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SPOTLIGHT ON CHILDREN’S MENTAL HEALTH: Effectively guiding challenging children

Do you ever feel like you’ve tried everything when it comes to dealing with an intense child? And you’re still frustrated and looking for answers? The Nurtured Heart approach is a set of strategies developed to address and change the behaviors of challenging children in both home and classroom settings. The approach works not only for intense children, but all children. Using this approach, behaviors we want to see more of are rewarded by using the energy that all children seek from us. 

 Strategies exist that hold children accountable for problem behaviors while specifically using our own positive energy to create greatness in both children and parents. Our energy is the reward our children are seeking. Using it effectively is a powerful tool. When we accidently give a child more energy with lectures and reprimands, than for behaviors that we want from them, we create an atmosphere of confusion rather than of clarity. Fortunately, this situation is easy to turn around. Proven techniques offer specific ways to quickly transform a home and other settings into environments where cooperation and success prevail.

 These techniques are based on Howard Glasser’s Nurtured Heart Approach. Howard Glasser is the founder of the Children's Success Foundation and the creator of The Nurtured Heart Approach, and author of Transforming the Difficult Child, as well as numerous other books on how to nurture intense children. Classes that teach the techniques are offered by Northern Pines Mental Health Center in Brainerd and surrounding communities on an ongoing basis.

 For information on how to attend a class or how to set one up for your group contact: Trude Anderson 218-831-3302 or Rona Lortz at 218-820-5321. Class information is also available on the Northern Pines website at

Rona Lortz and Trude Anderson are Certified Parent Coaches using the Nurtured Heart Approach. This column was contributed by the Crow Wing County Local Advisory Council on Children's Mental Health.