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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2021 Harold Koplewicz (P)2021 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

“With a unique mix of personal anecdote and professional insight, [Dr. Koplewicz] breaks with received wisdom, delivers up some eye-opening surprises - and sends the greatly reassuring message to parents that, if we take care of ourselves, our kids will be okay.” (Judith Warner, author of And Then They Stopped Talking to Me and Perfect Madness)

The Scaffold Effect is written with so much understanding and so much sympathy, for both children and their parents. Harold Koplewicz brings science and clinical experience together with his own family experiences to create a book that is always practical and compassionate, and manages to be firm, gentle, and encouraging in all the right ways.” (Perri Klass, MD, professor of journalism and pediatrics at NYU and author of A Good Time to Be Born: How Science and Public Health Gave Children a Future

“Scaffold parenting...shares the ‘sweet spot’ between permissive and controlling parenting...(and) reminds caregivers that it is never too late to help your children become the bes­t versions of themselves, which is all any parent can hope for.” (Booklist­­­) 

What listeners say about The Scaffold Effect

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Disappointed

I just couldn't get into it. The narration is fine, but the content is just so bad. The scaffold/ construction metaphor is hit WAY too hard, it's annoying. There's also so little meat of science and evidence. By the author's second or third patient example, I was too frustrated to continue. His points probably could have been made clear in a one page diagram, and that might have been a helpful visual for some parents. but there's just not enough meat there to actually flesh out a book, or a parenting philosophy really, and he's trying too hard to make content that just isn't there. I stopped at chapter 3 and have no intention to finish.

5 people found this helpful

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I'm so glad I listened to this book.

They say that kids don't come with manuals. They are wrong. This book has and will continue to help me be a better parent to my child. I owe the writer a debt of gratitude. Thank you for your commitment to our children.

3 people found this helpful

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Read this!

Every single parent should read this book!! I have read many parenting books - this is #1 for every single parent, regardless of their children’s unique struggles.

2 people found this helpful

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Great listen

Loved listening to Dr. Koplewicz and his ideas behind Scaffold Parenting. I feel more confident dealing with every day issues and questions my children throw at me!

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One of the BEST parenting books I've read

strongly suggest to parents and educators. love the anecdotes and metaphor. really made the advice stick.