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Brave Parenting: A Buddhist-Inspired Guide to Raising Emotionally Resilient Children

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How do we build resilient children who can handle life's challenges? As parents today, we often feel that our role is to protect our children from the world: to cushion them when they fall, to lift them over obstacles, and to remove sharp rocks from their path. But controlling a child’s entire environment and keeping all pain at bay isn’t feasible—we can’t prepare the world How do we build resilient children who can handle life's challenges? As parents today, we often feel that our role is to protect our children from the world: to cushion them when they fall, to lift them over obstacles, and to remove sharp rocks from their path. But controlling a child’s entire environment and keeping all pain at bay isn’t feasible—we can’t prepare the world for our children, so instead we should focus on preparing our children for the world. “The solution is not removing impediments from our children’s lives,” writes Krissy Pozatek, “it is compassionately encouraging them to be brave.” We need to show our kids how to navigate their own terrain. If our kids face small hurdles, small pains, at a young age and learn to overcome these obstacles, they will be much better equipped to face larger trouble later in life. Early lessons in problem solving teach self-confidence and self-reliance—and show us that our kids are tougher than we think. Krissy draws her lessons from her experience guiding children in wilderness therapy and from her Buddhist practice—showing us that all life is as unpredictable as mountain weather, that impermanence is the only constant, and that the most loving act a parent can do is fearlessly ready their child to face the wilderness. For parents of children of all ages.


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How do we build resilient children who can handle life's challenges? As parents today, we often feel that our role is to protect our children from the world: to cushion them when they fall, to lift them over obstacles, and to remove sharp rocks from their path. But controlling a child’s entire environment and keeping all pain at bay isn’t feasible—we can’t prepare the world How do we build resilient children who can handle life's challenges? As parents today, we often feel that our role is to protect our children from the world: to cushion them when they fall, to lift them over obstacles, and to remove sharp rocks from their path. But controlling a child’s entire environment and keeping all pain at bay isn’t feasible—we can’t prepare the world for our children, so instead we should focus on preparing our children for the world. “The solution is not removing impediments from our children’s lives,” writes Krissy Pozatek, “it is compassionately encouraging them to be brave.” We need to show our kids how to navigate their own terrain. If our kids face small hurdles, small pains, at a young age and learn to overcome these obstacles, they will be much better equipped to face larger trouble later in life. Early lessons in problem solving teach self-confidence and self-reliance—and show us that our kids are tougher than we think. Krissy draws her lessons from her experience guiding children in wilderness therapy and from her Buddhist practice—showing us that all life is as unpredictable as mountain weather, that impermanence is the only constant, and that the most loving act a parent can do is fearlessly ready their child to face the wilderness. For parents of children of all ages.

30 review for Brave Parenting: A Buddhist-Inspired Guide to Raising Emotionally Resilient Children

  1. 4 out of 5

    Milly Cohen

    Yo no soy de reseñas largas, pero seguramente como soy docente y este libro tiene tanto para enseñarnos, me extenderé por primera vez en mi reseña, y les daré, digo, compartiré, unas cuantas lecciones. En un mundo de retos, se nos olvida no solamente enfocarnos en hacer de nuestros hijos (o seres cercanos) personas felices, sino valientes. Hijos que no teman la incertidumbre, ni el cambio. Hijos que tengan la libertad de sentir tristeza, soledad, frustración, y no sientan temor de demostrarlo. C Yo no soy de reseñas largas, pero seguramente como soy docente y este libro tiene tanto para enseñarnos, me extenderé por primera vez en mi reseña, y les daré, digo, compartiré, unas cuantas lecciones. En un mundo de retos, se nos olvida no solamente enfocarnos en hacer de nuestros hijos (o seres cercanos) personas felices, sino valientes. Hijos que no teman la incertidumbre, ni el cambio. Hijos que tengan la libertad de sentir tristeza, soledad, frustración, y no sientan temor de demostrarlo. Como padres, queremos hacerles la vida fácil, mantener a raya los sentimientos desagradables, y sólo estamos cómodos, cuando ellos están tranquilos, en paz, y felices. Y las emociones deben desplegarse, deben dejarse ser, porque el mundo nos va a provocar sensaciones, sentimientos y emociones diversas y si desde casa no aprendemos a manejarlas, será mucho más complejo hacerlo afuera. Una de las propuestas de la autora que AMO es la de permitir a los niños (y a los seres cercanos) convivir más con la naturaleza, pues ese contacto los hará madurar. Cuando escalen una montaña y lleguen a la cima y disfruten de la vista comprenderán lo que es el esfuerzo. Cuando les llueve, truene o relampaguee, deberán desarrollar habilidades para sobrevivir. Cuando se tengan que cocinar solos, aprenden lo que es la demora de la gratificación. ¿Hoy qué chavo no quiere lo que quiere en el momento que lo quiere y sólo en ese momento inmediato? Y claro que se lo damos, porque lo queremos contento. Otra propuesta es la de no hacer de más por ellos. Germán Dehesa decía que los padres debíamos ser como refrigeradores para nuestros hijos. Bien llenitos de comida pero bien cerraditos. Y en un lugar seguro y firme. Para que cuando necesiten algo de nosotros, abran la puerta y lo tomen. No al revés. Hoy los padres somos como árboles frutales, regalamos nuestros frutos a destajo, aun cuando nuestros hijos ni hambre tengan. Como nunca he hecho una reseña larga, me da miedo (y pena) ser "spoiler" por lo que aquí me detengo. Los invito a leerlo pero sobre todo, a pensarlo. Un buen libro, el cual subrayo muchas de sus letras y eso, para una profesora, son PALABRAS MAYORES.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Denise Morse

