Helping Your Child Cope With Life



The following resources are offered as an opportunity to explore particular concerns. Resources are grouped by areas of interest. The list is by no means exhaustive; many fine resources are not included. While I cannot endorse every point made in every listed resource, they all are of high quality.


Wolin SJ, Wolin S. The Resilient Self: How Survivors of Troubled Families Rise Above Adversity. New York, NY: Villard Books; 1993

The Search Institute. At the heart of the institute's work is the framework of 40 Developmental Assets, which are positive experiences and personal qualities that young people need to grow up healthy, caring, and responsible. To see the listed assets, go to The assets are modified for each developmental level.

Parenting Books With a Focus on Resilience

Brooks RB, Goldstein, S. Raising Resilient Children. Lincolnwood, IL: Contemporary Books, 2001

Cohen-Sandler R. Stressed-Out Girls: Helping Them Thrive in the Age of Pressure. New York, NY: Viking; 2005

Mogel W. The Blessings of a Skinned Knee: Using Jewish Teachings to Raise Self-Reliant Children. New York, NY: Penguin Putnam; 2001

Child Play

Hallowell ME. The Childhood Roots of Adult Happiness: Five Steps to Help Kids Create and Sustain Lifelong Joy. New York, NY: Ballantine Books; 2002

Hirsh-Pasek K, Golinkoff RM, Eyer DE. Einstein Never Used Flash Cards: How Our Children Really Learn-and Why They Need to Play More and Memorize Less. Emmaus, PA: Rodale Books; 2003

Child Development

The American Academy of Pediatrics publishes authoritative books to help parents understand and support healthy development through a child's lifespan. These books can be previewed at

Child Temperament

Carey WB. Understanding Your Child's Temperament. New York, NY: Macmillan; 1997

Preparing for Adolescence

Ginsburg KR, Jablow MM. "But I'm Almost 13!": An Action Plan for Raising a Responsible Adolescent. Chicago, IL: Contemporary Books; 2002


Faber A, Mazlish E. How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk. New York, NY: Perennial Currents; 2004

Gordon T. Parent Effectiveness Training: The Proven Program for Raising Responsible Children. New York, NY: Three Rivers Press; 2000

Unhealthy Thinking/Promoting Optimism and Resiliency

Reivich K, Shatté A. The Resilience Factor: 7 Essential Skills for Overcoming Life's Inevitable Obstacles. New York, NY: Broadway Books; 2002

Seligman MEP, Reivich K, Jaycox L, Gillham J. The Optimistic Child. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin; 1995

Media Literacy

Kilbourne J. Can't Buy My Love: How Advertising Changes the Way We Think and Feel. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster; 2000

Steyer JP. The Other Parent: The Inside Story of the Media's Effect on Our Children. New York, NY: Atria Books; 2003

Strasburger VC, Wilson BJ. Children, Adolescents, and the Media. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications; 2002

The American Academy of Pediatrics Media Matters brochure Understanding the Impact of Media on Children and Teens can be viewed at

The Center for Media Literacy offers information, resources, and links at

The Center on Media and Child Health, dedicated to understanding and responding to the effects of media on the physical, mental, and social health of children, offers information for parents and children at


Csikszentmihalyi M. Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience. New York, NY: Harper Perennial; 1991

Adolescent Crisis/Runaway

The Covenant House Nineline is a national, 24-hour, toll-free hotline for kids and parents across the United States. Counselors are available to offer guidance and support as well as to link to community services. Visit or call 800/999-9999

Emotional Intelligence

Goleman D. Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ. London: Bloomsbury; 1996

Gottman JM, DeClaire J. Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child. New York, NY: Simon and Schuster; 1997

Over-scheduled, Overstretched Children

Elkind D. The Hurried Child: Growing Up Too Fast Too Soon 3rd ed. Cambridge, MA: Perseus Pub; 2001

Hallowell E. The Childhood Roots of Adult Happiness: Five Steps to help Kids Create and Sustain Lifelong Joy. New York, NY: Ballantine Books; 2002

Hirsh-Pasek K, Golinkoff RM, Eyer D. Einstein Never Used Flash Cards: How Our Children Really Learn-and Why They Need to Play More and Memorize Less. Emmaus, PA: Rodale; 2003

Rosenfeld AA, Wise N. The Over-Scheduled Child: Avoiding the Hyper-Parenting Trap. New York, NY: St. Martin's Griffin; 2001

Warner J. Perfect Madness: Motherhood in the Age of Anxiety. New York, NY: Riverhead Books; 2005

Raising Children Without Prejudice

Mathias B, French MA. 40 Ways to Raise a Nonracist Child. New York, NY: HarperPerennial; 1996

Stern-Larosa C, Bettman EH. The Anti-defamation League's Hate Hurts: How Children Learn and Unlearn Prejudice. New York, NY: Scholastic, Inc; 2000

The Southern Poverty Law Center has a program entitled "Teaching Tolerance" that offers a variety of resources. Visit

The following Web page contains links to children's books on diversity, multiculturalism, prejudice reduction, and related topics:

The World of Difference Institute of the Anti-Defamation League recommends multicultural and antibias literature for children at

Sexual Minority Youth

Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG). If you believe that a young person you care for may be struggling with his or her sexual identity, or if he or she shares a homosexual or bisexual orientation with you, and you wish to learn how best to be supportive, PFLAG will offer you guidance and support. Visit or call 202/467-8180.

