In this inspiring book, Harvard-trained child and adult psychiatrist and expert in human motivation Dr. Shimi Kang provides a guide to the art and science of inspiring children to develop their own internal drive and a lifelong love of learning. Drawing on the latest neuroscience and behavioral research, Dr. Kang shows why pushy “tiger parents” and permissive “jellyfish parents” actually hinder self-motivation. She proposes a powerful new parenting model: the intelligent, joyful, playful, highly social dolphin. Dolphin parents focus on maintaining balance in their children’s lives to gently yet authoritatively guide them toward lasting health, happiness, and success.
As the medical director for Child and Youth Mental Health community programs in Vancouver, British Columbia, Dr. Kang has witnessed firsthand the consequences of parental pressure: anxiety disorders, high stress levels, suicides, and addictions. As the mother of three children and as the daughter of immigrant parents who struggled to give their children the “best” in life—Dr. Kang’s mother could not read and her father taught her math while they drove around in his taxicab—Dr. Kang argues that often the simplest “benefits” we give our children are the most valuable. By trusting our deepest intuitions about what is best for our kids, we will in turn allow them to develop key dolphin traits to enable them to thrive in an increasingly complex world: adaptability, community-mindedness, creativity, and critical thinking.
Life is a journey through ever-changing waters, and dolphin parents know that the most valuable help we can give our children is to assist them in developing their own inner compass. Combining irrefutable science with unforgettable real-life stories, The Dolphin Way walks readers through Dr. Kang’s four-part method for cultivating self-motivation. The book makes a powerful case that we are not forced to choose between being permissive or controlling. The third option—the option that will prepare our kids for success in a future that will require adaptability—is the dolphin way.
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Shimi Kang, M.D., is the medical director for Child and Youth Mental Health for Vancouver and a clinical associate professor at the University of British Columbia. Dr. Kang has helped hundred of children, adolescents, and parents move toward positive behaviors and better mental health.
“The perception of today’s parents as micromanagers who steal all the oxygen is often correct, and as the research trickles in, we are seeing a generation of kids who are lacking internal control. Award-winning physician Kang shows parents how these kids—likened to tiger cubs—are 'increasingly dependent on external rewards to stay motivated' and how parents are turning their cubs into the 'overworked, middle-aged.' Kang views this tiger style as 'under parenting' that includes too much 'pushing, pulling, directing, instructing, scheduling, and monitoring.' Seeking to right the scales, the author shows parents how to develop skills such as creativity, critical thinking, communication, and collaboration—what she calls the CQ, or cognitive quotient. By encouraging parents to model dolphins, who instruct by play, exploration, social bonds, altruism, contribution, and family and community values, kids will strengthen their own internal compass and have a stronger core with a greater chance at personal success and happiness. Combining scientific research with personal stories, Kang has a soothing and encouraging tone that will appeal to many readers.”
—Library Journal (STARRED REVIEW)
“With insight, professional expertise and unfailing instinct, Dr. Shimi Kang provides essential guidance in restoring sanity to 21st Century parenting. Compassionate to parent and child, loving and reasoned in its approach, The Self-Motivated Kid is highly readable, emotionally nurturing and intellectually satisfying.
—Gabor Maté, M.D., co-author of Hold On To Your Kids: Why Parents Need To Matter More Than Peers
“If you're looking for effective but practical strategies to calm the chaos in your kids' lives, foster their internal motivation and truly prepare them to function successfully in the adult work - read this book! Using concrete evidence, Dr. Kang shows why “Tiger” approaches to parenting do more harm than good. Her Dolphin approach will have you and your kids cheering. Highly recommended!”
—Amy McCready, Founder of PositiveParentingSolutions.com and author of If I Have to Tell You One More Time...The Revolutionary Program That Gets Your Kids to Listen Without Nagging, Reminding or Yelling
"In The Self-Motivated Kid, Dr. Shimi Kang writes insightfully of the real lives of parents, weaving science with spirit, and embedding highly practical suggestions into every chapter. I highly recommend this book!"
—Michael Gurian, author of The Wonder of Boys and The Wonder of Girls
“Ready to give your kids back their childhood—the part YOU loved? The joy? The creativity? The afternoons you still remember with such longing? If you're driving your kid to the lessons neither of you likes, instead of giving yourselves BOTH a chance to relax, play or just ‘waste’ time, it's time to turn around the car. This book is your U-turn to joy.”
—Lenore Skenazy, author of the book and founder of the blog Free-Range Kids
"The Self-Motivated Kid is an excellent parenting tool to implement in our daily life to help guide our children to be happy and healthy. She focus on adaptability and uses fantastic resources and examples from her own experience to solidify her case. An excellent read through and through. The Self-Motivated Kid is a parenting guide that every home should own."
—Working Mommy Journal
"I think this is a fantastic book to revolutionize your parenting approach."
—Along Came Kids
"Dr. Kang gives us a lot to think about. It’s a good read, with eye-opening examples and many practical suggestions for incorporating some of this thinking into your own life. The Self-Motivated Kid offers a roadmap for finding a little more balance in the way we parent, so that we can help our children become happy, successful, independent, and self-motivated adults."
—Daniela Duriavig, Life Over Easy
"I want you to read The Self-Motivated Kid. Unlike trendy books, I believe that it’s here for the long-run. It’s not a formula or a recipe or a how-to parent, but rather a roadmap for helping our children achieve a lifetime of happiness and fulfillment. And really, what more do we want as parents?"
—Mara Shapiro, Be Nice Or Leave Thanks
"This book conveys a lot of information and prompts considerable self-reflection. I found it a very worthwhile read. In addition to the prescriptions, there are lots of great quotations, helpful acronyms and checklists in this book. And beyond prompting parents to assess whether they’re happy with the way they’re parenting (and if not, to make some changes), it also provides a bit of a road map to help each of us find a little more balance in lives."
—Out and About with the GeoKs
"This book really opened my eyes to the idea that balance in parenting is as important as balance in life. Dr Kang uses evidence based research to make her points about the importance of being an authoritative parent. I feel like this book has made me understand much better the kind of parent that I want to be and I know that it will very dog-eared from all my referencing as my son grows up."
—Emma Finlayson, Savvy Mom
"I would be shocked if this book did not make almost any parents take a long, hard look at themselves and their schedule and the life they are leading and ask some very hard questions. What I can only hope is that parents will implement the answers."
—MBA Mama Musings
"If you were to pick just one book on parenting this year, I would recommend The Self-Motivated Kid."
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Book Description Tarcher 2014-05-01, 2014. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Hardcover. Publisher overstock, may contain remainder mark on edge. Bookseller Inventory # 9780399166044B
Book Description TarcherPerigee. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0399166041 New. Bookseller Inventory # Z0399166041ZN
Book Description TarcherPerigee, 2014. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110399166041
Book Description TarcherPerigee, 2014. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Brand New!. Bookseller Inventory # VIB0399166041