In the late 1990’s, I was fortunate to become friends with Howard Glasser, the founder of The Nurtured Heart Institute and the Nurtured Heart Approach. Howard and I met at the University of Arizona while studying leadership. We instantly connected and began discussing teaching, learning, and parenting through two completely different lenses. His as a therapist and mine as an educational leader.
There are window-panes in life when you are able to connect and form relationships with other like-minded individuals that solidify and mold the core of your own philosophy. Howard’s impact on my development as a leader was profound, and for that I am extremely thankful.
Howard’s early work on nurturing the heart identified 3 Stands which continue to be the core of my beliefs as a parent and educator:
Stand 1: ABSOLUTELY NO! I refuse to energize negativity. I will not reward negativity with my energy, connection, or relationship. Positives cannot register until the child experiences that they are no longer getting connected through negativity.
- Stand 2: ABSOLUTELY YES! I will super-energize experiences of success. I will relentlessly create and energize positivity and success through my recognitions and relationships. I will energize and nurture first-hand experiences of success. I will not just “catch kids being good” but will see the miracles in the molecules of success.
- Stand 3: ABSOLUTELY CLEAR! I will set clear limits and provide clear, un-energized consequences. I will have intentional clarity in my rules and expectations. I will always provide a true consequence, without looking the other way. When a rule is broken, I will allow the child to reset and be welcomed back with forgiveness.
We can all learn from others who are a part of the window panes in our lives. As a parent of seven children and as a lifelong educator, I strive to ‘pay it forward’ by sharing my experiences and what I have learned. None of us are perfect, however, we can all strive to be the best version of ourselves by connecting and sharing with each other.
Perhaps the next generation of educational leaders will personalize Glasser’s approach and continue to foster and nurture the hearts of children. In my opinion, our greatest collective accomplishment is igniting greatness in the children we serve. Igniting greatness is a worthy challenge for a lifetime of dedication.
I urge you to take time to review Howard’s work. His latest book, Igniting Greatness is excellent and worthy of your time.
Richard H. Faidley