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April 17, 2009

Teaching Resilience in a Collapsed Economy

At GreatSchools, we believe in the power of involved parents to help their kids graduate from high school with the skills necessary to succeed in college, work and life. With a collapsed economy, this type of involvement has become even more difficult (and yet, more important) for many of America's families.

Even so, I am inspired by the stories captured in a New York Times article a few days ago on the 12 students who triumphed over long odds to be named New York Times' Scholars. The article captures the central premise well in stating:

"Their stories are diverse, but almost all share a common thread: a parent at home who stressed to the students from an early age that education was the best way out of tough circumstances."

At its core, these stories are about resilience. They are proof positive that resilience can be taught and learned; and, they disprove the notion (as the American Psychology Association has shown) that resilience is either something you have or don't have.

Have you seen any examples of parents teaching their kids how to overcome challenges? I'm interested in hearing your stories.


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