This week I share some highlights from Dr. Rudolph Dreikurs’s book, Children: The Challenge (1964), which revolutionized the way we think about child raising. Children are driven by a desire to belong in a group, and their behavior is goal-directed: they will repeat the behavior that gives them a sense of having a place and abandon behaviors which make them feel left out. As parents and educators, we need to understand that children’s natural inclination is to belong through being useful.
I have always been heartened by the brilliant pediatrician Dr. D.W. Winnicott's notion of the good enough mother, with its emphasis on 'enough.' When children are presented with opportunities to face adversity on their own, they develop the confidence to understand that even though life provides many challenges, they have the wherewithal to navigate those challenges and to become stronger as a result. In short, 'good enough' parenting helps to build resilience in our children.