Monthly Article Archives: April 2009

Enriching the Lives of Children by Changing Our Ineffective Scripts and Avoiding “Prescriptions for Failure”: An UpdateRobert Brooks, Ph.D.

My May, 2008 article was devoted to one of my favorite themes, namely, the concept of personal control as a key dimension of resilience. In the book I co-authored with my friend Dr. Sam Goldstein, The Power of Resilience: Achieving Balance, Confidence, and Personal Strength in Your Life, we note that resilient adults are those who have the insight and courage to change what they are doing if what they are doing is ineffective. Such individuals avoid blaming themselves or others if particular actions prove unproductive or counterproductive. Instead, they reflect upon the changes they can initiate to create a more positive outcome rather than wait for others to change first. Although taking responsibility and control for one’s life is an essential foundation of emotional and physical well-being, it is not easily practiced. Frequently, when faced with challenging situations, many of us become frustrated and angry. Instead of considering alternatives to our existing outlook and behaviors, we persist in doing the same thing repeatedly, trapped in a negative script, often blaming others for the state of affairs. We wait stubbornly for others to change rather than consider a different approach that we might adopt. If our happiness is based on

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