The Orchid and the Dandelion: Why Some Children Struggle and How All Can Thrive (Hardcover)
"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.
About the Author
W. THOMAS BOYCE, M.D., is the Lisa and John Pritzker Distinguished Professor of Developmental and Behavioral Health and chief of the Division of Developmental Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. He is also codirector of the Child and Brain Development Program of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research. He lives with his wife in San Francisco.
"Seriously good ... I read it with pencil in hand, underlining ideas I wanted to hold onto, or even memorize. [Boyce] is also a wonderfully fine writer. His humanity and warmth inform his evidence-based insights, and his clear strong prose and poetic sensitivity make his stories compelling. The Orchid and the Dandelion leaves me with much to think about, and meaningful encouragement in my own personal life as a parent and grandparent."
--Dona Matthews, Psychology Today
"The Orchid and the Dandelion is based on groundbreaking research that has the power to change the lives of countless children--and the adults who love them."--Susan Cain, New York Times bestselling author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts
"This book fills an important need. Tom Boyce's elegantly simple characterization of dandelion and orchid children belies the complexity and rigor of the research that informs it. His book shows parents why the same conditions that may be good for one of their children will not be best for the other."--Nancy Adler, professor of psychiatry and medical psychology at University of California, San Francisco
"Tom Boyce is the foremost scholar in the world in the area of child growth and development. I have no doubt that his book will have a profound impact on readers everywhere."--Leonard Syme, professor emeritus of epidemiology and community health, School of Public Health, University of California
"What is so timely about this book is that it brings a fresh perspective to individual differences. The author's clinical and academic expertise is unique; his prose is lucid and engaging; and he tackles a problem of enormous importance."--Charles A. Nelson III, professor of pediatrics, Harvard Medical School
"Boyce's stellar research on orchid and dandelion children will help parents and professionals develop greater sensitivity to the needs of orchid kids who are biologically challenged but surprisingly have much higher potential. A must read for all parents, teachers, and psychologists."--John M. Gottman, PhD, New York Times bestselling author of Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child
"A book that must be written, and Tom Boyce is unquestionably the most qualified person to do it right! There is an extensive audience of parents and teachers whose lives will be touched by this book. The well-being of their children and their students will reap enormous benefits from what Boyce can teach us all about the valleys and the mountaintops of child development."--Jack P. Shonkoff, MD, director, Center for the Developing Child, Harvard University