Sunday, March 14, 2010

New Approach Really Helping

The therapist gave us a new appraoch to try with McKenzie called the Nurtured Heart Approach and I really love it. Already I have seen it help so much. What am I doing different? Well, to begin with I am really emphasizing the good things she does and trying to even notice when she is not making wrong choices. For example, she may be just sitting quiet in the car and I will say "Thanks Kenz for being in such a calm and good mood." or I might say, "Kenzie thank you for not fighting with your sister." I am really trying to make sure she does not feel invisible when she is behaving. The therapist says that intense kids like Kenz can feel invisible when they are making good choices because nobody says anything. In our minds we are thinking"Whew, she is not causing any problems better not say anything!" But the problem with that is that these kids want to be noticed. They want our energy and our attention. When they get it over and over again when things are positive their mind starts changing and realizing that being good is getting more of what they need than being "bad" (for a lack of a better word). It also works the opposite way which is why traditional parenting does not work with these kiddos. We give our most energy and attention when things are going wrong. Already I have seen less fights with her sister, less disobedience to me, and less ugly talk. I have also seen her wanting to do good things. For example, today she folded all of the laundry and then put it away in everybody's room. She has never done that. It was also done without complaining. Wow! She also shelled all of the green beans when I asked her for help at dinnertime. And when Addyson was fusing the other night she offered to let her come and take a bath with her. She drained the water, put colder water in the tub so it would suit Addy, and then played with her while I was busy cleaning. She has gotten off the computer when I have asked without an upset several times-not always yet but it is better. I still know there are things that she can't help that need to be helped with medicine but I also know that we needed help at home on how to deal with her and I think we have found it. My only fear is that it will wear off. However, I also know that it helps my mood. I am focusing on the good things and not as much on the bad things and that really changes my perspective of her and of life in general. I still need to read more to find out how to give consequences and not give any energy towards it. But so far the beginning has been nothing but good. The way I see it is that this approach can only help not hurt. Being positive and encouraging is definitely the way of the Lord.


  1. Amy -

    I recently read a book called Parenting Teens with Love and Logic. Actually - the whole series of Love & Logic books seem to make a lot of sense. They encourage the approach of never engaging in the negative and argumentative cycle that we so often get into with our "high maintenance" kids. This book will help with getting your message across, giving sensible consequences (not punishment) and moving on.

  2. I just posted a comment but it disappeared! Oh well, just wanted to say that I think this approach sounds great and I really admire your commitment to spending time with the Lord in the morning!

  3. Is the Nurture Heart Approach in book form?