How non-parent role models help build resilience in kids

Psychologist & Author JoAnn Deak, PhD, explains the important role that older, non-parent, role models play in building a child's resilience
How Non-Parent Role Models Help Build Resilience In Kids
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How non-parent role models help build resilience in kids

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One of the things that I often say to parents when they ask me for a general recommendation about how to have their… help their child handle the rock & rolls of life or the hits that life hands human beings, what the research suggests and my work suggests is if children or adolescents have an adult in their life, not their mother or their father, not even necessarily a relative, but if they have an adult in their life that they can go to, talk with, share their concerns with, they tend to do better whenever anything happens to upset the rocking or starts the rocking of their boat. So we see real changes in resilience, developing independence, capability of handling stress or issues that come up in their life. And so, as my grandmother used to say, “The proof is in the pudding.” Mary Pipher a long time ago, in writing her book, “Reviving Ophelia,” referred to this as ‘having a North Star.’ I just call it a ‘green blanket’ and you’ll have to read my books about why I do that. But it just means we see a real difference in the capability of kids to handle the knocks of life if they have an adult in their life they can turn to.

Psychologist & Author JoAnn Deak, PhD, explains the important role that older, non-parent, role models play in building a child's resilience

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JoAnn Deak, PhD

Psychologist & Author

JoAnn Deak, PhD, has spent more than 30 years as an educator and psychologist, helping children develop into confident and competent adults. The latter half of that period has also focused on working with adults, parents and teachers in their roles as guides or ‘neurosculptors’ of children. On her website is a quote that best describes her perspective on her work: “every interaction a child has, during the course of a day, influences the adult that child will become.”

Parents and educators at schools from New York to Hawaii, as well as such organizations as the National Association of School Psychologists, the National Association of Independent Schools, the Association of International Schools, the American Montessori Society and the International Baccalaureate Association, have heralded Dr. Deak’s ability to demystify complex issues of child development, learning, identify formation and brain research.

Dr. Deak has been an advisor to Outward Bound, a past chair of the National Committee for Girls and Women in Independent Schools, on the advisory board for the Center on Research for Girls (Laurel School), for the Seattle Girls’ School, Bromley Brook School, the Red Oak School, Power Play and GOAL. She consults with organizations and schools across the United States. Most recently, she has worked internationally with schools, organizations, associations and parent groups in every continent (except Antarctica!) She has been awarded the Woman of Achievement Award by the National Coalition of Girls’ Schools, was given the first Female Educator of the Year Award by Orchard House School, and the Outstanding Partner for Girls Award from Clemson University. She has been named the Visiting Scholar in New Zealand, the Visiting Scholar for Montessori Children’s House and has been the Resident Scholar for the Gardner Carney Leadership Institute in Colorado Springs for the past five years.

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