- TQS Book Club
Right now, so many parents are wondering the same thing: “How can I help my student develop the resilience needed to bounce back from a truly challenging 18 months?”
I have a surprisingly simple answer: focus on having fun this summer. We can address pandemic-related academic deficits in the fall; focus on your child’s mental wellbeing for now.
This advice, while simple, doesn’t always feel easy. I have heard from so many parents who are worried about their students’ mental health and wellbeing, and they all want to take action. They want to do their best to both encourage and model resilience for their children as we emerge from the difficult time we’ve all experienced.
Thankfully, I can recommend three wonderful books to guide you as you seek to strengthen your student’s resilience this summer— and throughout their lives.
Tenacity in Children: Nurturing the Seven Instincts for Lifetime Success by Dr. Robert Brooks defines seven aspects of tenacity and gives parents concrete and easy-to-follow strategies for nurturing these critical traits in children.
In this book, Dr. Brooks describes how parents can help develop traits that are present in nearly every child at birth yet need to be properly cultivated in order to grow. He defines these traits as:
Dr. Brooks posits that fostering these elements of tenacity minimizes rigid adherence to belief, fear of difference, and defensive aggression to real or perceived threats.
Another helpful book by Dr. Brooks is Raising Resilient Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders: Strategies for Helping Them Maximize Their Strengths, Cope With Adversity, And Develop A Social Mindset.
If your child is having trouble bouncing back from pandemic disruptions and interruptions, the strategies Dr. Brooks lays out in this book may help. He illustrates common difficulties that people with autism face and presents a strength-based approach to helping children with autism develop resilience.
Finally, Man’s Search For Meaning by Viktor Frankl may be one of the most important books you ever read in the quest for resilience.
This groundbreaking work was conceptualized while Dr. Frankl—a psychiatrist by training—was a prisoner in a Nazi death camp. He realized that those who were able to psychologically survive their ordeal were those who could make meaning out of the experience.
Shortly after Dr. Frankl released this book, he worried what it meant for the world that a book with this title sold many millions of copies. Each book sold, it seemed, represented a person in search of meaning in their life.
Now, nearly 80 years later, it seems we’re just as lost. Despite our constant connection via technology, we are often farther apart from people we love and who support us. The pandemic increased our sense of isolation and disconnection; it disrupted our sense of purpose and direction.
Perhaps more than ever, we all—students and parents alike—need the lessons on resilience this book has to offer. My hope is that it guides you to go beyond trying to help your student understand what happened this past year, so you can help them make meaning out of it.
Do you have any other book suggestions for helping young people develop resilience? Share in the comments below, join the conversation on Facebook, and make sure you subscribe to this blog so you don’t miss future TQS Book Club recommendations!