Smart Parenting for Smart Kids: Nurturing Your Child's True Potential
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More About This Title Smart Parenting for Smart Kids: Nurturing Your Child's True Potential


WINNER! Mom's Choice Gold Award for parenting books -- Mom's Choice Awards: The best in family-friendly media

"My kid is smart, but..."

It takes more than school smarts to create a fulfilling life. In fact, many bright children face special challenges:

  • Some are driven by perfectionism;
  • Some are afraid of effort, because they're used to instant success;
  • Some routinely butt heads with authority figures;
  • Some struggle to get along with their peers;
  • Some are outwardly successful but just don't feel good about themselves.

This practical and compassionate book explains the reasons behind these struggles and offers parents do-able strategies to help children cope with feelings, embrace learning, and build satisfying relationships. Drawing from research as well as the authors’ clinical experience, it focuses on the essential skills children need to make the most of their abilities and become capable, confident, and caring people.


The Authors

Eileen Kennedy-Moore, PhD, is a child and family clinical psychologist in Princeton, New Jersey. She is the author or coauthor of several books on children's feelings and friendships.

Mark S. Lowenthal, PsyD, has helped many children, teens, and their families during his twenty-two years as a clinical psychologist. His private practice is in Maplewood, New Jersey.


Note to the Reader.


Introduction: Rethinking Potential.

1 Tempering Perfectionism: What Is “Good Enough”?

Michael: Focusing on flaws.

Kirsten: Deflecting blame.

Sam: Avoiding activities at which he doesn’t excel.

Angela: Feeling inadequate.

2 Building Connection: How Does Your Child Reach Out to Others?

Andrew: Seeking an audience rather than a friend.

Clay: Avoiding joining the group.

Amalia: Feeling rejected by peers.

3 Managing Sensitivity: How Does Your Child Handle Criticism, Conflict, and Disappointment?

Mario: Perceiving betrayal.

Jessica: Balking at constructive feedback.

Samir: Chafing at a change of plans.

Collin: Shouldering the world’s woes.

4 Handling Cooperation and Competition: How Does Your Child Fit in a Group?

Steven: Insisting on his way.

Anita: Being a sore loser.

Misha: Fearing competition.

Craig: Dealing with competition in the family.

5 Dealing with Authority: How Does Your Child Respond to Those in Charge?

Lisa: Being blind to authority.

Nicholas: Making everything an argument.

Stephanie: Fretting about adults’ anger.

6 Developing Motivation: What Matters to Your Child?

Ethan: Avoiding schoolwork.

Jared: Complaining that schoolwork is boring.

Diane: Not applying herself in school.

7 Finding Joy: What Makes Your Child Feel Happy?

Monica: Finding fault instead of fun.

Conner: Searching for personal meaning.

Conclusion: The Pressure to Perform Versus the Power to Grow.

Selected References and Recommended Reading.

About the Authors.



“This book is a literal Godsend. Parents will find great wisdom in its pages.”
Stephen R. Covey, author, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

“A smart, deeply perceptive and important book.” 
Wendy Mogel, PhD, author, The Blessing of a Skinned Knee

"This book helps parents see how to encourage their children to develop as whole people with feelings, ideas, and the ability to cope with the occasional disappointment too."
Roberta Michnick Golinkoff, PhD, author of Einstein Never Used Flash Cards

“Filled with vignettes and strategies for raising smart kids to become healthy, happy and contributing adults.”
Vicki Abeles, Producer, Race to Nowhere