In Tough Times, Strong Children Dr. Dan Kindlon offers wise and often moving examples of how families and individuals have coped during other periods marred by war, deprivation, and economic upheaval. Through interviews conducted specifically for this book, Kindlon talks to survivors of the Depression; the Blitz; concentration camps; as well as the Troubles in Ireland; and the guerilla war in Colombia. This testimony and these memories demonstrate that parents play a huge role in the way children absorb stress and trauma and how they handle fear and uncertainty. Kindlon examines the roles of humor, bravado, and even denial in making our children feel protected, and yet aware of the world and its dangers as well as joys. Many of the stories in this book inspire us to act courageously for our children when we are afraid, to show them confidence we may not feel, and in the words of a child of World War II, "get on with it."
Combining his clinical experience with psychological and biological research, Kindlon explains the process of dealing with adversity and why some children are able to survive and even thrive as adults and others are crippled. He combines hard science with the voices of those who have lived through the worst events of the twentieth century to illustrate the importance of family and extended family; community; a strong belief system; and self-reliance learned from involved parents. Kindlon's good news is that parents can work actively towards empowering and immunizing children against an uncertain future.