustration. And kids feel it.
Conventional approaches deepen a child’s impression that he or she receives the most energized and animated responses to adversity and poor choices.
In contrast, kids get “dialed down” responses when they are living their lives successfully. Perhaps we say two words, “Good job,” and go back to folding laundry or teaching the science lesson. The thing is, all children are smart, especially the intense ones. They quickly figure out the formula: “When I break the rules, I get more involvement and connection. When I follow the rules, I get a neutral response.” This is upside-down energy.
How do we turn this precious energy right side up again, giving children the connected relationships they crave when they make positive choices? The Nurtured Heart Approach® has helped thousands of families, educators, and child advocates channel a child’s intensity in beautifully creative and constructive ways – without medication. Propelling intense or challenging children to greatness is as easy as having a methodology that supports these simple but powerful stands:
Stand One: Absolutely No! I refuse to energize negative behavior.
Rather than react with elevated energy, attention, and relationship to disruptions and outbursts that distract children from their greatness, I will strive to neutralize negative behavior through immediate, concrete, and uncharged responses consistent with the harmonious environment I am creating... by way of a simple form of consequence called a reset.
Stand Two: Absolutely Yes! I will relentlessly energize the positive.
As much as possible, I will work immediately to identify, describe, and express appreciation for steps, large and small, a child takes in manifesting his or her positive choices and intrinsic greatness. I will actively initiate opportunities for children to be successful.
Stand Three: Absolute Clarity!
I will maintain total clarity about rules that demonstrate fair and consistent boundaries. I will consistently enforce rules and provide immediate consequences through resetting each time a rule is broken. I will recognize the child in the moment they have reset and create that next moment as an opportunity for success.
The result is inner strength and inner wealth.