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Creating a Culture of Nurturing. Stephen J. Bavolek, Ph.D. Author of the Nurturing Parenting Programs June 2012 Yreka, California. Nurturing Culture. Compassion , Communication , Cooperation, Confidence in Parents and Children. Understanding your Philosophy.

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Creating a culture of nurturing

Creating a Culture of Nurturing

Stephen J. Bavolek, Ph.D.

Author of the Nurturing Parenting Programs

June 2012

Yreka, California

Nurturing culture
Nurturing Culture





in Parents and Children

Understanding your philosophy
Understanding your Philosophy

  • Philosophy is a well thought out set of beliefs.

  • A defined philosophy allows individuals to make conscious, congruent choices.

  • Parenting entails a set of unconscious beliefs and practices that have been past down and recycled to another generation of children without understanding or challenge.

  • The best parents/teachers make conscious, informed choices in raising/teaching their children.

Philosophy of nurturing
Philosophy of Nurturing

Nurturing embraces the philosophy of

raising/teaching children in non-violent, caring environments

  • Building family attachments, empathy, and compassion

  • Understanding brain development and functioning

  • Enhancing self-concept, self esteem and self worth

  • Empowering children, teens and adults

  • Teaching and utilizing discipline with dignity

  • Increasing self-awareness and self-acceptance

  • Promoting fun, laughter, and play

Understanding current research
Understanding Current Research

  • Research on the effectiveness of different strategies and techniques in parenting and teaching children.

  • The effects of nurture on the nature of brain development and its functioning.

  • The impact of childhood experiences.

  • The differences between opinions, beliefs, personal experiences, personal truths, and scientific facts when teaching information.

The science of nurturing
The Science of Nurturing

Nurturing embraces the science of promoting proven beliefs, strategies and techniques in developing a positive and healthy quality of life:

* The impact of long term nurturing practices on brain development and functioning.

* The science of positive touch, positive communication, dignified discipline, expectations and empowerment on the overall mental and physical of children’s development

Clinical understanding of behavior
Clinical Understanding of Behavior

  • Understandsthe motivations and reinforcers of behavior.

  • Aware of the impact the quality of childhood has on the life styles and parenting/teaching styles of adults.

  • Understands how the brain normalizes repeated experiences and develops neurological pathways which directs behavior.

  • Understands and accepts one’s own personal history and influence as a parent and teacher.

Nurturing new behavior
Nurturing New Behavior

Nurturing embraces the clinicalunderstanding of human behavior including:

  • Basic needs of human beings and role identity

  • Differences between “being” (our humanness) and “doing” (our behavior).

  • The key aspects of bonding, attachment attunement, and empathy.

  • How brain chemistry influences our behavior.

  • Differences between male and female brains.

Competent professional
Competent Professional

  • Skillful in facilitating groups/classrooms.

  • Skillful in conducting home-visits.

  • Skillful in working with children and teens in groups and one-to-one.

  • Creates a comfortable, positive learning environment.

  • Is capable of using assessment data to develop meaningful instruction.

  • Knows the difference between primary, secondary and tertiary prevention levels.

Philosophy of nurturing parenting
Philosophy of Nurturing Parenting

  • The word nurturing comes from the Latin word nu tri tura:



    Nourish Life

    Nurturing is the single most critical process for creating and sustaining life.

Two types of nurturing
Two Types of Nurturing

  • The energy of nurturing is non-discriminatory.

  • Both positive and negative nurturing exists.

  • Positive nurturing is nourishing the aspects of life we want.

  • Negative nurturing is nourishing the aspects of life we don’t want, but get anyway.

Positive nurturing
Positive Nurturing

Positive nurturing is called EMPATHYwhich

Comes from the Greek word


  • Empathy is one of the most important characteristics of a nurturing parent.


  • The ability to imagine yourself in someone else’s position and to intuit what that person is feeling.

  • to project into or identify with another.

  • to enter fully through understandinganother’s feelings or motives.

  • To stand in someone’s shoes, to see what they see, to hear what they hear, and to feel with your heart.

