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The Nurtured Heart Approach
A System of Accountability

by Tina Feigal, M.S., Ed.
Founder, The Minnesota Center for the Difficult Child
(See her bio below)

This is the fourth in Tina Feigal's series of articles about the Nurtured Heart Approach (NHA) created by Howard Glasser.
The other issue in dealing with behavior issues is, of course, accountability. Howard Glasser has devised a unique "Time-In" system that is compelling to the child in its ability to draw her in. She receives positive feedback with such regularity that she cannot resist the temptation to repeat the desired behavior. The pull of success is now far greater than the attraction to defiance.

The counterpart to "Time-In" is "Time-Out". But rather than Mom / Dad delivering the traditional,

 "You've made me angry. Go to your room!"

approach to removing the child, "Time-Out" occurs within view of "Time-In". All the adult has to say is,

 "Oops, broke a rule. 'Time-Out'." 

The child is subconsciously seeking the adult's energy, aiming to create an intensity match with his or her own inner intensity. "Time-Out" stops the energy flow, communicating that the behavior is not wanted. "Time-Out" takes place within view of "Time-In", so that the child in "Time-Out" is still present in the room. She witnesses the positivity of "Time-In", which reminds her that that's where the energy is, and that's where she'd rather be! "Time-Out's" are given unemotionally, with no warnings, no reiteration of the rule, and no negotiation, all of which are energy flow that you want to avoid. They are automatic and totally predictable, as are the praise and appreciation. This creates a structured environment for the child, which is essential in helping him to feel secure.

A point system for older children is also part of the NHA approach. Earning points is based on every good behavior imaginable, and they are generously granted. Ways to earn points are decided upon in advance, with the child’s input. For instance:

Ways to spend points on privileges are also predetermined with the child’s input. These are determined according to the age of the child, and the family norms. Anything that is not essential and life sustaining is a privilege. Some examples:
  • trips to the mall
  • extra story at bedtime
  • computer time
  • maid service from a parent
'Transforming the Difficult Child'Transforming the Difficult Child: The Nurtured Heart Approach
by Howard Glasser.

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Tina Feigal's background
Tina Feigal is a former school psychologist who now trains and coaches parents and professionals in applying the principles of The Nurtured Heart Approach. The approach is a set of highly effective techniques used to help intense children, ages 3-18, to gain control of their behavior and to see themselves as successful. Tina was trained and authorized by Howard Glasser to share ideas with adults on ways to bring out the best in intense children. Tina holds workshops for groups, and phone coaching sessions for couples and individuals, who want to hone their skills in applying the approach. Tina is also a parent, whose second of three sons went through a period of opposition and defiance related to a serious illness. He is now a graduate student in counseling psychology and living a full, productive and successful life.

E-mail Tina Feigal at    Tina Feigal's website is at

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