Child Development Quiz: Parenting for a Resilient Child

Editor’s Note: The following quiz was used with permission from Dr. Robert Brooks. It appears at

The quiz was developed by Dr. Brooks and Dr. Sam Goldstein for a parenting website to help parents (and other caregivers) to assess whether they possessed a mindset that fostered resilience in children. Drs. Brooks and Goldstein developed 10 questions based on the guideposts discussed in their book “Raising Resilient Children.” They emphasize that this is not a test that has been validated scientifically or statistically.

“We thought our readers would be interested in reviewing the questions and our responses,” Dr. Brooks writes on his Web site. “It is our hope that such a review will help you to reflect upon your own parenting (or teaching) style and examine whether it is a style that strengthens resilience in children. The questions are meant to provoke thinking about one’s interactions with children and not to offer definitive answers for every parenting situation.”

The Quiz

If we examine our parental goals, it would not be an oversimplification to conclude that to realize the goals of helping our children be happy and successful requires them to possess the inner strength to deal competently and successfully with the challenges and demands they encounter. We call this capacity to cope and feel competent resilience. Numerous scientific studies support the importance of resilience as a powerful force in helping children overcome not only significant adversity but everyday stresses. Resilient children possess certain qualities and ways of viewing themselves and the world that are not apparent in youngsters who have not been successful in meeting challenges and pressures. Resilient youngsters are able to translate this view or mindset into effective action.

Resilient children are hopeful and possess high self-worth.

We believe that when parents are engaged in the process of raising resilient youngsters they possess an understanding of what they can do in all of their interactions with their children to nurture a resilient mindset and behaviors. The following brief quiz will help you evaluate the extent to which your words and actions are reinforcing a resilient mindset in your children. Scoring high is an indication that you possess an understanding of the guidelines necessary to foster resilience in your children. If you no not attain a high score, the good news is that with patience and effort, you can develop such a mindset.

1. My child leaves a favorite toy outside overnight. Though I’ve repeatedly reminded my child that the toy might “disappear” if left out, my reminders were not heeded. The next morning, the toy is gone and my child is crying. I would:

a. Tell my child, “I told you so.”
b. Begin by empathizing with their unhappiness and saying, “I know you’re upset that the toy is gone.”
c. Punish them.
d. Buy them another toy.

2. When my child disagrees with me, it often appears that her goal is to make me angry or seek revenge. She will scream and yell and tell me that I’m not a good mother. When this happens, I should:

a. Ignore her anger.
b. Punish her more severely so she learns how to behave appropriately more quickly.
c. Allow her to rant and rave until she runs out of steam.
d. Acknowledge her anger but not change my plan.

3. Which of these statements is true?

a. All children are basically the same when it comes to discipline and therefore discipline practices should be applied equally.
b. Changing my approach will spoil my child.
c. Our children should be more appreciative of our hard work and parental effort.
d. Just because a particular strategy worked with me when I was a child does not mean it will be effective with my child.

4. In problem situations between parents and a child, the initial responsibility for change falls upon:

a. Parents
b. The child
c. Both parties
d. The counselor

5. Which of the following will help children feel loved, special, and appreciated?

a. Creating traditions and special times with them.
b. Making certain to not miss significant events.
c. Accepting your children for who they are, not what you want them to be.
d. All of the above.

6. What’s is the best way to deal with mistakes:

a. Serve as a model for dealing with mistakes and setbacks.
b. Teach your children that mistakes are to be avoided.
c. Lower your expectations so that your children will never make mistakes.
d. Ignore them.

7. Your child tells you that he feels ugly and dumb. Your first response should be:

a. “But, you’re not ugly and dumb.”
b. “I know you feel that way. I’m not certain why you do but maybe we can figure out what will help you feel better.”
c. “If you keep feeling that way, no one will want to be with you.”
d. “I really get upset when you say those things.”

8. Which of these statements is true?

a. Spanking is one of the most effective consequences to develop self-discipline.
b. Children who are spanked more often have been found to become more cooperative with their peers.
c. Spanking as a form of punishment develops problem-solving skills in children.
d. Children who are spanked have been found to become more aggressive with other children.

9. When your children are successful at a task, you can reinforce a resilient mindset by saying:

a. “I’m glad I was here to help you since you would not have been able to do it on your own.”
b. “It was great to see how you figured that out.”
c. “Now that you see you can succeed, you shouldn’t make excuses for not trying something in the future.”
d. All of the above.

10. At an early age it is important for parents to:

a. Provide opportunities for children to help others.
b. Involve them in making age-appropriate choices.
c. Use time-out as the main form of discipline.
d. All of the above.
e. a & b

Find the answers here.

Categories: Big Kids