Checking my library account I discovered that I have an interlibrary loan book due...tomorrow! Yikes, I haven't read it yet. Skimming time. The funny thing is that some of the first words out of this author's mouth were a discourse on skimming and how prelevant it is in our information overload society. Whoops! Caught! He did become one of my favorite people, though, when he confessed that he CANNOT go into a bookstore without coming out with more books than he will actually read. A man after my own heart. Just the owning is pure joy.
In any case, this book (that I will end up paying a big fine for), is called "the childhood roots of adult happiness" (lower case choice was his). Subtitled: Five steps to help kids create and sustain lifelong joy. His theory is that the key to adult happiness is a connected childhood. He goes into detail on how to get that in a child's life. But skimming through the book I was pleased to see that we have gotten it pretty much right in the life's of our own children. A study showed that there were two factors that most protected children from negative outcomes. A feeling of connectness at home and a feeling of connectedness at school. Wow! If you home school what does that mean? Other important factors were: a parent's presence at key times during the day (morning, after school, dinner, bedtime); parents' high expectations for school performance (expecting them to graduate/post secondary); parents' engaging in activities with their children on a regular basis; absence of guns in the house; parental disapproval of the child engaging in sexual intercourse; not having easy access to cigarettes, alcohol, or marijuana; lack of prejudice at school; self-esteem; not working at a paid job twenty hours a week or more.
Hallowell's five step program to adult happiness consists of connection ... play.... practice... mastery... recognition - a repeating cycle. He briefly describes each of these steps and then in the last third of the book he gives practical suggestions for creating a connected childhood. My focus will be here in the next day or so as I try to glean as much as I can from this book.
Glancing through I see that he is VERY big on pets. Oh, no! Does that mean the dog stays?!! And what about one of the puppies, as the kids are hoping? We'll wait and see.
The mom and one of her puppies