In every spiritual tradition, we find teachings on the virtues and qualities that we most want to pass on to our kids―such as generosity, kindness, honesty, determination, and patience. Today, a growing body of research from neuroscience and social psychology supports these teachings, offering insights into cultivating these virtues in ourselves and in our families.
In his new book Raising Resilience: The Wisdom and Science of Happy Families and Thriving Children
(Sounds True, 2017), Christopher Willard
offers a practical guide for parents and educators of children from preschool through adolescence, detailing ten universal principles for happy families and thriving children. Bridging the latest science with Eastern wisdom to explore ourselves and share with our children, Dr. Willard offers a wealth of teachings on:
- Getting through Giving―the many types of generosity we can model for kids, and the fascinating new findings on the power of giving
- Why Doing the Right Thing Is the Right Thing to Do―living in harmony with oneself, one’s family, and one’s community
- Less is More Parenting―how letting go of what’s no longer necessary creates space, freedom, and the possibility for something new
- Building a Wiser Brain―three types of wisdom and how to steer kids’ "under-construction" minds toward wise action
- Even the Buddha Had Helicopter Parents―releasing anxiety about over- or under-parenting and the desire for the "perfect" family
- The Buddha and the Marshmallow―patience in spirituality and science, including practices to strengthen patience in yourself and your children
- What Sets Us Free―how truthfulness and honest behavior create safety and freedom for everyone
- Growing Up with a Grit and Growth Mindset―the best ways to encourage resilience and determination through reinforcing and rewarding the "growth mindset"
- The Kindness Contagion―cultivating lovingkindness, compassion, and empathy
- Finding Balance in a Broken World and Staying Steady through the Stress―how to abide life’s inevitable ups and downs through the attitude of equanimity
"The practices in this book ultimately come together to help us build thriving, happy, and resilient families and communities, regardless of how we categorize them," writes Dr. Willard. Raising Resilience
is an accessible resource to help each one of us and our family members, "evolve and grow into our best selves."
Elizabeth Cronin, Psy.D., is a licensed clinical psychologist and mindfulness meditation teacher with offices in Brookline and Norwood, MA. You can follow her on Instagram or visit her website at https://drelizabethcronin.com