Mind in the Making: The Seven Essential Life Skills Every Child Needs


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“Ellen Galinsky—already the go-to person on interaction between families and the workplace—draws on fresh research to explain what we ought to be teaching our children. This is must-reading for everyone who cares about America’s fate in the 21st century.” — Judy Woodruff, Senior Correspondent for The PBS NewsHour

 Families and Work Institute President Ellen Galinsky (Ask the Children, The Six Stages of Parenthood) presents a book of groundbreaking advice based on the latest research on child development.

There are hundreds of books that give parents advice on everything from weaning to toilet training, from discipline to nutrition. But in spite of this overwhelming amount of information, there is very little research-based advice for parents on how to raise their children to be well rounded and achieve their full potential, helping them learn to take on life's challenges, communicate well with others, and remain committed to learning. These are the "essential life skills" that Ellen Galinsky has spent her career pursuing, through her own studies and through decades of talking with more than a hundred of the most outstanding researchers in child development and neuroscience. The good news is that there are simple everyday things that all parents can do to build these skills in their children for today and for the future. They don't cost money, and it's never too late to begin.

In Mind in the Making, Ellen Galinsky has grouped this research into seven critical areas that children need most: (1) focus and self control; (2) perspective taking; (3) communicating; (4) making connections; (5) critical thinking; (6) taking on challenges; and (7) self-directed, engaged learning. For each of these skills, Galinsky shows parents what the studies have proven, and she provides numerous concrete things that parents can do—starting today—to strengthen these skills in their children. These aren't the kinds of skills that children just pick up; these skills have to be fostered. They are the skills that give children the ability to focus on their goals so that they can learn more easily and communicate what they've learned. These are the skills that prepare children for the pressures of modern life, skills that they will draw on now and for years to come.

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