The orchid and the dandelion : why some children struggle and how all can thrive

by Boyce, W. Thomas,

Format: Print Book 2019.
Availability: Available at 8 Libraries 8 of 22 copies
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"Based on groundbreaking research that has the power to change the lives of countless children--and the adults who love them."
--Susan Cain, author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts .

A book that offers hope and a pathway to success for parents, teachers, psychologists, and child development experts coping with difficult children.

In Tom Boyce's extraordinary new book, he explores the "dandelion" child (hardy, resilient, healthy), able to survive and flourish under most circumstances, and the "orchid" child (sensitive, susceptible, fragile), who, given the right support, can thrive as much as, if not more than, other children.
Boyce writes of his pathfinding research as a developmental pediatrician working with troubled children in child-development research for almost four decades, and explores his major discovery that reveals how genetic make-up and environment shape behavior. He writes that certain variant genes can increase a person's susceptibility to depression, anxiety, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and antisocial, sociopathic, or violent behaviors. But rather than seeing this "risk" gene as a liability, Boyce, through his daring research, has recast the way we think of human frailty, and has shown that while these "bad" genes can create problems, they can also, in the right setting and the right environment , result in producing children who not only do better than before but far exceed their peers. Orchid children, Boyce makes clear, are not failed dandelions; they are a different category of child, with special sensitivities and strengths, and need to be nurtured and taught in special ways. And in The Orchid and the Dandelion , Boyce shows us how to understand these children for their unique sensibilities, their considerable challenges, their remarkable gifts.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "As opposed to "dandelions," children who are hardy and resilient, Boyce posits that "orchids," children who are acutely sensitive to their environment, may face serious health and emotional issues due to their sensitivity. But Boyce shares his and other researchers' findings that unearth an encouraging flip side: that sensitive children may also have the capacity to be more resilient when in an environment specifically geared for them to prosper. Boyce is a scientist, pediatrician, and professor, and his book comes recommended by a slew of well-known researchers with backgrounds in pediatrics, psychology, and human relationships. That said, the content may feel hefty for parents who are struggling to navigate challenges with their children. However, the scientific studies Boyce cites are fascinating, and his explanations of their results are eye-opening. He maintains a warm and personal approach throughout, often reflecting on his experiences growing up with a sibling who struggled and parenting his own children. Well suited for teachers, medical professionals, social workers, parents, and caregivers, this is recommended for academic and public library audiences alike.--Joyce McIntosh Copyright 2018 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Pediatrician and child psychiatrist Boyce proposes a novel way of understanding children's sensitivity to their environment-as a spectrum, from dandelion to orchid. Sturdy dandelions are less reactive to childhood stressors and more likely to thrive wherever they are, while orchid children-one in five, by Boyce's estimate-display a heightened sensitivity that causes them to "founder" in poor environments but thrive in good ones. Drawing on 25 years of medical practice, along with the sad story of his orchid sister's mental health struggles, Boyce weaves a fascinating story of discovery out of his experiments exploring "how children's social and emotional experiences might affect their physical bodies," and more generally, how health "imbalances are the interactive products of environments and genes operating together." While the parenting advice is familiar and the prose too ornate in parts, the book shines when Boyce explains the results of his and others' experiments in rich, elegant detail. His impassioned treatise makes a strong case, not just for Boyce's view of child psychology, but for the policy reforms-family leave, state-supported childcare, early childhood development programs, and measures against income inequality-that would allow all children to flower into their full potential, and lead "satisfying and meaningful adult lives." (Feb.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Parenting.
Developmental psychology.
Publisher New York :2019.
Edition First edition.
Language English
Notes "This is a Borzoi book published by Alfred A. Knopf"--Title page verso.
Description xviii, 277 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographical references (pages 249-268) and index.
ISBN 9781101946565
Other Classic View