The Resilient Child: Seven Essential Lessons for your Child’s Happiness and Success
George S. Everly, Jr., PhD, with Sloane Brown
DiaMedica Publishing (2008)
Reviewed by Tammy Petty Conrad for Reader Views (9/08)
I want my children to grow up to be the best adults they can be in every way. But I had not thought very much about the importance of being resilient. The author makes sure we know what he means from the very beginning of the book. “Resiliency is the acquired immunity against disabling stress.” My mama-radar went up at the mention of “disabling stress.” Stress is everywhere and we all have to learn to deal with it in a positive way or it will get the better of us.
Dr. Everly cites seven lessons that we should teach our children to make this happen in today’s world: develop strong relationships, learn to make difficult decisions, take responsibility, stay healthy, think positive, have a faith and have integrity. He reveals that he began this book as a way of addressing his desire to be a better parent. We learn of his own story as he lays the foundation for the wisdom he imparts. As I read through each chapter, there were no new revelations or secrets to discover. Only reminders of what I already knew in my heart, but didn’t always remember to share with my children. Parenting is a full-time job, not limited to keeping them fed and clothed. He puts it in perspective by citing his premise: “How can I best prepare my kids for a world that does not love them as much as I do?”
Everly speaks of inner strength that must be taught so that children can make their way through our sometimes scary world. His goal is for our children to not need their parents or anyone else in stressful situations. They should be able to take responsibility for their own actions. Both parents and all adults involved in raising a child should read this and discuss it before attempting to implement it. The success rate will go way up if there is a common understanding and goal.
The author gives plenty of examples of why the seven lessons are important and what happens when children do not learn them. He even includes some “homework” you can complete as you read along. I love that he doesn’t leave good health out of the equation. And as a writer, I appreciate the encouragement for children to keep a journal which can reduce stress as they write through situations. Faith is also addressed. “With faith, there are no mysteries, only answers yet to be revealed.” Amen.
Honestly, most of what the author shares in “The Resilient Child” is advice we’ve heard before. But this time it is in a concise package ready to read and implement, which is the only way improvement will ever happen. And let’s face it, we only have so many years to make a positive impact on our children and then they are in the world of their peers, subject to all that they have to offer, both good and bad.