Raising Children Who Soar: A Guide to Healthy Risk-Taking in an Uncertain World

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Overview

How can we keep children safe in an uncertain world, but also raise them to be confident in taking the healthy, emotional risks necessary to succeed in life? The authors of this unique book-two clinical psychologists, who are also mothers-provide essential guidance for parents and teachers. They explain, step-by-step, how to help children become successful risk-takers: ready to leap at life's opportunities and triumph over setbacks along the way. With stories based on the diverse families from their practice-from parents afraid to let their rambunctious daughter out of sight, to those who fear their shy son may lose opportunities to connect at home and school-they offer real-world scenarios with realistic solutions. Readers will find helpful checklists, self-reflection exercises, and other resources in this authoritative book.

The help parents through popular classes and their website, raisingchildrenwhosoar.com

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Paula McMillen
Written in an accessible style by two practicing and teaching clinical psychologists, this book advocates that parents take an intentional stance toward fostering wise, risk-taking behavior in their children. Nothing here is new or revolutionary, but the focus on risk-taking—emotional and physical—as an essential part of normal development is a unique perspective on parenting. They remind readers that "...risks are a foundation for learning...if we are totally comfortable with a situation, new learning occurs. And at the other end...if we are filled with fear, there is little or no learning" (p. ix). Their target population here is three to ten year olds. They cite basic research on neuropsychology to point out that we are all born with temperamental differences that, while not cast in stone for a lifetime, need to be taken into account when helping children play to their strengths in order to develop new skills. It is admirable that they counsel parents to first self-reflect and then to practice focused listening in order to most effectively guide their children. Developmentally appropriate risks are described and the final chapter offers descriptions of play activities (drawing, storytelling, physical games, etc.) that can encourage good risk-taking. Because school is the place where many risks need to be taken, teachers are often identified as allies and partners in this endeavor. Communication, both with teachers and between parent and child, is emphasized. Short vignettes of parent-child interactions, representing a variety of temperaments, skills, and challenges are offered throughout to illustrate concepts. The text is followed by annotated lists of books for parents and for children. This is a book that would be of value to parents and teachers alike. Reviewer: Paula McMillen, Ph.D.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807749975
  • Publisher: Teachers College Press
  • Publication date: 8/28/2009
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword Jonathan Cohen, Ph.D. ix

Acknowledgments xi

Authors' Notes xiii

Introduction 1

Redefining Risk 2

Our Risky World 5

Parenting for Good Risk-Taking 6

The Connection Between Parent and Child: Temperament and Risk-Taking 10

What About Risk-Taking in School? 11

Raising Ethical and Moral Children: Risk-Taking and Tolerance 11

Putting It All Together 12

1 What Is Risk? 14

Our Definition of Risk-Taking 15

The Changing Definition of Risk in Society 19

Four Qualities of a Good Risk-Taker 23

Introduction of Our Parent-Child Pairs 27

Learning the Power of Risk: Beginning a Risk Journal 31

Pragmatic Steps Toward Thoughtful Risk-Taking 32

Summing Up 35

2 Child Development and Risk-Taking 36

Overview of Child Development 38

The Importance of Understanding Development 43

What Are Universal Emotional Risks? 44

How Risk-Taking Unfolds With Development 51

Learning Style and Risk-Taking 55

More of Life's Bumps and Risk-Taking: Divorce, Illness, and Loss 59

3 The Parent's Part: Self-Reflection and the Practice of Listening 61

The Process of Self-Reflection 62

The Practice of Listening 72

4 The Parent-Child Connection and the Threads of Risk 86

Temperament and Risk-Taking 87

The Parent-Child Fit and Risk 92

How This All Begins: Understanding Attachment and Risk 96

Attachment and Risk Beyond Infancy 97

The Neurobiology of Risk 101

How Does This All Come Together? 103

5 Risk-Taking in School 108

The Foundation of Learning 109

Temperament, Learning Style, and Risk-Taking in School 114

A Guide For Developing Good Risk-Takers in School 121

6 Risk-Taking, Independent Thinking, and Tolerance Toward Others127

Risk-Taking and the Peer Group 128

Risk-Taking and Breaking Barriers 132

Service Learning Programs for Young Children 137

Scientific Explanation for Taking the Risk to Care 143

Compassion Is a Learned Behavior 144

7 Putting It All Together: Parent-Child Activities for Good Risk-Taking 146

Games and Activities to Encourage Risk-Taking 147

Doing Community Service as a Family Activity 163

Putting It All Together 164

Suggested Readings 167

References 175

Index 183

About the Authors 193

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  • Posted June 14, 2009

    RAISING CHILDREN WHO SOAR- DR. SPOCK WROTE ABOUT CHILDREN'S PHYSICAL WELL-BEING; DRS. EPPLER-WOLFF AND DAVIS ENCAPSULATE CHILDREN'S EMOTIONAL WELL-BEING

    I OBTAINED AN ADVANCE READING COPY AT THE RECENT BOOK SELLER'S CONVENTION AT THE JAVITS CENTER. I READ IT FROM COVER TO COVER, AND KNOW I WILL USE THE WELL-WRITTEN VIGNETTES TO IMPART PEARLS OF WISDOM FOR MY THREE CHILDREN- AGES 3,7, AND 10. I THANK THE AUTHORS FOR HELPING ME THINK ABOUT RAISING MY CHILDREN IN THIS UNCERTAIN WORLD. EMOTIONALLY HEALTHY CHILDREN WILL MAKE THEIR WORLD MORE SECURE.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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