Parenting Philosophies

New ideas for raising kids

“This timely, significant work carries a far-reaching message for families and the planet.”—Publishers Weekly 

“In a time when the connection between humans and the rest of nature is most vulnerable, Scott offers parents and teachers a book of encouragement and knowledge, and to children, the priceless gift of wonder.”—Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods and The Nature Principle
 
The average North American child now spends about seven hours a day staring at screens and mere minutes engaged in unstructured play outdoors. Yet recent research indicates that experiences in nature are essential for healthy growth. Regular exposure to nature can help relieve stress, depression, and attention deficits. It can reduce bullying, combat obesity, and boost academic scores. Most critical of all, abundant time in natural settings seems to yield long-term benefits in kids’ cognitive, emotional, and social development. How to Raise a Wild Child is a timely and engaging antidote, offering teachers, parents, and other caregivers the necessary tools to engender a meaningful, lasting connection between children and the natural world.
 
“With wisdom, intellect, and empathy, [Sampson] provides us with a bounty of simple yet profound ways we can enter this natural world, oftentimes starting in our very own backyards.”—Lili Taylor, actor, mom, and board member of the American Birding Association
 
“[Sampson] makes a cogent case for the importance of cultivating a ‘nature connection’ in children and offers thoughtful guidance on how to do so amid today's pressures of hectic, high-tech, increasingly urbanized life.”—Scientific American MIND

“Melissa Wardy’s book reads like a conversation with a smart, wise, funny friend; one who dispenses fabulous advice on raising a strong, healthy, full-of-awesome girl.” —Peggy Orenstein, author of Cinderella Ate My Daughter
 
All-pink aisles in toy stores, popular dolls that resemble pole dancers, ultrasexy Halloween costumes in tween sizes. Many parents are increasingly startled and unnerved at how today’s media, marketers, and manufacturers are sexualizing and stereotyping ever-younger girls, but feel powerless to do much about it. Mother of two Melissa Wardy channeled her feelings of isolation and frustration into activism—creating a website to sell T-shirts with girl-positive messages; blogging and swapping parenting strategies with families around the world; writing letters to corporate offenders; organizing petitions; and raising awareness through parent workshops and social media. Wardy has spearheaded campaigns against national brands and retailers that resulted in the removal of sexist, offensive ads and products. Now, in Redefining Girly, she shares her parenting and activism strategies with other families concerned about raising a confident and healthy girl in today’s climate. Wardy provides specific advice and sample conversations for getting family, friends, educators, and health care providers on your side; getting kids to think critically about sexed-up toys and clothes; talking to girls about body image; and much more. She provides tips for creating a home full of diverse, inspiring toys and media free of gender stereotypes; using your voice and consumer power to fight the companies making major missteps; and taking the reins to limit, challenge, and change harmful media and products.
 
Melissa Wardy is the founder of Pigtail Pals & Ballcap Buddies, a website selling empowering and inspirational children’s apparel and products, and Redefine Girly, a blog surrounding the issue of the sexualization of girls. Wardy and her work have been featured
The stunning success of Reviving Ophelia, Mary Pipher’s landmark book, showed a true and pressing need to address the emotional lives of girls. Now, finally, here is the book that answers our equally timely and critical need to understand our boys.

In Raising Cain, Dan Kindlon, Ph.D., and Michael Thompson, Ph.D., two of the country’s leading child psychologists, share what they have learned in more than thirty-five years of combined experience working with boys and their families. They reveal a nation of boys who are hurting—sad, afraid, angry, and silent. Statistics point to an alarming number of young boys at high risk for suicide, alcohol and drug abuse, violence and loneliness. Kindlon and Thompson set out to answer this basic, crucial question: What do boys need that they’re not getting? They illuminate the forces that threaten our boys, teaching them to believe that “cool” equals macho strength and stoicism. Cutting through outdated theories of “mother blame,” “boy biology,” and "testosterone,” Kindlon and Thompson shed light on the destructive emotional training our boys receive—the emotional miseducation of boys.

Through moving case studies and cutting-edge research, Raising Cain paints a portrait of boys systematically steered away from their emotional lives by adults and the peer “culture of cruelty”—boys who receive little encouragement to develop qualities such as compassion, sensitivity, and warmth. The good news is that this doesn't have to happen. There is much we can do to prevent it.

Kindlon and Thompson make a compelling case that emotional literacy is the most valuable gift we can offer our sons, urging parents to recognize the price boys pay when we hold them to an impossible standard of manhood. They identify the social and emotional challenges that boys encounter in school and show how parents can help boys cultivate emotional awareness and empathy—giving them the vital connections and support they need to navigate the social pressures of youth.

Powerfully written and deeply felt, Raising Cain will forever change the way we see our sons and will transform the way we help them to become happy and fulfilled young men.
 The Book That Launched an International Movement
 
“An absolute must-read for parents.” —The Boston Globe
 
“It rivals Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring.” —The Cincinnati Enquirer
 
“I like to play indoors better ’cause that’s where all the electrical outlets are,” reports a fourth grader. But it’s not only computers, television, and video games that are keeping kids inside. It’s also their parents’ fears of traffic, strangers, Lyme disease, and West Nile virus; their schools’ emphasis on more and more homework; their structured schedules; and their lack of access to natural areas. Local governments, neighborhood associations, and even organizations devoted to the outdoors are placing legal and regulatory constraints on many wild spaces, sometimes making natural play a crime.

