Growing empathy for a peaceful world
I've been very thrilled to discover child psychologist Dr Ross Greene's work. Go to http://www.livesinthebalance.org/ to learn what he offers kids, parents and teachers of "challenging kids" - these kids who've been so misunderstood and judged. Dr Greene's "Plan B", is a collaborative problem solving approach which starts with empathy in action and leads to a solution that works for both child and adult.
This website has many videos so you can really learn the approach right there.The underlying philosophy that "children do well if they can" is clearly explained, as is how your take on what is happening changes completely your role and what you do. He debunks the myth that "children do well if they wanna". As he says, if you believe the problem is children's motivation, then you reward and punish. It doesn't work. In fact, as the real problem is children lacking skills and having unsolved problems rather than lacking motivation, then trying to motivate them with stick and carrot makes things worse. He also makes very clear that even with children with more adaptive behaviour there is a big downside to reward and punishment.
There's no talk of the heart or heart connection here, though he does speak of empathy and compassion. What is very clear is that the approach creates heart connection. You can see it in the videos in the faces of both adults and children. You can feel the heart connection and it's very moving. I found these videos a joy to watch. Another excellent feature is that there are videos of Plan B not working and of adjustments that make it work. It's very good learning material.
I haven't yet read Ross Greene's two books: "The Explosive Child" and "Lost at School" - that's a treat still ahead!