National Bullying Prevention Month & the Nurtured Heart Approach® (Cultural Transformation is the Ultimate Prevention-Totally Doable!)
October is National Bullying Prevention Month, and I can not tell you enough how happy I am that PACER, a parent training and information center that was instrumental in creating bullying prevention month, chose to use the word “prevention” in the title.
The word “prevention” means to stop something from happening or arising (from Google definition). It implies that we can proactively have an impact on our future. If we “prevent” bullying it is because there is something else, something different, in the culture, systems, structures and norms of a school/community.
Having been a teacher, and a student, in many different types of educational settings I know that it is possible to proactively create a culture filled with communication, curiosity, appreciation, excitement, interest, diversity, insight, opportunity, healthy competition, robust inquiry, introspection and FUN! Having experienced the contrast of a school with a culture steeped in shame, lack of connection and focused on being critical of what kids cannot, or are not, doing, I know the pain of attempting to win at what feels like a losing battle.
This is where the Nurtured Heart Approach®(NHA) comes in! Created by Howard Glasser to work with “intense” kids (the ones who most people had given up on), it teaches adults how to interact with kids in a way that builds Inner Wealth® so they are “stronger on the inside.”
When day after day you hear recognition of what you are capable of, what you are contributing, that you are valued and recognized for who you really are, it starts to make a difference. You start to value yourself, you start to appreciate others, you start to look forward to seeing your teachers, and parents, and carers (caregivers).
A kid who KNOWS he or she is worthy, appreciated and recognized for who he or she is, that kid not only won’t be a bully, that kid also won’t be bullied. It is not that kids stop making mistakes, or that the adults in their lives become perfect, not at all. But the lens is changed, energy is focused on the good stuff, the connection, the unique gifts and contributions of each kid. The culture no longer supports bullying. Bullying comes from the need to exert superior power over another. When the culture is changed to see the greatness within ourselves and honor the greatness in others, it becomes a non-issue.
Please note, NHA is not about not having boundaries, adults are actually encouraged to have clear boundaries. Clarity is one of The 3 Stands™ that make up the foundation of NHA.
The Nurtured Heart Approach® is a way of being, a way of interacting that allows, indeed encourages, the greatness in each person, in each moment, to shine. It transforms individuals, relationships and cultures into places where kids want to be, to be engaged, to be learning, to be thriving. Into places where bullies not only do not stand a chance, they’re likely to become post-bullies who advocate for the greatness of the kids they once called victims.
Being used effectively in homes, schools, communities and organizations all around the globe, NHA is transforming the way adults interact with kids and ultimately, how kids begin to interact with each other. I, Micki O’Brien, M.A., am proud to be an Advanced Certified Nurtured Heart Approach Trainer. If you’d like to learn more join us for one of our free 1 hour Introduction to NHA live webinars HERE on our website – www.AlignedEducation.com. If you think a parent, teacher, coach, or other adult you know might like to learn about NHA, please share this info with them.