Raising Resilience: The Wisdom and Science of Happy Families and Thriving Children (Paperback)
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. Raising Resilience is 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. Christopher 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."
About the Author
CHRISTOPHER WILLARD, PSYD, is a clinical psychologist and consultant specializing in bringing mindfulness into education and psychotherapy. The author of Child’s Mind (Parallax, 2010) and other books on the topic, Dr. Willard lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts and teaches at Harvard Medical School and Lesley University. For more, visit drchristopherwillard.com.
“A valuable contribution to parent guidance. It will appeal to new parents who are struggling with the demands of nurturing and fostering generosity of spirit.” —Nancy Rappaport, MD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School
“In Raising Resilience Christopher Willard guides us to master mindfulness in our everyday worlds of tantrums, helicopter parenting, and all the joys and struggles of our modern lives. Instead of seeing family as a disruption to deepening our mindfulness practice, Willard shows us a potent opportunity for cultivating patience, generosity, and wisdom amidst the swirl. With his expertise in mindfulness and psychology, Willard offers a profound exploration of how to cultivate a mindful family amidst the chaos of our modern world, planting compassionate and wise seeds for our children and our future.” —Daniel Rechtschaffen, MFT, author of The Way of Mindful Education and The Mindful Education Workbook
“At last, a realistic, pragmatic approach that brings spiritual wisdom to bear on our development as parents. Willard's broad and deep reflections integrate the best of timeless teachings, spot-on personal stories, and up-to-date research. This is a fabulous book!” —Sumi Loundon Kim, author of Sitting Together: A Family-Centered Curriculum on Mindfulness, Meditation, and Buddhist Teachings
“What a wonderful book! This excellent resource presents the critical relevance of virtues like generosity, ethics, and patience to modern family life and parenting—all supported by comprehensive research and brain science. Dr. Willard has translated age old wisdom into a trove of reflections, activities, and practical advice to support parents and children to lead happier, more connected lives.” —Jessica Morey, Executive Director, Inward Bound Mindfulness Education
“Raising Resilience offers remarkably comprehensive, trustworthy, and relevant guidance for living and modeling resilience to today’s caring but over-busy parents. Dr. Willard’s engaging style, with illuminating examples from his own experience as a clinician and as a parent, make this book a breeze to read, and a reliable companion on the journey toward loving, happy families.” —Linda Graham, MFT, author of Bouncing Back
“"In Raising Resilience, parents around the world will find tremendous support for meeting the challenges of childrearing. Connecting an ancient list of helpful qualities with the current research demonstrating their usefulness makes a compelling case for putting these ideas into practice.” —Sharon Salzberg, author of Lovingkindness and Real Happiness
“This book is a great map for wise parenting, written by a clinician willing to weave in his own compelling personal as well as professional experience. It is unique—combining Dr. Willard’s years of knowledge and practice with commonsense wisdom and good new tips, all backed by current research studies in psychology and neuroscience.” —Trudy Goodman, PhD, founding teacher of insightLA
“Dr. Willard has offered us another gem that brings together the best of ancient wisdom and modern science on positive youth development and resilience, to help our young people develop into thriving and compassionate adults. As a pediatrician and a mindfulness practitioner and teacher, I will be highly recommending this book to the parents in my work and in my life.” —Dzung X. Vo, MD, author of The Mindful Teen: Powerful Skills to Help You Handle Stress One Moment at a Time
“For any parent seeking wisdom, guidance, and sanity in the midst of raising children, Dr. Willard’s Raising Resilience provides a unique, practical resource written in a light and enjoyable style.” —Mark Bertin, MD, author of Mindful Parenting for ADHD: A Guide to Cultivating Calm, Reducing Stress, and Helping Children Thrive
“This book is a conversation with true friends—the ten perfections of the heart, or guiding principles for parenting. These are the type of friends who bring out the best in us, and are also compassionate and encouraging with us when we fall short of our aspirations. Dr. Willard introduces us to these friends with honesty, humor, and humility. So grab a cup of tea or coffee and sit down with these friends to laugh, cry, and reflect; you and your children will be glad you did.” —Amy Saltzman, MD, author Still Quiet Place: A Mindfulness Program for Teaching Children and Teens to Ease Stress and Difficult Emotions
“"In his wonderful new book, Chris Willard offers parents a set of fun, practical, and wise tools to nurture virtue and values in their children and themselves.” —Susan Kaiser Greenland, author of Mindful Games and The Mindful Child
“"In Raising Resilience, Chris Willard beautifully bridges between east and west, ancient philosophy and modern science. He offers the kind of wisdom families need in these challenging times.” —Tal Ben-Shahar, author of Happier: Learn the Secrets to Daily Joy and Lasting Fulfillment
“A beautiful combination of ancient wisdom, current neuroscience, and authentic parenting stories, Raising Resilience is a helpful guide full of practices to cultivate goodness and healthy development in our children.” —Tina Payne Bryson, PhD, coauthor of The Whole-Brain Child and No-Drama Discipline
“I love this book. We know that children do better when they feel better, and so do adults. How often do we expect children to control their behaviors when we haven't learned to control our own—even though we know that example is the best teacher? In this book you will learn strategies for developing beautiful values/principles in your own life, as well as how to teach them to your children. Guaranteed to help you and your children feel better and do better.” —Dr. Jane Nelsen, coauthor of the Positive Discipline series
“A tour de force! Seamlessly written, the author integrates timeless wisdom and modern science into the heart of family life. This book is an indispensable companion for parents who want to cultivate goodness in themselves and their children.” —Christopher Germer, PhD, author of The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion
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