The Substance of Faith

The Substance of Faith

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Other Books – How Children Succeed by Paul Tough

I am always interested in parenting, primarily out of my love for children.  I want to see very child grow to lead a fulfilled, productive, and rich life.  Despite what many think, parents and families are the most critical influence in a child’s life.  Better parenting (which may be done by parents, grandparents, or others) leads to more children growing into fulfilled adults.

So when Paul Tough asks these questions –which skills and traits lead to success? How do they develop in childhood? And what kind of interventions might help children do better? – -he has my attention.

Tough’s book requires some focus to read.  He uses case studies, references and statistics to make his points.  The reader who takes the time to read this book, however, will find valuable information on such subjects as: the physical damage stress inflicts on children; the way nurturing can counteract negative influences; and the virtues that lead to healthy, productive lives.

When you read the word “virtues,” don’t think about the characteristics of “do-good-ism.”  Tough quotes important research on functional virtues like grit, self-control, zest, social intelligence, gratitude, optimism, and curiosity.  Think about those virtues for a moment.  If you are in a family, raising a child, it is far different question to ask, “How can I make my child happy,” than it is to ask, “How can I help my child develop grit or self control.”  Things you do to make a child happy are simply not the same things you do to help your child grow in persistence or to develop delayed gratification.  Speaking of which – did you know that self discipline (a part of delayed gratification) is a greater predictor of your child’s GPA than is IQ?

I keep a section in my library that I consider Essential Parenting Books.  Tough’s book is the latest addition to that section and I encourage anyone raising children to read it.

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