    A really great read and a new way to look at parenting. I admit that I can be a bit over-protective and do things for my daughter more than I should but i have started to ask her to try before stepping in. She is only 3 so we are talking easy things but she is more independently able to do things than i realized. I am trying to have better conversations about emotions as well and to make sure she knows that it is ok to feel however she is feeling. She recently told me that she was worried and we A really great read and a new way to look at parenting. I admit that I can be a bit over-protective and do things for my daughter more than I should but i have started to ask her to try before stepping in. She is only 3 so we are talking easy things but she is more independently able to do things than i realized. I am trying to have better conversations about emotions as well and to make sure she knows that it is ok to feel however she is feeling. She recently told me that she was worried and we had a good conversation about it.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Veena

    I thought this book gives a great framework for parenting. We all want our children to become independent, self-sufficient adults. However, as parents in our culture, we often don’t allow children to explore, make mistakes and pick themselves back up. We often run in to save the day, hover too closely. This book gave a good reminder that we as parents are not there to do everything for kids, but to teach them how to do on their own. Our job is to support and scaffold. It reminds us of the import I thought this book gives a great framework for parenting. We all want our children to become independent, self-sufficient adults. However, as parents in our culture, we often don’t allow children to explore, make mistakes and pick themselves back up. We often run in to save the day, hover too closely. This book gave a good reminder that we as parents are not there to do everything for kids, but to teach them how to do on their own. Our job is to support and scaffold. It reminds us of the importance of helping our children understand emotions, self-regulate their emotions, and solve their own problems. Overall I think this book was very helpful. I am now tuning in more to my daughters emotions, asking more questions rather than assuming I know what is happening to her and standing back and allowing her to solve her own problems yet letting her know I’m there to support her if she can’t figure it out on her own. I’m already seeing changes for the better in our relationship. I think the idea that being in nature is important for development and to generate equanimity is also important. When we realize that there is something greater than us, that we can’t control everything, we can let go and find a peaceful space. Bringing that idea to parenting I felt was very helpful and I hope to employ more experiences with nature into our lives.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Korine Kolivras