As children’s connections to nature diminish and the social, psychological, and spiritual implications become apparent, new research shows that nature can offer powerful therapy for such maladies as depression, obesity, and attention deficit disorder. Environment-based education dramatically improves standardized test scores and grade-point averages and develops skills in problem solving, critical thinking, and decision making. Anecdotal evidence strongly suggests that childhood experiences in nature stimulate creativity.

In Last Child in the Woods, Louv talks with parents, children, teachers, scientists, religious leaders, child-development researchers, and environmentalists who recognize the threat and offer solutions. Louv shows us an alternative future, one in which parents help their kids experience the natural world more deeply—and find the joy of family connectedness in the process.
 Now includes
A Field Guide with 100 Practical Actions We Can Take 
Discussion Points for Book Groups, Classrooms, and Communities 
Additional Notes by the Author 
New and Updated Research from the U.S. and Abroad
  
A New York Times bestseller and “a passionate, urgent” (The New Yorker) examination of the growing inequality gap from the bestselling author of Bowling Alone: why fewer Americans today have the opportunity for upward mobility.

Central to the very idea of America is the principle that we are a nation of opportunity. But over the last quarter century we have seen a disturbing “opportunity gap” emerge. We Americans have always believed that those who have talent and try hard will succeed, but this central tenet of the American Dream seems no longer true or at the least, much less true than it was.

In Our Kids, Robert Putnam offers a personal and authoritative look at this new American crisis, beginning with the example of his high school class of 1959 in Port Clinton, Ohio. The vast majority of those students went on to lives better than those of their parents. But their children and grandchildren have faced diminishing prospects. Putnam tells the tale of lessening opportunity through poignant life stories of rich, middle class, and poor kids from cities and suburbs across the country, brilliantly blended with the latest social-science research.

“A truly masterful volume” (Financial Times), Our Kids provides a disturbing account of the American dream that is “thoughtful and persuasive” (The Economist). Our Kids offers a rare combination of individual testimony and rigorous evidence: “No one can finish this book and feel complacent about equal opportunity” (The New York Times Book Review).
“Drop the flashcards—grit, character, and curiosity matter even more than cognitive skills. A persuasive wake-up call.”—People

Why do some children succeed while others fail? The story we usually tell about childhood and success is the one about intelligence: success comes to those who score highest on tests, from preschool admissions to SATs. But in How Children Succeed, Paul Tough argues that the qualities that matter more have to do with character: skills like perseverance, curiosity, optimism, and self-control.

How Children Succeed introduces us to a new generation of researchers and educators, who, for the first time, are using the tools of science to peel back the mysteries of character. Through their stories—and the stories of the children they are trying to help—Tough reveals how this new knowledge can transform young people’s lives. He uncovers the surprising ways in which parents do—and do not—prepare their children for adulthood. And he provides us with new insights into how to improve the lives of children growing up in poverty. This provocative and profoundly hopeful book will not only inspire and engage readers, it will also change our understanding of childhood itself.

“Illuminates the extremes of American childhood: for rich kids, a safety net drawn so tight it’s a harness; for poor kids, almost nothing to break their fall.”—New York Times

“I learned so much reading this book and I came away full of hope about how we can make life better for all kinds of kids.”—Slate
A timely and empowering book featuring “solid, practical advice for women on how to properly nurture their sons” (Kirkus Reviews).
 
From the moment a mother holds her newborn son, his eyes tell her that she is his world. But often, as he grows up, the boy who needs her simultaneously pushes her away. Calling upon thirty years of experience as a pediatrician, Meg Meeker, M.D., a highly sought after national speaker, assistant professor of clinical medicine, and mother of four, shares the secrets that every mother needs to know in order to strengthen—or rebuild—her relationship with her son.
 
Boys today face unique challenges and pressures, and the burden on mothers to guide their boys through them can feel overwhelming. This empowering book offers a road map to help mothers find the strength and confidence to raise extraordinary sons by providing encouragement, education, and practical advice about
 
• the need for mothers to exercise courage and be bolder and more confident about advising and directing their boys
• the crucial role mothers play in expressing love to sons in healthy ways so they learn to respect and appreciate women as they grow up
• the importance of teaching sons about the values of hard work, community service, and a well-developed inner life
• the natural traps mothers of boys often fall into—and how to avoid them
• the need for a mother to heal her own wounds with the men in her life so she can raise her son without baggage and limitations
• the best ways to survive the moments when the going gets tough and a mom’s natural ways of communicating—talking, analyzing, exploring—only fuel the fire
 
When a mother holds her baby boy for the first time, she also instinctively knows something else: If she does her job right and raises her son with self-esteem, support, and wisdom, he will become the man she knows he was meant to be.
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