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Book Review: The Inner Wealth Initiative

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User Rating 3 Star Rating (2 Reviews)


Book Review: The Inner Wealth Initiative
Cover image courtesy of Howard Glasser

The Bottom Line

By Tom Grove, M.A., and Howard Glasser, M.A., with Melissa Lynn Block, M.Ed; 169 pages. Subtitle: The Nurtured Heart Approach for Educators.

If you've used The Nurtured Heart Approach, as described in the book Transforming Your Difficult Child, with some success at home, you've probably wished there was a way to get your child's teacher to carry over the same techniques in the classroom. The Inner Wealth Initiative comes to the rescue by explaining the technique in a way that's meaningful to educators, with testimonials from principals for good measure. Read it, and send it to school.

About the Guide Rating

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  • Brings a highly effective in-home technique to the classroom
  • Constant emphasis on the positive can transform adults as well
  • The approach has been refined from the original in a way that makes this book useful to parents, too
  • Testimonials from principals add credibility
  • Saves you from having to write something up about the approach to give to your child's teacher


  • Getting a whole school to go along with this would be a challenge
  • It may be a challenge just to get your child's teacher to read it
  • Once you've read it, though, you'll be more frustrated than ever with current classroom discipline


  • Preface: The Birth of the Nurtured Heart Approach
  • Chapter One: Introduction to the Nurtured Heart Approach
  • Chapter Two: Getting Started: Setting the Conceptual Foundation
  • Chapter Three: Giving Effective Praise
  • Chapter Four: Building Inner Wealth
  • Chapter Five: Fear and Consequences
  • Chapter Six: Famous Leaks
  • Chapter Seven: The Credit System
  • Chapter Eight: The Whole School Orchestra
  • Two Principals Share Their Thoughts
    Conclusion: Inside Out
    A Recap: The Nurtured Heart Approach Basics

Guide Review - Book Review: The Inner Wealth Initiative

The Nurtured Heart Approach is a relentlessly, even ferociously positive approach to improving children's behavior and self-worth. Adults are advised to pour out the praise, energy and relationship when kids are following rules and not making trouble. That energy gets shut off like a faucet -- with no blame or shame -- when rules are broken. After a short time-out, the good stuff flows again, with no need to dwell on negativity.

It feels good to kids to be recognized when they're doing things right, and it feels good to adults to be constantly creating opportunities to provide that praise.

This approach may feel impossibly upbeat or soft-hearted or mushy, but I'll tell you, it's the one thing that's worked the best on my son. He soaks up the good stuff like a sponge, and appreciates the opportunity to have his missteps recognized with a brief emotion-free re-set instead of raised voices and recriminations.

I'm certain it would work like magic in his classroom, too, but I'm a little skeptical that schools would adopt it lock, stock and barrel. Some have, and this book bears their testimonials. It also outlines the approach in clear, no-nonsense terms to give educators an idea of exactly what they'll be called on to do to transform their students and classes. With luck, I can at least get his teacher to give it a try.

One thing that bothered me about Transforming the Difficult Child was its self-help-y tone -- I've even advised people to skip most of the beginning chapters and go right to the nuts and bolts. This new adaptation is really much more cut-and-dried, and is in many ways a refined and preferable introduction to the technique. So if you're not familiar with the Nurtured Heart Approach, this is a perfectly good book to start with. You can always follow up with the original for more detailed instructions.

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Disclosure: A review copy was provided by the author. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.

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