Helping Your Child Develop Resilience - Greenwich Moms

You Are Invited: Dr. Brooks Speaks about
Helping Your Child Develop a Tenacious Mindset
Wednesday, November 9, 7 p.m.
RSVP to The Children’s School, (203) 329-8815

We are thrilled to invite you to join us in welcoming renowned psychologist Dr. Robert Brooks to The Children’s School as he returns this November to present our first parenting workshop of the year. Dr. Brooks is on the faculty of Harvard Medical School and the author or coauthor of 19 books on parenting. He will be sharing the insights from his new book, Tenacity in Children: Nurturing the Seven Instincts for Lifetime Success, written with Dr. Sam Goldstein. Filled with illuminating stories from his 40 years of working with families, the book is brimming with realistic and practical advice for guiding your children to become responsible, self-disciplined, empathetic adults.  Dr. Brooks is always one of our most popular speakers, and we are particularly excited about this timely topic.

“Tenacity” is Dr. Brooks’ umbrella term for a range of beneficial instincts that have helped ensure the success and survival of our species. They are present in rudimentary form from birth and, when given opportunities to blossom, become the fuel for self-discipline and resilience as we grow into adulthood. These seven instincts—which the book identifies as intuitive optimism, intrinsic motivation, simultaneous intelligence, compassionate empathy, genuine altruism, virtuous responsibility and measured fairness—are all waiting to be nurtured and brought to fruition by parents and other caregivers, but can also be extinguished by negative experiences. Tenacity in Children offers wise advice on recognizing and cultivating these positive capacities in our children—and bringing them out in ourselves.

Drawing on his research, case studies and clinical experience, Dr. Brooks offers ideas for reinforcing each of these instincts. To build a child’s intuitive optimism, for instance, he suggests looking at a child’s strengths, their “islands of competence,” and nurturing those capabilities first. To identify a child’s intrinsic motivation, the key is to think about their passions—the activities they find engrossing and will pursue despite setbacks—and about honoring that drive to be effective in the world. He has inspiring advice for communicating empathetically with a child who is struggling, when a simple comment, or micro-affirmation, can have a major positive impact. A favorite strategy he uses to empower children is to provide them with regular opportunities to enrich the lives of others, such as assisting a younger child. These “contributory activities” foster well-being and a sense of purpose in children because they see that they are making a positive difference. As he writes, “Teaching kids the value of helping others was instrumental in improving their mood and behavior…. It also roused in them a greater sense of personal worth, a key condition for fostering feelings of happiness and empowerment.”

A child’s developing instincts for empathy, altruism, responsibility and fairness do not stand alone, but are intertwined in a rich fabric, shaping how a child connects with others. Dr. Brooks points out that modeling these attributes is very important, and that even seemingly small gestures can serve as powerful teaching moments for children. One way to think about our parenting, he proposes, is to ask ourselves: What is one thing I might say or do today, however small, that communicates empathy and caring towards another person? What family activities do we engage in that involve displaying compassion and enriching the lives of others? These kinds of self-reflections can make us much more intentional parents. As Dr. Brooks notes, how helpful you are to your spouse and to others, and how you demonstrate dignity and fairness, “play a large role in the development of a child’s sense of what is fair and what is not, what is right and what is wrong.” The goal, he suggests, is to live so that “when your children think of fairness and integrity, they think of you.”

Tenacity in Children is a profoundly hopeful book about nurturing the strengths and positive qualities in all of us, and we highly recommend it as a resource for parents. Because we believe that we serve children best when we also support their families, and because we are committed to creating a community of learners, we invite you to join us for Dr. Brooks’ presentation, “The Tenacious Mindset,” on Wednesday evening, November 9. There will be a lifetime of wisdom and experience packed into this workshop! As a speaker, Dr. Brooks is known not only for his respect for the dignity of children but also for the warmth and humor he uses to bring his insights to life.  We are so looking forward to sharing this inspiring talk; kindly RSVP to 203.329.8815 if you would like to join us for this special event on November 9, or attend an evening Open House on November 4 or December 9.

About The Children’s School

The Children’s School is an independent primary school in Stamford serving children ages 3 to 8. Drawing on nearly 60 years of experience in growing young hearts and minds, our mission has always been to take children and their innate potential seriously. Drawing from that expertise, we have created a warm yet stimulating environment that invites children to develop their skills; discover what piques their interest; and find a home in their curiosity and imagination, which are pivotal to learning. During their time in our classrooms, children are also taught the important values of respect and care for oneself, for others and for the world beyond our campus.  Visit us at for more information about how our unique program promotes resilience and builds a strong foundation for a lifelong love of learning.  

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