Book Excerpt and Commentary: OPTION B by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant

 

Option B is an international bestseller, a hot new title in every way, a deeply disturbing, and equally comforting book about coping with loss and building resilience in ourselves and our children.

It is disturbing because it reminds us that no one is immune to tragedy and everyone has to cope with loss, sooner or later, one way or another.

It is comforting because it assures us that we can do it.

Moreover, we don’t have to wait for tragedy to happen—we can prepare ourselves and experience pre-traumatic (as opposed to post-traumatic) growth , what is even more important, our children can, too. It is in our power to help them build resilience.

In the chapter called “Raising Resilient Kids” Sheryl Sandberg says:

 

The third belief that affects children’s resilience is mattering: knowing that other people notice you, care about you, and rely on you. Many parents communicate this naturally. They listen closely to their children, show that they value their ideas, and help them create strong, secure attachments with others. In a study of more than two thousand adolescents between the ages of eleven and eighteen, many of whom faced severe adversity, those who felt they mattered were less likely to have low self-esteem, depression, and suicidal thoughts.

The sense of mattering is a powerful source of inner strength at any age – and is also in the core of attachment parenting. What so many attachment parents successfully do is actually this: we make our babies feel they matter from the very first day. We nurture their self-confidence by showing them we are always there for them. That way, they know they matter, they grow up to be kind, dependable (as we are for them), and resilient human beings.

What do you think is the key to children’s resilience?

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