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Building Resilience in Children and Teens: Giving Kids Roots and Wings Paperback – April 1, 2011

46 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


The 2011 Book of the Year;  Gold Award for Parenting,  ForeWord Reviews
The 2011 Awards for Parenting Books, The Silver Award,  eLit Awards
The 2013 Nautilus Book Awards, Silver Award

About the Author

Kenneth R. Ginsburg, MD, MSEd, FAAP is a Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and practices adolescent medicine at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. He is the author or coauthor of several books including Letting Go with Love and Confidence: Raising Responsible, Resilient, Self-Sufficient Teens. He is the editor of a textbook/video product for professionals, Reaching Teens: Strength Based Communication Strategies to Build Resilience and Support Healthy Adolescent Development.  He has also worked closely with The United States Military, Boys and Girls Club of America, and Covenant House to build resilience in children, teens, and families.  He lives in Philadelphia.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 398 pages
  • Publisher: American Academy of Pediatrics; Second Edition edition (April 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1581105517
  • ISBN-13: 978-1581105513
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #92,429 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Ken Ginsburg is a pediatrician specializing in Adolescent Medicine at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and is a Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. He also is Director of Health Services at Covenant House Pennsylvania, where he serves Philadelphia's homeless and marginalized youth.

As an adolescent doctor, the early years of his career focused on teens' problem behaviors. It became clear that "picking up the pieces" was not the right approach. Rather, the solution had to be in raising children prepared to thrive and equipped to make wise decisions. Recognizing this, the focus of his work shifted to supporting parents.

He strives to translate the best of what is known from research and practice into practical approaches parents, professionals and communities can use to build resilience in children and teens. Two core principles guide his approach. First, it is the healthy connection - the unwavering strong relationship - between parent and child that is the essential element that prepares a young person to thrive. Second, most behaviors we fear in adolescents are misguided attempts to cope with stress. Therefore, if we are to reduce the risk in our children's lives, we need to equip them, starting in early childhood, to address life's challenges in healthy ways.

Dr. Ginsburg lectures widely to national and international parent and professional audiences. He is working with The Boys and Girls Club of America to incorporate resilience-building strategies into their programming. He is also honored to be working on behalf of those who serve our nation, preparing military parents and professionals to incorporate stress reduction and resilience building strategies into the lives of our nearly 2 million military-affiliated children. His greatest privilege is to be a husband and the father of two teenaged daughters.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on July 16, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Dr. Ginsburg breaks it down and builds us (and our kids) up. This book helps parents understand why kids have difficulty solving their own problems. The author acknowledges clearly (as a dad of 2 teens himself) how hard it is to get out of the way while our kids are doing the hard work of growing up. Then he teaches us how to give them the skills they need so that we can have confidence in them, and let them face the challenges on their own two feet. Better yet, he tells us WHY we should and gives us the courage to do it.

Building Resilience in Children and Teens builds resilience in parents by boosting our own "7 crucial C's." Dr. Ginsburg practices what he preaches by teaching parents healthy coping mechanisms, building our confidence and competence to handle our children's pain as they make mistakes and learn to fix them on their own.

I echo the reviewer who said "Run, don't walk, to your computer to order this book!"
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Lonnette on July 6, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Dr. Ken Ginsburg's book, published by the American Academy of Pediatrics, is an engrossing read. The topic of resilience has been buzzing around parenting circles for several years now, and many books have been published offering advice, but Dr. Ginsburg's book stands apart for several reasons.

First, as a pediatrician specializing in adolescent medicine, his writing on child development is nuanced and holistic. Not only does he understand the medical aspects of maturation, Dr. Ginsburg brings a practical, strategic, empathic stance to his subject matter.

While there's no finger-pointing or blame-laying, Dr. Ginsburg is also clear in his observations how and (more interestingly) why many parents misstep. It's a compassionate view of a complex dynamic, and as a father of two himself, he understands first-hand the challenge parents face in making sense of their actions and attitudes towards their children.

As a parent education programmer, I find that audiences are hungry for not only deep theory, but for counsel on how to effectively implement the theories. This book is a great resource, full of tips and strategies for addressing a broad range of issues that crop up parenting children and teens.

Last, Dr. Ginsburg's concepts are "sticky" -- i.e., insightful, direct and fresh. They stay with me during the day -- that's a huge compliment in this super-saturated world we live in.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A. Brown on September 23, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had my daughter later in life on purpose. We wanted to do a few things as husband & wife first. After having a daughter age 40 she is now turning 5 this year. We really were looking for how to help her make good choices but not be a helicopter parent. At her age you want to shield them from many things. Of course I am not talking about dangerous situations, but getting their feelings hurt or setting your goals too high. This book really helps you realize what is most important "is the journey" along the way . The importance of free play with no guidelines & letting them have an imagination on their own. Not picking them up immediately after every spill builds personal strength in a different way. Not signing them up for every activity and expecting them to preform. I have learned so much & will more than likely read it later in her life as well for a reminder for me! LOVE THIS BOOK!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Karen on December 7, 2011
Format: Paperback
"Building Resilience in Children and Teens : Giving Kids Roots and Wings" is a must read for the mindful parent. Dr. Ginsburg, the antithesis of the Tiger Mom, encourages parents to raise future, healthy 35 year olds rather than focusing on the short term goals of a high school graduate.

Intelligent, candid and poignant, Dr. Ginsburg delivers his 7 crucial C's of resilience in a comprehensive manner and provides practical guidance in all areas of wellness. He delightfully incorporates stories from his experiences making the text extremely engaging. The combination of his medical background, parental role and professorial delivery makes him a credible advocate for children and adolescents.

In addition to being an excellent parent resource, this book is a fantastic book club selection, guide for educators, or a basic reminder of what is important in life. As a mother of four children, ages 6-15, and an educator, I highly recommend this book to all.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Rachel and Sasha Lamb on October 26, 2012
Format: Paperback
I recently co-wrote the curriculum for a 4 part parenting class on resilience. As part of our research for the class, we read the top 5 books on resilience that were on the market, both for information, but also to select a companion text for the class. Our hands down top pick was "Building Resilience" by Ken Ginsburg. The book is extremely readable, but also contains solid nuggets of information that stick with the reader for long afterward. In fact, the class participants all told us that they enjoyed reading the book, and that it added to the information that we presented in the class.

Ken Ginsburg recently spoke to our Parenting organization, the Parent Encouragement Program in Kensington, MD. He brought his latest book, "Letting Go with Love and Confidence." I bought that one as well, and am looking forward to reading it.

As someone who has been teaching parenting classes for more than 17 years, I highly recommend "Building Resilience" to everyone, no matter where you are in your parenting journey.

Wendie Lubic, The College Lady and the Parent Encouragement Program
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