Encouraging positive behavior in 'challenging' children: the Nurtured Heart Approach

Pediatr Nurs. 2014 Jan-Feb;40(1):38-42.


Conventional parenting approaches often fall short of the mark for children who exhibit difficult behavior, sometimes inadvertently leading to increased oppositionality and poor self-esteem. As a result, parents of children with intense personalities and challenging behaviors need strategies that work very differently. The Nurtured Heart Approach is a philosophy/technique developed to help parents rewrite the often negative parenting scripts used with these children by limiting the amount of attention given to negative or undesirable behaviors while noticing and acknowledging even small positive behaviors, naming them, "energizing" attention given to them, and valuing their occurrence. Although there has been very limited empirical study of the Nurtured Heart Approach to date, it has been used, with anecdotal reports of success, in a variety of settings, including Head Start programs, schools, foster care agencies, a treatment center, and a pre-adolescent diversion program (Glasser, 2000).

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / psychology*
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / rehabilitation*
  • Attention Deficit and Disruptive Behavior Disorders / psychology*
  • Attention Deficit and Disruptive Behavior Disorders / rehabilitation*
  • Behavior Therapy / methods*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Education, Nonprofessional
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Parent-Child Relations*
  • Parenting / psychology
  • Social Behavior*