The last method/technique Glasser writes about in relation to the Nurtured Heart Approach is called Creative Recognition. This method deals with us creating situations that will transport children into success while promoting a child's sense of cooperation and collaboration. Essentially, we are creating the compliance before the child can do otherwise and then we praise him for that success. Glasser suggests some tips when applying this technique; 1. Start with an utterly doable request. Make the request, then energize the child's response and effect. 2. Avoid polite or diplomatic ways of starting out a request, like "would you", "could you" or even "please". 3. Convey a message that every moment in the right direction is valued. 4. When resistance comes up, remember your stands: relentless pursuit of positivity, strict rule enforcement and no leaks of negativity.
Some examples of this method are:
1. At clean up, a request is made: "I need you to get started cleaning up." The child starts to push the blocks slowly, but in the general direction of the block bin. You respond right away with "I notice that you are starting to put the blocks in the bin. I really appreciate how well you listened when I said it was time to clean up."
2. You've told the kids that it's time to start preparing for bed. Just as the child looks up from the computer or the TV and starts to stretch and get up - maybe not with the intention of heading to his room to change - you say, " I see you are getting ready to go put your pajamas on. I appreciate that you are getting up and are starting to do as I asked. You are following directions and I appreciate that.
3. Joseph's Story: Glasser worked with a family of a 6 year old who was pretty much off the map in terms of compliance. He easily got himself kicked out of class often which in turn lead him to go to the office (reward!) and be surrounded by administrators and office personnel (attention!). Glasser shared the Nurtured Heart approach with his family and the father pretty much laughed at Glasser. He told Glasser that his son has never done anything that they have asked him to do and didn't believe he would cooperate anytime soon. The next time Glasser saw them, the child had begun to turn around. When Glasser asked the father how they did it, the father shared how it started...using the Creative Recognition method....The dad shared that Joseph was getting in the car; he sat down and was pulling the door closed when the father asked him to close the door. It was already half done, too late to reverse it. When the door clicked closed, the father said "Joseph, thanks for doing just what I asked you to do. That's great following directions." Joseph then clicked his seat belt on and dad turned around and told him to put his seat belt on. And then his father accused him of being successful. He said, "Wow! This time, it was almost as if you heard my request inside your brain and I didn't even have to say it. You know what I wanted and you cooperated. I appreciate that." Within a few weeks of this approach being used, Joseph had a complete turn around.
Glasser has worked with parents who struggle with putting this approach into practice. It feels unnatural and strange. Glasser encourages parents to keep at it. It will become more natural and the results will be worth it. He says that once it starts to feel more comfortable, it will only takes 5 to 10 seconds to find the moments and praise your child in them. If you do this 10 - 30 times a day, that is less than 5 minutes of your total day.
Glasser reminds us that the four methods build on one another and are designed to be used fluidly, in combination. He encourages us to practice our vocabulary to where we can shower our children with praise effortlessly. The simplicity and brevity of this approach are a key reason it is so effective. It cuts to the heart of information that most strongly motivates and encourages children. Specific praises and requests bring to light what the child can value in his or her self abundantly clear.
I'll end this method with some examples that I love. Glasser shares them as ways to link the child's very existence to something great and wonderful. Always feel free to share your thoughts. I would love to hear them.
"It's such fun to have you in this family."
"Your presence adds a needed calmness to the family."
"I like seeing how your siblings smile when you enter the room."
"I love the energy and enthusiasm that you bring to all you do."