This is the third in a series about our Nurtured Heart Approach trainers who work at The Meher Schools. in a series.
Before she became director of the White Pony School, Susie Kohl was the parent of three Meher Schools students. At the time, she was also a college instructor, teacher trainer, and writer in the field of child development. One of her books, Who’s in Control? (written under the name Susan Isaacs), foreshadowed the Nurtured Heart Approach, outlining loving behavior-management techniques that provide clear rules and consequences while fostering positive self-regard and good communication.
As White Pony director, “I had the fun of teaching in preschool again after many years and working with the teachers on their discipline techniques. Teachers here have always been devoted to accepting and loving each and every student. But before we adopted the Nurtured Heart Approach, their responses to behavioral issues were somewhat eclectic.”
Nurtured Heart, she says, “brought an infusion of energy and ushered in a groundbreaking new concept: the goal not of simply producing ‘good’ behavior but actually transforming children to become all they can be. Wow!”
Learning the Nurtured Heart Approach takes a lot of effort,” she explains, “because our brains are evolutionarily programmed to skew negative for survival. But the teachers were very motivated, and as they struggled to become proficient in Nurtured Heart, we began to notice a palpable difference in the preschool classrooms. Classes became markedly more peaceful and calm.”
Over more than a decade of using the approach, “we’ve seen many, many transformations, with children as young as two and as old as 12 overcoming self-defeating behavior patterns.
“We don’t want to push Nurtured Heart on parents,” she says, “but we do cordially invite them to join us in the everyday miracles that occur in using it. One of the greatest joys is seeing children use the positive techniques. Recently a four-year-old had been pushing another child’s bike, and when the teacher looked at him, he said, “‘I’ve already reset myself!’”