My friend Jackie did the extensive training for The Nurtured Heart Approach and uses the approach for parenting her four children. It sounded like such an interesting approach that I asked to learn more. She recommended the book All Children Flourishing - Igniting the Greatness of Our Children because it's the easiest of the books to read and implement. I haven't finished the book but I was so excited about the strategy that I signed up for the one-day training when Howard, the founder of the Nurtured Heart Approach, was in Seattle awhile back. It was amazing, inspiring and eye-opening.
Side note: Most of the people at the training were counselors, teachers and principals. There are several local school districts that are adopting the approach because of it's effectiveness, especially with tough kids.
Since the training I have been trying to stay on course with the Nurtured Heart Approach because when I do, I can definitely see a difference in my daughter's behavior. The reason it's difficult to stay on course is because it requires more energy up front, but when you give a little extra up front, you get better behavior, less whining, fewer meltdowns and more. Sometimes I get off-track. I resort to yelling, bribes, time outs, taking away toys and privileges, and more... and not surprisingly, I get more and more of the bratty behavior.
It's a confusing approach to stomach at first, because it turns everything you've learned upside down. It asks you to put in all your energy in when your child is behaving good, rather than bad, which is so often when mommy wants to quietly slip into the other room for a breather rather than risk disrupting the calm moment by interacting. I know I've been there.
It's not about saying "good job" all the time. It's about labeling good behavior with indisputable facts and creating inner wealth, thus promoting and rewarding the behavior that you want, not the behavior you don't want. It's hard to sum up in a blog post, but if you're interested in learning more, I highly recommend the book and strategy.