Resilience is the capacity to
rise above difficult circumstances, allowing our children to exist in this less-than-perfect world, while moving forward with optimism and confidence.






The Bottom Line of Resilience

Young people will be resilient when the important adults in their lives believe in them unconditionally and hold them to high expectations.

Unconditional belief is not blind acceptance.  It means that we are not going anywhere and our love is a constant stable force from which children can draw security and confidence. Parents know better than anybody all of the wonderful  traits a young person possesses  - warmth, humor, caring, idealism, loyalty, passion.  You were there as  these traits first became evident.

When we speak of “holding a child to high expectations,” it does not refer to demanding high grades or athletic excellence, although it is reasonable to expect a good effort. Rather, it is about always expecting your child to live up to the core values and essential goodness you know lies within.  Children who know their parents always see the best within them will live up to those expectations.










Building Resilience (Newly released 2020 4th edition)

Building Resilience in Children and Teensoffers strategies to build the seven crucial “Cs”competence, confidence, connection, character, contribution, coping, and control — so that parents can raise authentically successful children. This invaluable guide also offers coping strategies for facing life’s inevitable stresses. Kids who have healthy strategies in place may be less likely to turn to dangerous fixes to relieve stress. This book from The American Academy of Pediatrics is about building strong, enduring relationships, preventing worrisome behaviors, and raising children who are poised to thrive and lead us into the future.

2011 Gold Award Book of the Year for Parenting from Foreword Reviews
2011 Silver Award eLit Reviews



Congrats - You're Having a Teen

Congrats - you’ re having a teen! No, really— congratulations! You’re entering one of the most exciting, important phases of parenting. These years are your best opportunity to guide your child toward a thriving adulthood and strengthen your relationship with them for life. This guide will help you understand, encourage, support, love, and, yes, even celebrate your teen!The teen years may bring challenges.  This book prepares you to meet those challenges as a family while staying firmly committed to raising a good person. It will give you the background to help you understand what drives some of your teenager's thoughts and behaviors.  Most critically, it will build your communication skills so your relationship with your child will remain strong throughout these years.



Raising Kids to Thrive

“I like to think of myself as a lighthouse parent, you know reliably there, totally trustworthy, making sure he doesn’t crash against the rocks, but committed to letting him learn to ride the waves.”

Two fundamental principles are at the root of resilience. First, a parent’s unconditional love is the most important force in a child’s life. Unconditional love, however, has to be coupled with high expectations for effort, character and morality. Second, a child will never learn life’s lessons if he is protected from experiencing them. But children need protection from challenges that can bring irreparable harm.

These fundamental principles are anything but simple. The challenge of parenting is how to apply these core principles in a complicated world. It doesn’t matter what we know to be right, what we wrestle with is how to do it.

There are two questions with which we struggle as we consider how to build resilience in our children.

  1. How do I give my child the unconditional love needed to thrive while also holding him to the high expectations needed for success?
  2. How do I protect my child while letting her learn life’s lessons?

This book helps you resolve the tension these two principles of resilience pose by offering you the latest in research, a wide breadth of expert opinion, AND INPUT FROM OVER 500 TEENS! You will learn to balance these complex issues and offer your child the security she can only gain from you and the confidence she can only develop from experience. She will be more than resilient – she will be poised to THRIVE.

2015 Gold Award for Parenting books, Independent Publisher Book Awards



Adults matter in the lives of young people, perhaps more so in adolescence than at any other time since the very early years.

The Center for Parent and Teen Communication offers practical strategies for strengthening family connections and building youth prepared to thrive. Rooted in the best of research on effective parenting strategies, it guides parents/caregivers how to build the kind of relationships known to position them to positively influence their adolescents.

Our multimedia content covers a range of topics geared towards promoting teens to become their best selves. Our website has received the Seal of Approval from the National Parenting Center, America’s leading parenting advocacy organization.

Kenneth Ginsburg, M.D., M.S. Ed

Dr. Ginsburg is a pediatrician specializing in Adolescent Medicine at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, a Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, and Co-Founder and Director of Programs at Center for Parent and Teen Communication. He also serves Philadelphia's youth enduring homelessness as Director of Health Services at Covenant House Pennsylvania. The theme that ties together his clinical practice, teaching, research and advocacy efforts is that of building on the strength of teenagers by fostering their internal resilience. His goal is to translate the best of what is known from research and practice into practical approaches parents, professionals and communities can use to prepare children and teens to thrive.

Families, schools, and communities can prepare children and teens to THRIVE through both good and challenging times. Children and teens who have the seven crucial “Cs”competence, confidence, connection, character, contribution, coping & control — will be prepared to bounce back from challenges and excel in life.