The Nurtured Heart Approach© at Northern Cass
What is the Nurtured Heart Approach© (NHA)?
The NHA is a set of three stands designed to build the inner wealth of the children in our lives. By building thier inner wealth through the three stands outlined below, we are able to help children understand who they are in an authentic, genuine way.
What are the 3 Nurtured Heart Approach© (NHA) Stands?
Stand 1 – “Absolutely No”
Respond with the least amount of energy when a child is behaving in a way that does not meet your expectations or rules. This does not mean ignore the child and hope they stop, you will still need to address the situation.
Toys R’ Us Story: As the child’s favorite toy, how will you respond if your buttons are pushed? Will you light up with bells and whistles or will you give a “meh” response that leaves them not wanting to come back for more?
*Energy = amount of attention given for either positive (wanted) or negative (unwanted) behaviors
Stand 2 – “Absolutely Yes”
Respond with positive energy when a child is behaving in a way that does meet your expectations or rules.
Ways you can recognize the child for the positive (wanted) behaviors:
- What did you see/hear?
- What did they do well?
- What character quality did they show? How do you know?
- What rules were not broken?
- What do you appreciate about the moment?
Baby Steps Story: Sometimes you have to lower your expectations. Create moments of little successes that will build them up in smaller steps until they reach the desired expectation.
Stand 3 – “Absolutely Clear”
Clearly state your expectations or rules (set your boundaries)
Provide a consequence for broken rules:
- must fit the offense
- be doable
- gets the child back in quickly
Rules of the Game Story: the rules of basketball are very clear to the players, coaches, and officials. The boundaries are clearly drawn. When a rule is broken the whistle is blown. There are no warnings…“A toe over the line, is a toe over the line.” A consequence is immediately given to the player who broke the rule and the game quickly begins again. A reset can be the consequence.
Resets: taking time to get yourself back to the best you
Suggestion: be specific with what you want to be reset; the child can associate the rule/expectation to the positive (wanted) behavior once they are reset. Prompt the child to reset when they are demonstrating unwanted behaviors. Make sure to welcome them back once they have reset. Remember the 3 R’s:
- Reset: consequence
- Restart: welcome back with an appreciation for now not breaking the rules
- Restore: an act of restoration to a relationship, not an apology (only do when absolutely needed)
What does the Nurtured Heart Approach© (NHA) look like at Northern Cass?
The NHA was implimented school-wide in 2014. All staff (certified, non-certified, bus drivers, etc.) have been trained in the approach by a certified NHA trainer. Five Northern Cass staff members have been certified as trainers and continue to offer maditory "notching up" trainings to keep all staff up to date in the approach. Free parent trainings are offered each fall and spring. In the summer of 2017 area childcare providers and thier parents will be invited to also take the NHA tranings.
We believe the NHA has given Northern Cass staff and students the means to build stronger relationships and build a core foundation to celebrate greatness in and outside our school building. Below are a few ways we celebrate greatness!
- Monthly Greatness Words: Focus words that reflect the values of the Northern Cass School and community
- Greatness Celebrations: Celebration gatherings that focus on celebrating successes and accomplishments; Monthly at elementary level; Quarterly at the middle/high school level
- Greatness Gals: Collectors of greatness recognition slips; Dressed up in jaguar gear
- Recognitions Slips: Tool used to reflect on the greatness of others and/or self
- Greatness Cards: Tool used for staff members to recognize students, staff, and community members; mailed home
- Staff Greatness Chairs: Monthly verbal reflection opportunity where two staff members are chosen to be recognized in front of the entire staff
- "Notching Up" Sessions: Six sessions offered to NC staff members to notch up NHA techniques or take them to the next level
- Parent Trainings: 3-week or 6-week trainings offered to parents/guardians in the district twice a year