Cover image for Tough times, strong children : lessons from the past for your children's future
Tough times, strong children : lessons from the past for your children's future
Kindlon, Daniel J. (Daniel James), 1953-
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Hyperion, [2003]

Physical Description:
viii, 216 pages ; 25 cm
General Note:
"Miramax books."
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
BF723.S75 K56 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Every generation of children has to deal with unique challenges and crises. American children today face new realities, from school violence to terrorism, in a world that changed forever on that clear September morning in 2001. Is the generation of children growing up now prepared for hardship, sacrifice, and self-reliance Here is the essential guide for parents looking for a comprehensive, optimistic strategy for easing the transition from childhoods innocence to the harsh realities of adulthood in the twenty-first century.

In Tough Times, Strong Children Dr. Dan Kindlon offers wise and often moving examples of how families and individuals have coped during other periods marred by war, deprivation, and economic upheaval. Through interviews conducted specifically for this book, Kindlon talks to survivors of the Depression; the Blitz; concentration camps; as well as the Troubles in Ireland; and the guerilla war in Colombia. This testimony and these memories demonstrate that parents play a huge role in the way children absorb stress and trauma and how they handle fear and uncertainty. Kindlon examines the roles of humor, bravado, and even denial in making our children feel protected, and yet aware of the world and its dangers as well as joys. Many of the stories in this book inspire us to act courageously for our children when we are afraid, to show them confidence we may not feel, and in the words of a child of World War II, "get on with it."

Combining his clinical experience with psychological and biological research, Kindlon explains the process of dealing with adversity and why some children are able to survive and even thrive as adults and others are crippled. He combines hard science with the voices of those who have lived through the worst events of the twentieth century to illustrate the importance of family and extended family; community; a strong belief system; and self-reliance learned from involved parents. Kindlons good news is that parents can work actively towards empowering and immunizing children against an uncertain future.

Author Notes

Dan Kindlon, Ph.D., teaches child psychology at Harvard University. He lives in Boston with his wife and two children

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Kindlon, a child psychologist and the author of Raising Cain (1999), offers this timely exploration of how to help children cope during times of trauma. He begins by examining research on the effects of stress on children. He details the symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder in children and adolescents, as well as factors from temperament to age that can influence whether or not a child will overreact to pressure. The second section includes stories of how children have coped with stress and how parents have helped them, presenting the human side of the research. The stories include the hardships of the Great Depression, the London blitz during World War II, the Holocaust, and the violence in Colombia. The third section focuses on Kindlon's personal crisis when his wife suffered a setback following surgery and how he employed many of the lessons he learned in researching this book to help his children cope. --Vanessa Bush

Publisher's Weekly Review

Harvard child psychologist Kindlon, co-author of the bestselling Raising Cain, here gives thoughtful, hands-on advice to parents who want to help their children cope with the stress brought on by the terrorist attacks of 9/11 and other traumas. "The more we understand about how children cope with adversity," Kindlon writes, "the better able we'll be to help our kids face the challenges of an uncertain future." He offers a straightforward overview of the development stages of stress and the various psychological and physical effects stress has on children, and interweaves information from scientific research with vignettes about his daughters' and wife's ways of coping with grief, fear and strife. Models of coping methods come through the personal stories of trauma survivors-those who lived through such dark moments as the Holocaust, the Depression or a polio epidemic. Kindlon emphasizes that children, ultimately, are resilient, but that it's crucial that parents help them "make the best out of bad situations." This practical and informative guide should assist them in doing just that. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Table of Contents

Prefacep. vii
Part 1
1 The End of Innocencep. 3
2 Children, Stress, and Copingp. 18
Part 2
3 The Ties That Bind: Strong Attachment to Family and Communityp. 53
4 Tough Times Call for Strong Parentsp. 82
5 The Big Picturep. 112
6 Moving Onp. 141
Part 3
7 Grace Under Pressurep. 169
Codap. 197
Endnotesp. 201
Acknowledgmentsp. 215