cover image Raising Resilient Children: Fostering Strength, Hope, and Optimism in Your Child

Raising Resilient Children: Fostering Strength, Hope, and Optimism in Your Child

Robert B. Brooks. McGraw-Hill/Contemporary, $22.95 (320pp) ISBN 978-0-8092-9764-1

In this practical handbook for parents, clinical psychologists Brooks and Goldstein draw on their considerable experience working with children and families to demonstrate that parents' core goal should be to instill in their children a sense of inner recourse. ""A resilient child is an emotionally healthy child, equipped to successfully confront challenges and bounce back from setbacks,"" they contend, and to this end they provide 10 parenting ""guideposts"" for nurturing the kind of resilience that helps children thrive. From being empathic, to teaching problem-solving, to identifying ""islands of competence"" in order to help a child experience success, to editing and eliminating what the authors call ""negative scripts"" (what parents hear themselves saying and doing repeatedly, ""with negligible beneficial results""), the guideposts are clearly delineated, first outlined in the introductory chapter and then expanded in individual chapters. In ""Accepting Our Children for Who They Are,"" for instance, the authors discuss important abstractions--mapping out different personality types in children, addressing parental fears of being ""mismatched"" with their children--and then pack a practical punch with ""Four Steps to Developing an Accepting Mindset with Your Child."" An abundance of real-life examples encountered in the authors' own practices further helps to unite principle and theory with action, and while the subject-specific chapters encourage browsing, the down-to-earth strategies ensure that this title will be used as well as read. Though the book's straightforward, collaborative ""we"" yields a slightly lackluster voice, ultimately it doesn't impede the transmission of this truly valuable material. (Mar.)