Resilience is about bouncing back. The challenge is to prepare kids to have the capacity to recover before anything actually goes wrong.

Building Resilience in Children and Teens


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Building Resilience in Children and Teens offers strategies to help young people from 18 months to 18 years build seven crucial “Cs” — competence, confidence, connection, character, contribution, coping, and control — so they can bounce back from challenges and thrive throughout life. The book describes how to raise authentically successful children who will be happy, hardworking, compassionate, creative, and innovative. Dr. Ginsburg reminds parents that our goal is to think in the present and prepare for the future, to remember that our real goal is to raise children to be successful 35-year-olds. It’s about more than immediate smiles or even good grades; it’s about raising kids to be emotionally and socially intelligent, to be able to recover from disappointment and forge ahead throughout their lives. The stable connection between caring adults and children is the key to the security that allows kids to creatively master challenges and reach their highest potential. This book offers concrete strategies to solidify those vital family connections.

Resilience is also about confronting the overwhelming stress that kids face today. This invaluable guide offers coping strategies for facing the stresses of academic performance, high achievement standards, media messages, peer pressure, and family tension. Young people too commonly survive stress by indulging in unhealthy behaviors or by giving up completely. The strategies offered here are aimed at building a repertoire of positive coping skills.

Young people who have these healthy strategies in place may be less likely to turn to those quick, easy, but dangerous fixes that adults fear. The book includes detailed strategies to guide children and teens to create their own customized positive coping strategies.

The fourth edition of this already acclaimed book is updated throughout and offers deeper dives into building grit in our children, offering meaningful protection against the effects of childhood trauma, and preparing our families for lifelong interdependence. It also guides parents on how to turn for professional help when needed, reconnect with children who have pulled away from them, and help young people return to their best selves after they have engaged in worrisome behaviors. It also offers strategies for parents to recharge and rebound when their own resilience reaches its limits.

Raising Kids to Thrive


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“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. It offers the unwavering security that helps young people develop the confidence to walk through life’s puddles. Unconditional love has to be coupled with high expectations for effort, character and morality. Otherwise, a child will feel nurtured, but not learn to hold himself to high standards. Second, a child will never learn life’s lessons if he is protected from experiencing them. This point has to be tempered with the fact that 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?
    We know that kids need both, but on some level these two concepts are in opposition to each other. Doesn’t holding expectations somehow undermine the unconditional nature of love?

  2. How do I protect my child while letting her learn life’s lessons?
    We parents all know intellectually that we have to get out of the way to let life be the teacher it is meant to be. We know coddled children lack the confidence to handle challenges. Yet, it is our job to protect our children, and even letting our children experience emotional discomfort goes against our ingrained desire to protect them. We struggle with when to protect and when to get out of the way and watch from the sidelines.

This book helps you resolve the tension these two principles of resilience pose by offering you the latest in research and a wide breadth of expert opinion. 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.

This book is groundbreaking because it offers detailed input from teens!
Over 500 young people from all over our nation offer their insights into what they need from their parents in order to be prepared to thrive. These young people may not have the wisdom of years, but they are very close to parenting and know what approaches are most effective for them and which backfire.

Ideally, your own children would have the kind of open conversations that would allow growth in your relationships and better guide you how to parent them. That idealized reality does not always exist. This book will allow you to listen objectively to teens’ views so you can better understand your own child’s needs.

The book concludes with a comprehensive section on how to foster optimal communication within your own family.

Letting Go with Love and Confidence


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Letting Go with Love and Confidence teaches parents how to apply the principles of resilience.  It offers practical advice on everyday “when” questions that challenge parents. When is my child ready to go to the mall? Handle a cell phone? Date? It also addresses “how” to talk about the tough stuff — peer pressure, sex, drugs.

The book helps parents achieve five key goals:

Manage Emotions around Letting Go: Many parents are conflicted about their children growing up. The desire to keep things the way they’ve always been gets in the way of wise parental decisions.  This book addresses the emotional turmoil around letting go, and urges parents to care for themselves, so they can better care for their children.

Reduce Conflict Around the Whens:  It’s the everyday “when can I?” questions that trigger many struggles. Parents will learn to turn potential sources of conflict into opportunities for growth.

Minimize Anxiety Over the Hows:  Certain subjects are tough to talk about and the stakes in getting the conversations right seem so high.  How in the world do you talk about sex? Parents will learn how to approach sensitive subjects with honesty and clarity, increasing the chances they will be heard.

Gain Confidence to Make the Right Decisions: Parenting often seems like a mystery, but it shouldn’t. This book is not a “cookbook”, but it does provide a strategy to apply to each situation. Parents will be better prepared to make decisions because they’ll have new insight into their child’s developmental needs, strengths and challenges.

Understand That Nurturing Independence Is An Act of Love:  Letting go is more than giving up something valuable. The ultimate goal of parenting is to produce a healthy, well-adjusted adult. The gift of independence is a profound expression of parental love.