The Scaffold Effect

Raising Resilient, Self-Reliant, and Secure Kids in an Age of Anxiety

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Pub Date 02 Feb 2021 | Archive Date 31 May 2021

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Prevent and counteract the general anxiety and emotional fragility prevalent in children and teenagers today—a new parenting philosophy and strategies that give children the tools to flourish on their own.

“A master synthesizer of attachment science, medical practice, and his own experience as a father, Harold Koplewicz capably and compassionately leads us through the art of scaffolding, from early childhood through the important adolescent period.”—Daniel J. Siegel, MD, author of The Whole Brain Child

Just as sturdy scaffolding is necessary when erecting a building and will come down when the structure grows stable, good parenting provides children with steady and warm emotional nourishment on the path toward independence. Never-ending parental problem-solving and involvement can have the opposite effect, enabling fragility and anxiety over time.
In The Scaffold Effect, world-renowned child psychiatrist Harold Koplewicz introduces the powerful and clinically tested idea that this deliberate build-up and then gradual loosening of parental support is the single most effective way to encourage kids to climb higher, try new things, grow from mistakes, and develop character and strength. Explaining the building blocks of an effective scaffold from infancy through young adulthood, he expertly guides parents through the strategies for raising empowered, capable people, including:

• Lay a solid foundation: The parent-child relationship needs to be made from the concrete mixture of emotional availability, positive reinforcement, clear messaging, and consistent rules. From this supportive base, your will forge a bond that will survive adolescence and grow stronger into adulthood.

• Empower growth: Skyscraper or sprawling ranch—the style of your child’s construction is not up to you! Scaffold parenting validates and accommodates the shape the child is growing into. Any effort to block or control growth will actually stunt it.

• Stay on their level: Imagine being on the ground floor of a house and trying to talk to someone on the roof. The person on the roof will have to “talk down” to you or yell. If your child’s building and your scaffold are on the same level, you can speak directly, look each other in the eye, and keep the lines of communication open.
Drawing on Dr. Koplewicz’s decades of clinical and personal experience, The Scaffold Effect is a compassionate, street-smart, and essential guide for the ages.

All of the author’s proceeds from the sale of this book will be donated to the Child Mind Institute.
Prevent and counteract the general anxiety and emotional fragility prevalent in children and teenagers today—a new parenting philosophy and strategies that give children the tools to flourish on...

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ISBN 9780593139349
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Featured Reviews

When I brought my newborn son home from the hospital, I had the crazy idea that we would skate through early childhood. Since I had been an “easy” child myself, I thought that surely my son would get through his early years without any trouble. I didn’t need help, I thought. But I was wrong. Parenting is challenging, even for someone like me who stays home. My son has already experienced some developmental delays. Autism has been ruled out, but he is behind on certain important milestones. I’d been looking for a book that would help me process how my son is developing and prepare me for what’s ahead. When I discovered Harold Koplewicz’s book, I was thrilled. The Scaffold Effect is an invaluable resource for ALL parents. I’m a longtime fan of Koplewicz’s, but I’ve often thought of him as the person you consult when your child has symptoms of a psychiatric disorder. In The Scaffold Effect, he shows that he’s a general parenting expert too. He’s a caring and brilliant advisor who can help parents navigate a child’s developmental, social, or emotional setbacks as well as achievements. I appreciated Koplewicz’s compassion and understanding that every child is unique and that our job as parents is to “scaffold” development with warmth, awareness, dispassion, and monitoring. We all (hopefully) want our children to grow up to be independent, resilient, confident adults. Koplewicz offers a reasonable, very smart roadmap for such an outcome. I came away from this book with a plan for how I want to raise my son. I think others will be similarly moved and guided.

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