    There is a lot to like about this book. I was literally looking for a Buddhist parenting book, and I was really happy to find this one. The author also incorporates wilderness therapy concepts, which I can relate to as wilderness has brought me comfort in difficult times and it beautifully relates to impermanence in Buddhism. I truly found this book valuable and highlighted many passages to take notes on later. I often read or hear about people wanting to "manage" feelings instead of feeling fee There is a lot to like about this book. I was literally looking for a Buddhist parenting book, and I was really happy to find this one. The author also incorporates wilderness therapy concepts, which I can relate to as wilderness has brought me comfort in difficult times and it beautifully relates to impermanence in Buddhism. I truly found this book valuable and highlighted many passages to take notes on later. I often read or hear about people wanting to "manage" feelings instead of feeling feelings. The book stresses that a child's feelings are ALWAYS ok; the resulting action or behavior might not be. And our job is to be a guide for exploring and feeling these feelings. There's much in the book for parents looking to understand THEIR feelings and modify behaviors as well as the same for children. I loved the analogy of parents and children being on two different side by side trails, with different boulders and difficulties encountered. We can't remove their boulders but we can be guides. At times, I felt a little "off" as I read the book. I couldn't tell where comforting and affection fit in. I practiced attachment parenting as my kids were younger, and there seemed to be disapproval of that approach even though I feel it aligns with one of the main themes of the book: better to have your children experience the range of emotions at home instead of "in the world" as an adult. I couldn't quite put my finger on it. My other slight criticism matches that of other parenting books. What if the conversation doesn't go like the script? I need a Choose Your Own Adventure parenting book! "If your child says 'Thank you for validating my feelings, mommy' go to page 53. If your 6 year old's screaming meldown continues, go to page 57 to learn what to do." :D That said, I found this book to have more suggestions for difficult situations than other parenting books, for which I'm thankful. But I would love to see a script where kids continue their meltdowns rather than "This can take awhile but keep at it." Otherwise... The book is fantastic and I really do highly recommend it for those who have explored or want to explore Buddhist teachings and the role of nature in parenting.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Erica Charlesworth

    Excellent book. Clearly written, lots of relevant stories, examples and metaphors to back up ideas. Krissy Pozatek brings together Buddhist principles, professional experience in the wilderness, and personal experiences as a parent and nature lover and has created a direct (though not always easy to face) how-to-manual for raising emotionally-resilient children. Two As, two Ds, an I, E, S & P. That’s my silly acronym to remind myself of the 8 components she focuses on, elements and evidence of i Excellent book. Clearly written, lots of relevant stories, examples and metaphors to back up ideas. Krissy Pozatek brings together Buddhist principles, professional experience in the wilderness, and personal experiences as a parent and nature lover and has created a direct (though not always easy to face) how-to-manual for raising emotionally-resilient children. Two As, two Ds, an I, E, S & P. That’s my silly acronym to remind myself of the 8 components she focuses on, elements and evidence of inner wealth in all human beings: Acceptance of Impermanence, Adaptability, Distress Tolerance, Delayed Gratification, Internal Motivation, Emotional Regulation, Self-Discipline and Problem-Solving. Highly recommended for parents like myself who have been brainwashed by societal conditioning that says it’s our job to make life perfect for our children. Here’s to waking up out of that bad dream. Thanks Krissy Pozatek.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Fila Trece (Liantener)

    Muy didáctico y útil. Con base en la filosofía budista la autora nos da consejos para ayudar a nuestros hijos a ser independientes y adquirir las herramientas y resiliencia necesaria para afrontar la vida por ellos mismos. Me gustó mucho porque tiene comentarios y consejos bastante prácticos. Muchos libros hablan de resiliencia pero muy pocos nos enseñan como desarrollarla. Por momentos el asunto se pone demasiado filosófico con la parte budista, y algunas partes tienen más sustancia que otras, per Muy didáctico y útil. Con base en la filosofía budista la autora nos da consejos para ayudar a nuestros hijos a ser independientes y adquirir las herramientas y resiliencia necesaria para afrontar la vida por ellos mismos. Me gustó mucho porque tiene comentarios y consejos bastante prácticos. Muchos libros hablan de resiliencia pero muy pocos nos enseñan como desarrollarla. Por momentos el asunto se pone demasiado filosófico con la parte budista, y algunas partes tienen más sustancia que otras, pero en general el equilibrio de toda la obra es bastante bueno. El libro resulta difícil de digerir, porque en un mundo donde te enteras de todas las cosas malas que suceden, es duro soltar las riendas de tus hijos o dejarlos enfrentarse solos al dolor y las dificultades, pero esa es la única forma de que aprendan a sobrevivir. Muy recomendable.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jen (bookscoffeedogs)

    A little repetitive, but i loved the premise and her experience. It isn't like i hadn't heard some of these perspectives before, but just now in my life i am opening up to new ways of doing things and parenting is one of them. her ideas of not moving boulders out of our kids way and instead helping them navigate them on their own to build 'moccasins' was a great visual i am using often in my head now. And i loved the reminder to not fix my kids problems for them or even make suggestions unless t A little repetitive, but i loved the premise and her experience. It isn't like i hadn't heard some of these perspectives before, but just now in my life i am opening up to new ways of doing things and parenting is one of them. her ideas of not moving boulders out of our kids way and instead helping them navigate them on their own to build 'moccasins' was a great visual i am using often in my head now. And i loved the reminder to not fix my kids problems for them or even make suggestions unless they ask, but to ask them how they would fix it...still practicing, but this is a good book for helping on the parenting journey. worth the read.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Anna S.