Negative nurturing
Negative Nurturing

Negative nurturing is called

abuse and neglect.

The word abuse comes from the Latin word


which means to mistreat; cruel and harsh punishment.

Negative nurturing1
Negative Nurturing

Neglect comes from the Latin word


negmeans “not” and

  • legere means “pick up.”

  • Neglectful parenting means not holding or touching children.

Continuum of caring
Continuum of Caring

Positive Nurturing (Empathy)

Frequency Always Frequent Sometimes Infrequent Never

Intensity Very High High Average Low Not Present

10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0

Negative Nurturing (Abuse and Neglect)

Frequency Never Infrequent Sometimes Frequent Always

Intensity Not Present Low Average High Very High

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Childhood hours
Childhood Hours

The following chart displays how personalities and behavior patterns are influenced early in life based on the quality of life in childhood portrayed in hours.

There are approximately

157,776 hours

in the first 18 years of life.

E harmony or e chaos
e-Harmony or e-Chaos?

Positive % Negative % Pos Hours Neg Hours

  • 20% 80% 31,555 126,220

  • 30%70% 47,333 110,443

  • 50% 50% 78,888 78,888

  • 70% 30% 110,443 47,333

  • 80% 20% 126,221 31,555

  • 90% 10% 141,998 15,778

  • 95% 5% 149,887 7,889

  • 99% 1% 156,198 1,578

  • 100% 0% 157,776 0

Adults children and their behavior
Adults, Children and their Behavior

The positive and negative impact of life’s past events shape our cognitive,emotional and neurological responses to current events.

Positive nurturing1
Positive Nurturing

  • Positive nurturing parenting is nourishing the aspects of life we want.

  • Developing positive self worth by having appropriate expectations.

  • Developing a sense of caring and compassion by building empathy in parents and children.

  • Providing children with dignified discipline.

  • Increasing awareness in parents and children of appropriate family functioning.

  • Developing a healthy sense of empowerment in parents and children.

Negative nurturing2
Negative Nurturing

  • Negative nurturing parenting is nourishing the aspects of life we don’t want, but get anyway.

  • Low or negative self-worth through inappropriate expectations of children.

  • Lacking an empathic response to self and children’s needs.

  • Using physical and verbal punishments on children.

  • Reversing family roles where children “parent” the adult.

  • Oppressing children’s power and independence

Nature vs nurture
Nature vs Nurture

  • Nature: Physical traits and genetic predispositions received upon conception.

  • Nature also entails the predisposed characteristics of the species called “homo sapien” (the wise man).

  • Nurture: The positive or negative influences the environment has on our nature (genetic predispositions).

  • Human personality is 80% Nurture; 20% Nature.

Genetic heritable traits
Genetic-Heritable Traits

  • A heritable trait is one that’s caused by your genes rather than your upbringing.

  • Dominant and Recessive Genes

  • Physical traits and behaviors passed on through DNA:

  • Eye color Tongue roller

  • Patterned baldness Height

    Intelligence Blood type

Nature s predispositions
Nature’s Predispositions

Predisposition: a tendency; inclination;

ADHD- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Alcohol addiction

Depression and other mental health conditions


Predisposition to certain cancers and illnesses

Research on nature vs nurture
Research on Nature vs Nurture

  • Researchers now agree that certain negative characteristics of nature can be “nurtured” out in future generations.

  • Epigenetics is showing how your environment and your choices can influence your genetic code as well as your children’s genetic code.

  • Example: Diet, stress and prenatal nutrition can make an imprint on genes that is passed to the next generation.

Characteristics of i
Characteristics of “I”

  • Predisposed to form and sustain long term positive nurturing relationships.

  • Predisposed to seek moral and spiritual meaning.

  • Positive nurturing relationships and a connection to your spiritual power improve long term health.

  • Positive nurturing environment shapes children’s emotions, thoughts, behavior and brain development.

Beliefs and practices of adults
Beliefs and Practices of Adults

The following are basic beliefs and practices that adults need to adopt into their personal life to be prepared to implement the nurturing philosophy into their parenting and teaching practices.

