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May 23, 2010


as a new mom-to-be (due in August), I would love to get a copy of this book!

I see a lot of kids in their school environment. I see a lot of kids who need help especially in focus and self-control, communicating, critical thinking, and taking on challenges.

As my daughter quickly approaches her first birthday I'm already worried about who is going to make sure those seven things are happening when she's out of the house and at school for so many hours of the day.

How do you handle this?

Ooh, I'm curious to read it now, because I want to see which chapters I like, and which ones will teach me how to work on the skills I just don't have. That could only be helpful, right?

I'm so glad to read snippet #1 above, because my default response to another parenting book has kind of become "it's too late". My kids are 13 and 10, and while there are still roads to navigate, it sometimes seems like the train has left the station and the course is set. How short-sighted, huh!

(to my credit, it's been an uncharacteristically rough afternoon...such that I just had to leave and go for a 1/2 hour drive to clear my head which is almost unheard of. I think we're all tired and grumpy).

When I was pregnant, and when they were babies and toddlers, I inhaled parenting books. I consulted older and wiser friends who had successfully raised children and had families I admired. I quietly noticed other moms at every stage of life to observe their methods (especially needed as I didn't have good modeling in my family of origin). But it's been a number of years since I really sought out that kind of book. Your recommendation makes me interested in this book. So count me in the drawing! Thanks!!!

Whitney you say: " Sometimes it feels like the parenting game is over, but it never is." I hope you are right. I want to find out. Maybe what I learn will make me a really fantastic grandmother and mentor to my children as they parent?

Your persuasive recommendation will take me to library or amazon for a copy if I'm not a giveaway recipient.

Thank you.

I enjoyed your commentary and this looks like a thoughtful and helpful read. An interesting take away from your comments--I think its nice to recognize that investing in raising our children along all 7 life skills (and any other skills you throw in the mix) is also an investment in our own development. Modeling desired behavior, skills and attributes is a critical cornerstone of our children's development. Scary thought on one hand--and refreshing to know that we'll also reap benefits along side our little ones if we take time to develop ourselves as well.

Thanks for the preview of a great read. Parenting is tricky business, and your review makes some lovely connections to real-world parenting. Count me in for the giveaway. I have never entered one before, but this seems like a great read.
Also, thanks for your blog. It is always uplifting and enlightening.

This book looks really interesting. I think my kids' school does a pretty good job on teaching the academic subjects, but is definitely lacking in the teaching of these seven life skills. With 30 children in each class, I don't think we can solely rely on their school to teach these important skills. Like Emily O. mentioned, we as parents need to be aware of these skills and model them if we hope they will stick with our kids. Thanks for such a thoughtful review! I'm looking forward to reading this book.

This does look really interesting--I'm grateful that books are so accessible through the library system. I was drawn first to the sixth item on the list, which is interesting, because I don't see that as a strength; rather something that I'd like to improve. Second behind that, I'd LOVE to read the chapter on focus and self control. I do love to lurk on your blog just to feel surrounded by wisdom.

This is from Ellen Galinsky in response to Kara Peterson. You are so right—"investing in raising our children along all 7 life also an investment in our own development."

I realized, as I was creating Mind in the Making, that I needed to begin each chapter with a focus on us as parents and how we can learn each skill because we can promote them better in our children if we can promote them within ourselves." So what seemed "scary" in the beginning to me too, actually felt inspiring and empowering in the end.

I am thrilled to read all of your responses and look forward to continuing the conversation. This is really daring to dream!

When I was in graduate school, I learned about a longitudinal study done with marshmallows and young children (this study, by the way, was recently discussed in a New Yorker article). Essentially, the children were placed at a table with a marshmallow on it. The researcher told the child that if she didn't eat the marshmallow after a period of time, she would receive another marshmallow. Then, unexpectedly, the researcher would excuse himself from the room for a very brief period of time, then return. They found that the children who ate the marshmallow in the researcher's absence were later less successful in their careers of choice and generally, struggled more with the "executive functioning" of life (e.g., studying for tests as a student, organizing responsibilities as an adult, etc.). They also found that children who distracted themselves from the marshmallow by singing to themselves, playing with their own hands, or in some cases, getting off their chairs and sitting under the table were less likely to eat the marshmallow. Those who just stared at the marshmallow, generally, ate it.

