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I had the opportunity to hear Seattle’s Dr. Chris McCurry speak on the topic of raising resilient children recently, and he gave me a lot to think about. Is my goal as a parent to raise children who are happy or to raise children that can face whatever challenge life throws at them with courage and grace?
Dr. McCurry said that happiness is a fleeting emotion that you can’t force a child to feel no matter how hard you try, and that a better goal would be to raise children who are functional no matter what. This dovetails with what I’ve been trying to reinforce with my own kids for a while: happiness is a choice, not a state of being. Raising resilient children who chose to be happy would be my ultimate goal.
As part of his lecture Dr. McCurry suggested a list of books to read that could help parents learn about fostering resiliency. Since the only time I ever get to read books these days is sitting on the toilet (lid down!) while my two-year-old takes a bath, it’s going to be slow going for me to get through these, but I’m always game for a little Mommy-Ed.
- Mindset, the New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck
- The Social Animal by David Brook
- Talent is Overrated by Geoff Colvin
- The Blessings of a Skinned Knee by Wendy Mogel
- The Blessings of a B Minus by Wendy Mogel
- Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell
- Parenting Your Anxious Child with Mindfulness and Acceptance, by Chris McCurry
I’ve already Outliers, and it was indeed a fascinating read. I wish I had thought to blog about it at the time, but maybe I’ll come back to that one of these days. My goal is to read and review the rest of these books one at a time. Oh, and I’m going to choose to be happy about taking on this challenge. 🙂