Raising a Happy Child

Author: Ron Hirsch

ISBN 978-0-9883290-6-5 (softcover)

84 pages


At a time of national questioning of why so many people are filled with rage, why so many are depressed, why there is so much violence and abuse in our homes, in our society and in the world, Raising a Happy Child offers a disarmingly simple answer ... we are raising insecure children who become insecure adults. And insecurity is the root cause of all abuse and violence both in the home and at all levels of social and national interaction, as well as much personal unhappiness. 

The myth of childhood is that it is a happy, carefree time. But typically it is neither carefree nor happy; it is fraught with insecurity. Raising a Happy Child seeks to change this fact of human development. 

Why do children suffer this fate? What becomes of our lives is overwhelmingly a function of learned experience ... from our family, our peers, and the larger culture ... but first and foremost from our parents. The vast majority of parents are good people and would not do anything intentionally to harm their child. But parents are people who are a function of their own upbringing and learned experience. They have their own fears, frustrations, angers, and desires. And they see things through the lens of that experience and those emotions, which in turn impacts how they interact with their children. The result is children who do not feel loved unconditionally and who are as a result insecure. 

Direction and criticism are important parental functions; the question is how they are given, in what context. Raising a Happy Child seeks to provide parents with the means to step outside themselves, to be able to experience their child, themselves, and the world around them mostly free of their learned experience and emotions, thus enabling them to provide their child at all times with the nurturing and unconditional love it needs to be happy and secure. The book also guides parents in addressing various critical development issues that arise in the course of a child's life. 


Having of course been a child himself, Ron Hirsch's perspective on raising children has been formed by his own experiences as a child, as well as a lifetime of observing other children and their parents and his understanding of the ego, happiness, and our culture that has developed while walking the path of Zen Buddhism for more than 15 years. Hirsch has had a varied career as a teacher, legal aid lawyer, survey researcher, nonprofit executive, composer, writer, and volunteer. He is the author of We Still Hold These Truths, acclaimed by James Fallows, National Correspondent, The Atlantic, as "a systematic and serious effort to make the [presidential] debate as clear and valuable as it can be. Agree of disagree with his specific conclusions, the questions he is asking are the right ones for the public this year." He grew up in Reading, Pennsylvania and resides in upstate New York.

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