How one family fought the myth that you have to destroy
childhood in order to raise extraordinary adults.
What does a “successful” child look like?
If you imagined a straight-A-earning, classical-music-playing, rule-following, Ivy-bound prodigy, you’re not alone.
This is what I thought my kid should look like, too. I was determined to raise my child in this image, no matter the cost. After all, I was one of those kids (Columbia University, Class of 1989). The traditional path to success sure worked for me.
But life intervened in ways I couldn’t have imagined.
I was faced with two choices: Impose my will no matter the trauma. Or, take a frightening, uncharted path—
A sub-standard child, unable to succeed on the level I had?
Did letting up mean letting my child down?
Answering these questions took my family on a fascinating journey. What looked and felt like failure after failure on adult terms led to a different kind of success: mad creativity, fierce independence, and relentless self-direction.
In other words, everything an adult needs to make it in today’s world.
So what does a successful child look like?
She looks like my child. And if you consider a similar path by relaxing, backing off, letting up, and settling down, she (or he) just might look a lot like yours.
(Diana Holquist is the award-winning author of six novels. She’s won the New York Book Festival award for Best Novel; has garnered a coveted starred review from Publisher’s Weekly; and, she’s been a RITA and Reader’s Choice Award finalist. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband, two kids, and two cats. She also writes small-town women’s fiction under the pseudonym Sophie Gunn.)
PRAISE FOR NOVELS BY DIANA HOLQUIST
“With characters so real, they jump off the page…” –Doubleday Book Club
“(Holquist)…raises some serious issues, leaving readers’ eyes shining both with happiness and tears.”
–Library Journal, 7/28/11
“…laughter, passion and deeply moving sentiment.”
–New York Times Bestseller Robyn Carr
“…Holquist is one for the keeper shelf.”
–Parksberg News and Sentinel
“A real treat for readers…”
–New York Times Bestseller Susan Wiggs
“A delightful debut…”
–Booklist, starred review
“…humor, warmth, emotions, characters that step off the page…”
–New York Times Bestseller Mariah Stewart