resilience parenting

Resilience Parenting with Chris Santillo

How can we teach our kids to navigate hardships and adversity while also raising them to be well-behaved? Today’s guest is Chris Santillo, the author of Resilience Parenting: Raising Resilient Children in an Era of Detachment and Dependence.

Chris is a black belt instructor of Kempo karate and has established a foundation of three pillars in parenting—learning, service, and integrity. You will find out what snowplow parenting is and why it’s so damaging. You’ll also learn why you should formulate a family creed, how to teach ownership and independence, and how to give kids space to overcome challenges to become constant learners in life.

If you don’t intentionally communicate your values to your children, then they’re either going to end up with no values or someone else is going to shove their values onto your kids.—Chris Santillo

Chris Santillo

Chris Santillo is founder and head instructor at Potomac Kempo, a martial arts studio with four locations in Alexandria, Virginia. Holly is his co-author and the founding conductor of Mount Vernon Children’s Choir and a Senior Instructor at Potomac Kempo. Together, they have been working with and educating children for more than thirty-five years. Chris has a degree in computer science from Harvey Mudd College and an MBA from Georgetown University; Holly has a degree in anthropology from Willamette University. As of the date of publication they are nomadic, exploring the world and worldschooling their three sons.

Anything they figure out by themselves sticks a little bit better than anything I can say.—Chris Santillo

Resilience Parenting

Your children will face many challenges in the years ahead, so you want to raise them to be resilient—strong, adaptable, and able to recover. It is your mission to empower your son or daughter to cultivate a functional and fulfilling life. This essential handbook will help you achieve that goal.

In Resilience Parenting, martial arts instructors Chris and Holly Santillo share the insights they have gained as teachers and parents. They offer positive alternatives to lecturing, bribing, and punishing; focusing instead on three Pillars: Learning, Integrity, and Service. By applying these powerful principles, you can inspire your children to develop the independence they need to succeed as adults, while renewing their connection to family and community.

Whether you are raising a teenager or just starting your family, the methods prescribed in this book will help you unlock your greatest potential as a parent.

The world is a better experience with children.—Chris Santillo

What You’ll Learn

  • What snowplow parenting is and why it leaves kids dangerously unprepared when they go out into the world
  • How we need to give kids opportunities to grow and develop and not do everything for them
  • Letting kids learn to take care of themselves
  • How to raise responsible kids who follow directions
  • Letting go of the constant need to look perfect in front of your kids
  • Why kids need us to talk about our failures as well as our successes
  • How to teach kids on their level
  • How to encourage kids to find solutions
  • The importance of understanding your values as a parent
  • Creating a family creed to reiterate on a daily basis, and making sure behavior is consistent with the creed
  • The Three Pillars of Parenting—Learning, integrity, service
    • Learning–How it’s not about kids learning stuff. It’s about them developing the confidence that they can learn stuff and overcoming challenges even if they don’t have tools readily available.
    • Integrity to self–if you don’t have integrity with yourself, you won’t have it anywhere in your life. You must follow through with the promises you make to yourself.
    • Integrity to others–if you promise something, you must keep your word.
    • Service–Building connections with other people and performing a service for them to have a fulfilling life.
    • Staying connected to other people while preserving independence
  • As dads, when we don’t have the perfect answer to a question, we blow it off or diminish it instead of admitting we don’t know and exploring it together with our child
  • Developing mental and physical strength, adaptability, and recovery
  • Learning to develop strength to approach problems better, then adapting to adversity and setbacks
  • Recovery–knowing that when everything goes wrong and you’re broken down, you possess the confidence that you’ll get back up again
  • Leading by example–Don’t tell kids to do homework or practice their instrument while you go watch Netflix. Show them you’re a lifelong learner too.
  • How to help kids be better at failure
  • Pulling lessons out of books and real life to show our kids
  • The importance of repeating these lessons
  • If kids are not participating in the family chores, you become their servant
  • How to address kids who do not obey
  • Setting rules–reasonable, unambiguous, consistent, and age appropriate
  • How to undo bad parenting habits with kids
  • Chris’s proudest moment in his martial arts career
  • What we all want to know—who would win a sparring match between Chris and his wife?

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Chris Santillo’s links




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