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The Orchid and the Dandelion
In The Orchid and the Dandelion, Dr. W. Thomas Boyce writes of the “dandelion” child (hardy, resilient, healthy), able to survive and flourish under most circumstances, and the “orchid” child (sensitive, susceptible, fragile), who, given the right support, can thrive as much as, if not more than, other children.
For the past four decades, Boyce has been working with troubled children. The Orchid and the Dandelion offers help to those who have lost their confidence in the promise of a child gone seriously adrift–into drug abuse, delinquency, depression, or destructive friendships, the dark territory of psychological trouble, school failure, or criminality.
Boyce’s breakthrough research reveals how genetic makeup and environment shape behavior. Rather than seeing this “risk” gene as a liability, through his daring research, Boyce has recast the way we think of human frailty and shows that while variant genes can create problems (susceptibility to depression, anxiety, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and antisocial, sociopathic, or violent behaviors), they can also, in the right setting and with the right nurturing, produce children who not only do better than before but far exceed their peers.
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