Parents all over the world have certain universal aspirations. They want their children to contribute meaningfully to society and to pursue their own dreams. But we appear to be missing the essentials. In this inspiring book, based on 30 years of research and practice, Dr. Stanley Greenspan redefines the qualities of an emotionally and intellectually healthy child and identifies the ways that parents can help their children develop each quality. The qualities that make us call a child a “great kid,” such as empathy, curiosity, and logical thinking, are fundamental and underlie all the academic, athletic, and social talents that a child might develop. We are not born with these traits, Greenspan demonstrates, they come from experience, which suggests that each and every parent can encourage them and that each and every child can strive to acquire them.
Professor of psychiatry and pediatrics Greenspan (The Challenging Child, Engaging Autism) expands his authorial reach, heretofore limited to special needs children, with this general guide to instilling values in any developing child. A conversational style eases parents into the methods for cultivating 10 essential qualities that will "make possible the pursuit of success, wisdom, and rich relationships at every stage of life": engagement, empathy, curiosity, communication, emotional range, self-awareness, internal discipline, creativity and vision, logical thinking and moral integrity. Using the "Floortime" method developed (and trademarked) by Greenspan and his colleagues (widely practiced by those working with autistic children), the process begins with parents getting down into "her orbit at her eye level and on her terms," letting the child lead so that one can "build on her interests in ways that expand her experiences and tolerance for frustration." Following a complete and detailed discussion of the quality in question, including helpful examples, chapters end with a concise set of action points for children at various stages of development. Interesting, practical and rooted in solid values, Greenspan's latest is a notable standout in a crowded field.