Anyway, "food for thought" related to #1. (I'm so punny!)

Focus and self control, and perspective, chapters 1 and 2, interest me the most because I'm having a harder time envisioning those topics in relation to my children. Makes me wonder if they're lacking in those areas?

I am always on the look out for quality, research-based assistance in my role as a mother. Thank you for your succinct review --- certainly enough to prompt me to read more.

I am trying to teach my children that challenges, struggles, and pushing beyond your "safe zone" is a good thing. At least once a week, I will ask the kids at the dinner table, "Did anyone have a really great struggle or challenge this week?" These words do not need to have a negative connotation attached to them. My kids' replies have included examples of being chosen to play on the weaker of two teams but still finding a way to have fun and score (as opposed to giving up) to reading a very challenging book and getting through to the end! Victory.

When things are easy, we may feel "smart," but are we expanding our capacities?

Hmm...I just noticed the cover is a stack of marshmallows. I wonder if Galinsky cites the study I mentioned above.

I just found your blog today and I love what I have read so far. As a mom of 13 year son with a rare disease, a 10 year old daughter, and a 5 year old son, I am learning that nothing is too late to teach your kids and yourself.

My "baby" graduates from High School this week, he has 4 older siblings. I agree that the parenting game is never over, it just changes. I find that my personal growth continues to influence my children in many ways.

I look forward to reading "Mind in the Making". Sounds great!

Seeing it Dawn on Her: We've recently started sailing as a family. This started as an idea that was "bigger" than us. We felt overwhelmed. Now, as we do it, it feels within our ability. An amazing feeling. We were out on the water the other day and we turned the tiller over to eight year old. When my wife pointed out to her that she was steering the boat that was carrying our whole family safely across the water, a huge smile broke on her face. I like to think she learning something about herself. I know we were learning something about ourselves: the importance of taking on challenges.

We look forward to reading "Mind in the Making".

I can't tell you how much I need some parenting advice...I really feel like I'm a total flop lately.

I, too, often feel that it is "too late" for my boys, aged 12 and 10. It is heartening to hear that there is still time to teach and time for all of us to learn. Thanks for this opportunity!

Can't wait to read this book. I have a feeling it will be one I will be sending to friends and family.

The calculus story/metaphor got me thinking about a conversation with a math education researcher. Apparently, researchers are looking at teachers in Singapore (Japan too, i think), who excel in teaching math. The biggest difference between their system and the US, is that Singapore teachers don't feel like the lesson is complete if they haven't given their students something they shouldn't be able to do. They build in struggle time to help kids learn problem solving. It is okay not to know the answer or excel, struggling with the problem has its own lessons.

When my daughter was born, one of my top goals was parenting without guilt. That's beginning to seem like a more difficult goal the older she gets.... I have also found myself avoiding parenting books that add one more layer of "programs" you "have" to adopt. Sounds like this book may be different & I'll have to look it up--thanks for reviewing it, Whitney.

I want to ingest this book:) All of the chapters sound wonderful.
I don't know if these is along the lines of the perspectives chapter or Taking on Challenges, but recently I was in Target and overheard a father bribe his son with a toy if he behaved. Within 2 minutes, the boy was whining and falling apart. The dad said, "I knew you couldn't do it."
In contrast, my daughter, Christina, who is 13 is in her 2nd year of Chinese at school. It's hard. She's going to High School next year and the Chinese teacher asked for the kids who were thinking of switching languages next year to raise their hands. Christina raised her hand. The teacher spoke with Christina and asked why she wanted to switch languages. Christina told her that she's worried about having too many hard classes on her schedule next year. Her teacher said, "But you're doing great in Chinese. I think you should stay with it. In fact I wouldn't let you switch even if you wanted to (said with a smile)." I had no idea Christina was thinking of switching languages. This teacher opened my eyes to the power of supporting our kids in doing hard things and honestly believing in them. Interestingly, Christina's Chinese grades rose after this conversation. She internalized that teacher's support and it shows!

Sounds really interesting! Thanks for the review.

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About this blog

  • When I took a sabbatical from Wall Street to pursue a different dream and help others live theirs, I learned that women in the U.S. may be placated, even pampered, but because we aren't dreaming, we are also desperate and depressed. Drawing on a variety of sources, ranging from academic studies to pop culture, dare to dream encourages us to dream. And then to act on our dreams.


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