Friday, July 15, 2011

Raising Resilient Children.

Brooks, Robert. Goldstein, Sam. (2001).  Raising Resilient Children: fostering strength, hope, and optimism in your child.  New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

Summary / Analysis:
This summary pertains to the chapter entitled The Alliance between Parents and Schools.  This chapter is organized into principles that guide the Parent-Teacher relationship. Among them; 1) Parents and Teachers are Partners, 2) Maintain Regular Contact Throughout the School year 3) Practice Empathy, Empathy, Empathy, and 4) Parent-Teacher Collaboration Should be Guided by the Goal of Developing a Resilient Mindset in our Children.  There are several more, and each is thoroughly addressed in turn. Parameters to consider as well as responsibilities and roles for Parent and Teachers in every example are outlined carefully, along with a rationale for each.

The chapter explains each principal in depth, simply and constructively.  Anecdotes are used effectively to illustrate each principle.  While dense at times, the book as a whole would be an excellent text to discuss at a parent/school book club, and this particular chapter could be used to launch the first Parent-Teacher interaction at a new school.

Relevant Quotes / Concepts:
“It is imperative that these significant adults in a child’s life collaborate in the quest to develop a resilient mindset in children. All of the guideposts described for parents raising resilient youngsters are applicable for educators in the school environment” (261).

“…we know of educators who have given children false praise or minimized or denied the problems that children were encountering.  In some instances they rushed in so that a child would not experience making a mistake (rather than helping youngsters discover that they could learn from mistakes).  In one school, children were given buttons to wear that said ‘I’m capable and lovable’ as remedies to low self -esteem.  Children are much more sophisticated than many adults realize in recognizing these various forms of false positive feedback.  If anything, they learn to resent these less-than-honest attempts to make them feel more competent” (267).

“A key component of a resilient mindset is a sense of ownership and responsibility for what transpires in one’s life” (270).

“Much research supports the premise that when students feel that there is at least one person at school who know them, believes in them and is an advocate for them, they are more likely to succeed in the school environment and less likely to become alienated or to drop out” (283).

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