It’s pretty well-known that children who grow up in poverty are more likely to have problems in school and they are more likely to grow up to remain in poverty. The statistics are not promising, but statistics and tendencies are not absolute. I found this article today about overcoming poverty and how to avoid becoming a statistic. I’ll just quote the beginning because it’s a good thought and it’s good news for those who struggle:
“Yet not all poor children are doomed to bad outcomes. Some survive and flourish despite hardships. Why? As a researcher who worked at the Yale Child Study Center from 1992 to 2005, Valerie Maholmes, PhD, suggests that poor children who succeed have a factor in common: hope.
‘I’m not talking about miracles,’ explains Maholmes, chief of the Pediatric Trauma and Critical Illness Branch at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). ‘I’m talking about planning and motivation and determination.'”
She’s written a book about her findings and ways that poor families can overcome statistics to help their children succeed. I looked for it on Amazon and it’s pretty pricey, but I added it to my wish list. As a single mother who struggles with financial worries, I do want to make sure I can do everything I can to help my kids live a better life, and I like the sound of her book. I especially like the idea that we do have control over our futures and can be empowered through hope and determination!
Click here to purchase Fostering Resilience and Well-Being in Children and Families in Poverty: Why Hope Still Matters
This article about her research indicates that there are good results when at-risk students are educated about emotional regulation and problem solving so they can be more optimistic and achieve more success. There is also a bit of information about stimulating different parts of the brain for better development, as well as some information on the importance of mentoring relationships for kids. But really, the biggest point is the power of hope and optimism to help kids dream big and believe in their goals. I think the findings are really inspiring!