In humans there is an essential difference between our being and our doing
In humans there is an essential difference between our “being” and our “doing.”

  • “Being” constitutes the core elements of our identity; our personality.

  • “Doing” constitutes our behavior

  • Behavior does not define a person, rather describes a person’s actions and state of consciousness at that moment.

Parenting and teaching are roles
Parenting and Teaching are Roles

A role is generally defined as a set of behaviors that are time and situation specific.

There are three primary categories of roles (doings) that humans (beings) generally are involved: 

  • Family Roles —mother/father, husband/wife brother/sister, aunt/uncle, niece/ nephew, grandmother/grandfather, etc.

  • Work/Career Roles —teacher, lawyer, auto worker, politician, laborer, social worker, parent educator, student, etc.

  • Community Roles —neighbor, cub-scout leader, den mother, consumer, volunteer coach, PTA, etc.

Nurturing my self
Nurturing my self

Nurturing Mommies and Daddies are created from nurturing women and men

Caregivers that nurture themselves

as men or women are better

equipped to nurture others.

Burnout and stress are the result of ignoring the basic needs of self.

Basic human needs
Basic Human Needs

  • Social-need for friendships, others

  • Physical-food, water, exercise, sex

  • Intellectual- read, problem solve, facts

  • Creativity- art, dance, dress, tattoos

  • Emotional-need to express feelings

  • Spiritual-need for belonging, purpose

Control of thoughts and feelings
Control of Thoughts and Feelings

  • “You make me angry!”

  • “It’s your fault. You made me……..”

  • “That kid makes me furious”

  • “You are my everything”

  • “You made me love you…..”

  • “You drive me crazy….. To my wits end”

  • The Pinocchio Effect

R e s p e c t

  • Good spankings

  • Good tongue lashing

  • Good beatings

  • Good slap

  • Constructive criticism

  • Treat your children the way you would be liked to be treated

Teaching children new skills
Teaching Children New Skills

Based on adults understanding and adopting nurturing beliefs and practices, the following are strategies to enhance the four C’s of Nurturing:






1. Recognizing, understanding and handling feelings.

2. Managing stress, sadness and anger.

3. Teaching children how to recognize feelings in others.

4. Taking care of objects (toys and clothes); of other life forms (plants and animals); and other humans (having friends, baby sitting, brothers/sisters)


1. Honoring a child’s desire

2. Replacing blaming statements with responsibility statements

3. Pay attention to what you want and not to what you don’t want.

4. Too many “no” statements without corresponding “yes” statements.


1. Elimination of corporal punishment and replacement with consequences with dignity.

2. Develop Family Morals, Values and Rules

3. Praise for Being and Doing statements

4. Special recognitions: red plate


1. Building self-concept, esteem and value through helping children get their needs met.

2. Owning feelings and teaching children how to express their feelings respecting self, others (including animals) and objects.

3. Owning one’s body parts

4. Bed time power stories

The two wolves native american wisdom

The Two WolvesNative American Wisdom

Family Development Resources, Inc.

Publishers of the Nurturing Parenting Programs®

Visit our Website at

“An elder Cherokee Native American was teaching his grandchild about life. He said to his grandchild …

One wolf represents fear, anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority and ego.

The other wolf stands for honor, joy, peace, love, hope, sharing, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, friendship, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.

After thinking about it for a minute or two, the grandchild asked her grandfather, “Which wolf will win”?

The old man leaned toward his grandchild and whispered … asked her grandfather, “Which wolf will win”?

“The one you feed.”

Commitment to 10 zero
Commitment to 10-Zero asked her grandfather, “Which wolf will win”?

  • Make time to take care for your self.

  • Know the difference between “being” and “doing”

  • Know the difference between your “self” and your “roles”

  • Stay in control of your thoughts and feelings: the Pinocchio Effect

  • Respect your kids and they will respect you.

Taking care of my self
Taking Care of My Self asked her grandfather, “Which wolf will win”?

  • Self Concept: What do I think about my self?

  • Self Esteem: How do I feel about my self?

  • Self Worth: Do I value my self?

  • “I should take care of my self!”