    At first quite drawn in her idea, as get repeated so many times I get disinterested with the book. She's a Buddhist but I guess that concept is only affirmation of her psychiatric solution. Sneak some tip to "give candy to kids so that they can keep their tantrum at bay". This is a plain American self help book, sorry. A psychotherapy with the parents involved, down to what should you say to kids. It seems alien in giving kids boundary and consequences in America, while here in Indonesia we got At first quite drawn in her idea, as get repeated so many times I get disinterested with the book. She's a Buddhist but I guess that concept is only affirmation of her psychiatric solution. Sneak some tip to "give candy to kids so that they can keep their tantrum at bay". This is a plain American self help book, sorry. A psychotherapy with the parents involved, down to what should you say to kids. It seems alien in giving kids boundary and consequences in America, while here in Indonesia we got rattan caning only because we got math answer wrong. Culture gap. Did not finish the book.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Lauren Florence

    Rock solid accessible wisdom reminding parents of the importance of encouraging your children to solve their own problems, stand on their own 2 feet, fall and pick themselves up. Setting boundaries, establishing consequences and setting up children to care for themselves. Wise words.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Michael Kochuga

    This may not completely alter one's approach to child rearing but it will give you insights into behaviors often seen as confusing. A wonderful, if slightly repetitive, read with fresh ideas abounding and all presented in a digestible & clear fashion... Review of a contest copy via goodreads... This may not completely alter one's approach to child rearing but it will give you insights into behaviors often seen as confusing. A wonderful, if slightly repetitive, read with fresh ideas abounding and all presented in a digestible & clear fashion... Review of a contest copy via goodreads...

  11. 4 out of 5

    Sheri

    Wonderful book! I will refer back to this often.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Tabita Green

    Recommending this parenting book to everybody!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Calder

    It took me a super long time to read this book. I spent so much time highlighting, underlining, and just sitting with different paragraphs before reading them over and over again. Brave Parenting really helped me to identify what aspects of my parenting need to be relearned and helped me to see, in ways, where I stand with my own reactions to things in life. This book was everything I needed to fill in the blanks with my own emotional health stemming from my childhood, and it also coincides perf It took me a super long time to read this book. I spent so much time highlighting, underlining, and just sitting with different paragraphs before reading them over and over again. Brave Parenting really helped me to identify what aspects of my parenting need to be relearned and helped me to see, in ways, where I stand with my own reactions to things in life. This book was everything I needed to fill in the blanks with my own emotional health stemming from my childhood, and it also coincides perfectly with other practices that I am currently using in parenting my own children. I'm super excited to read the companion book Brave Teaching to see how that can help in my career of teaching art. I highly recommend this book and it was very much worth all of the highlighter juice used during the reading process. :)

  14. 5 out of 5

    Luiz Fabricio Calland Cerqueira

    Um livro excelente para dialogar com as dialéticas de autoritarismo-permissividade e superproteção-desleixo. Traz perspectivas sóbrias sobre a educação dos filhos, e sobre como muitas ações, por mais bem intencionadas que pareçam, estão atendendo às nossas inseguranças e medos e não ao que é melhor para nossos filhos.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Lindsay Evermore

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jamie M. Cavender

  17. 4 out of 5

    Ron Squire

  18. 5 out of 5

    Dan

  19. 4 out of 5

    Angela Manrique

  20. 4 out of 5

    Christian

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kate Garduño

  22. 4 out of 5

    Lau Sainz

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jayne

  24. 5 out of 5

    Marisa Anderson

  25. 5 out of 5

    Michael Savalli

  26. 5 out of 5

    Amy

  27. 4 out of 5

    Angela

  28. 5 out of 5

    Eric Overby

  29. 5 out of 5

    Guruguru

  30. 4 out of 5

    Meg

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