National Coalition for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, & Transgendered Youth. A Web site
that answers teenagers' questions about the coming out process, has resources for parents, and teaches sexual minority youth about Internet safety. Visit

The Trevor Hotline, a 24-hour crisis hotline for sexual minority youth, is available at 866/488-7386.

Stress and the Mind/Body Connection

Sapolsky RM. Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers: A Guide to Stress, Stress-Related Diseases, and Coping. New York, NY: W.H. Freeman, 1994
This classic book translates scientific evidence to help the reader understand the intricate connections between the mind and body.

Sterling P. Principles of allostasis: optimal design, predictive regulation, pathophysiology and rational therapeutics. In: Schulkin J. Allostasis, Homeostasis, and the Costs of Physiological Adaptation. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press; 2004
This chapter is written for a scientific audience. If you can survive some of the jargon, it brilliantly and clearly makes the connection between the mind, emotions, and the body's response.

Stress Reduction for Teenagers

Hipp E, Espeland P. Fighting Invisible Tigers: A Stress Management Guide for Teens. Minneapolis, MN: Free Spirit Publishing; 1995
This book offers teenagers easily digestible information and concrete skills for stress reduction. It uses the same metaphor of tigers chasing us that is used in the "Just for Kids" section of this book, and therefore may be a natural next step for your adolescents.

Seaward BL, Bartlett L. Hot Stones & Funny Bones: Teens Helping Teens Cope with Stress & Anger. Deerfield Beach, FL: Health Communications; 2002
This book may be particularly helpful for teenagers who feel isolated and may not know how common stress is among their peers.

Preparing Children for College

Jones M, Ginsburg KR. Less Stress, More Success: A New Approach to Guiding Your Teen Through College Admissions and Beyond. Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics; 2006


Elliott M, Goldberg J. Perfectionism: What's Bad About Being Too Good? Minneapolis, MN: Free Spirit Publishing; 1999

Greenspon T. Freeing Our Families from Perfectionism. Minneapolis, MN: Free Spirit; 2002


The Journey of Hearts Web site offers information and links to a wide variety of resources and organizations that help children through loss, change, and grief. Visit


The Nemours Foundation offers online information for children and teenagers. Visit

The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy offers advice on managing divorce in a manner that protects children. Visit


Several authoritative organizations have published online materials for dealing with disasters. They often update materials for specific disasters. Go to the Web sites of the following organizations and follow prompts for terrorism or disasters:
· American Academy of Pediatrics
· Substance Abuse and Mental Health Association (SAMHSA) National Mental Health Information Center
· National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
· American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
· American Psychological Association

Prevention of Child Abuse and Exploitation

The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children offers a wide range of outstanding materials for children, teenagers, and parents to prepare them to navigate a world that can be exploitative to children. Visit

Internet Safety

The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children has materials written for teenagers ("Don't Believe the Type") at and for parents ("Help Delete Online Predators") at


Dietz WH, Stern L, eds. American Academy of Pediatrics Guide to Your Child's Nutrition: Making Peace at the Table and Building Healthy Eating Habits for Life. New York, NY: Villard Press; 1999

The United States Department of Agriculture interactive site allows users to individualize a nutrition plan. See

The National Institute of Health offers information on nutrition for parents, WIN: Weight-Control Information Network at

The Canadian Public Health Agency offers a guide for nutrition and activity for children and adolescents at

Mental Health

The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry offers information for psychiatrists and families about developmental, behavioral, emotional, and mental disorders affecting children and adolescents. See

The American Psychological Association Web site offers information for psychologists and families on a wide variety of mental health concerns and special circumstances such as dealing with death, terrorism, or natural disasters. Visit

Finding a Mental Health Professional

Your child's pediatrician or other health care professional, school counselor, or clergyperson can help you find a mental health professional who would be the right match for your child and family. If this is difficult, however, most mental health professional organizations have online referral networks.

United States

American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

American Mental Health Counselor's Association

American Psychiatric Nurses Association

American Psychological Association

American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy

National Association of Social Workers


Canadian Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

Canadian Association of Social Workers

Canadian Psychiatric Association

Canadian Psychological Association




Excerpted from the AAP Patient Education brochure, "Helping Your Child Cope With Life" published by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Copyright © 2006 American Academy of Pediatrics. All rights reserved.