About the book
Every decade or so, a book comes along that completely changes how we parent. From Dr. Spock’s Baby and Child Care to T. Berry Brazelton’s Infants and Mothers, these landmark books have influenced our thinking about how children learn and develop and have dramatically transformed how we nurture our children’s social, emotional and intellectual growth.
We are now poised to take another major step in our understanding of how children learn and how parents can help with the April 2010 publication of MIND IN THE MAKING: The Seven Essential Life Skills Every Child Needs (HarperStudio) by Ellen Galinsky, president of the Families and Work Institute. Bringing together all of the new science of child development in an understandable way, Galinsky offers a groundbreaking parenting book – one that will alter the way we raise and teach our children while showing us (instead of telling us) how to go about it.
For the last eight years, Galinsky has worked with the top researchers in the field, filming their experiments and studying their results in an unprecedented collaborative effort to bring the science of early learning to families and to the professionals who work with children. In MIND IN THE MAKING, she shares what they have learned and how they have learned it. But then she takes their findings a step further, identifying seven life skills that will help children reach their full potential in school, the workforce – and in life. Galinsky then shows parents how to instill these skills in their children by doing everyday things in new ways.
The seven skills are:
- Focus and Self Control – children need this skill in order to achieve their goals especially in a world that is filled with distractions and information overload.
- Perspective Taking – children who can figure out what others feel and think are less likely to get involved in conflicts.
- Communicating – children need to be able to determine what they want to communicate and how. This is the skill teachers and employers feel is most lacking today.
- Making Connections – children who can make unusual connections are more creative and can go beyond knowing information to using information well.
- Critical Thinking – children need to be able to search for reliable knowledge to guide their beliefs, decisions, and actions.
- Taking on Challenges – children who can take on challenges instead of avoiding or simply coping with them will do better in school and in life.
- Self-Directed Engaged Learning – lifelong learners can change as the world changes in order to reach their full potential.
MIND IN THE MAKING explains how children learn these skills and how we can help them through every day activities. Galinsky recommends hundreds of tips, including playing games like “Simon Says,” but in new ways – by doing the opposite of what the leader is doing (to practice self control), asking why, what, where and who questions (to practice communicating), and encouraging children to pursue their passions. She empowers parents to make a difference starting right now and at any age -- it’s never too late to encourage these skills in your children.With this book parents now have the information and the tools to help their children achieve their full potential not only in school but throughout their lives.
Not since Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman has there been such a compelling theory of social, emotional and intellectual development, nor has there been such a guilt-free “how to” book for busy parents. MIND IN THE MAKING is the parenting book for our decade that alters the course and changes our thinking – forever.
Advance Praise for Mind in the Making:
Galinsky has spent her career observing and analyzing how children learn. Collaborating with top researchers in the science of childhood brain development for the past decade, she identifies seven life skills that help children reach their full potential and unleash their passion to learn. The skills are presented in a readable and accessible volume enlivened by parents' narratives about what works and what doesn't, hints and tips, and over a hundred “suggestions” (games and family activities) for involving kids in the pursuit of learning. Each of seven chapters focuses on one skill, most of them involved with the “executive” (or management) function of the brain, such as focus and self-control, communicating, and critical thinking. Galinsky urges parents to instill in their children a grasp of different kinds of knowledge to best tap inborn “sense” and foster self-motivation. The big message is simple: teaching children to think may be the most important thing a parent can do. It doesn't take a village and it doesn't require fancy courses or equipment—Galinsky's everyday, playful, parent-child learning interactions offer a place to start. Some of the advice may seem self-evident, but it is a valuable, worthwhile resource.
Adele Faber, coauthor of How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk
A valuable resource! Ellen Galinsky’s extensive research reveals important insights into the science of early learning.
T. Berry Brazelton, M.D., professor emeritus of pediatrics, Harvard Medical School and founder, Brazelton Touchpoints Center
I was so delighted when Ellen Galinsky first asked me to contribute to her Mind in the Making project, and am thrilled to have her share my research on infant and child development, and that of my colleagues, as broadly as possible. We need to get these important messages out, and parents are clamoring for it.
Judy Woodruff, senior correspondent for PBS NewsHour
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 twenty-first century.
David A. Hamburg, M.D., Weill Cornell Medical College, and president emeritus of the Carnegie Corporation of New York
Mind in the Making is the central component of a creative, multifaceted initiative that clarifies paths to lifelong learning related to discoveries about brain development and how learning builds on the structure and function of the brain. It is a valuable contribution based on solid research that yields practical benefits.
Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, professor of psychology, Temple University, and coauthor of A Mandate for Playful Learning in Preschool
Mind in the Making is a tour de force. In Galinsky’s hands, the latest scientific discoveries about how children learn are carefully molded into seven seemingly simple but profound skills that predict success in the twenty-first century.
Roberta Michnick Golinkoff, professor of education, psychology, and linguistics and cognitive science, University of Delaware, and coauthor of A Mandate for Playful Learning in Preschool
A book of incomparable quality about what is best for children and why in today’s world. Mind in the Making helps you assemble the ingredients in your own kitchen for rearing children who are intelligent, emotionally secure, and equipped to succeed.
Laurie David, producer of An Inconvenient Truth and author of Family Dinners
Mind in the Making presents some of the most important research that will help every parent teach their children the fundamentals of life. Ellen Galinsky has figured out some of the great mysteries to raising caring, compassionate, well-rounded children. This is a ‘must read’ operating manual for any parent!
Philip David Zelazo, professor, Institute of Child Development, University of Minnesota
The future of our society depends on how we treat our children, and this remarkable book—richly illustrated with examples from the latest scientific research—provides an engaging and well-informed characterization of the developmental challenges children face. It will be of enormous value to parents, educators and policy makers, and serious students of child development.
Michael Levine, executive director, Joan Ganz Cooney Center
Mind in the Making shows why early learning and development matter more than ever—a highly cogent, remarkably accessible, and important book.
Gaston Caperton, president of The College Board
Education goes far beyond the subjects we typically teach in school. Life skills like focus and perspective taking are essential to building human potential. Mind in the Making will be a powerful new resource for teachers and families.
Alison Gopnik, professor of psychology, University of California at Berkeley, and author of The Philosophical Baby
Ellen Galinsky has been one of our most thoughtful as well as passionate advocates for children. In this book she assembles the latest fascinating research from the very best scientists in the field, and presents it clearly and accurately, in a way that parents and others will find most valuable.
Cali Williams Yost, CEO of Work+Life Fit, Inc., author of Work+Life: Finding the Fit That's Right for You, and Fast Company blogger
This book is the antidote for anxious, busy parents who have limited time. It shows them where to put their effort and focus to ensure their children are prepared to thrive today and in the future.