Richard Weissbourd is the author of The Parents We Mean To Be, How Well-Intentioned Adults Undermine Children's Moral and Emotional Development, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2009. He is also the author of The Vulnerable Child, What Really Hurts America's Children and What We Can Do About It, recently named by the American School Board Journal as one of the top ten education books of all time.
A child and family psychologist, Richard is on the faculty of Harvard's Kennedy School of Government and School of Education. For several years he worked as a psychologist in community mental health centers as well as on the Annie Casey Foundation’s New Futures Project, an effort to prevent children from dropping out of school. He is a founder of several interventions for at-risk children, including ReadBoston and WriteBoston, city-wide literacy initiatives led by Mayor Menino. With Robert Selman, he founded Project ASPIRE, a social and ethical development intervention. He is a founder of The Lee Academy in Boston, offering a continuous program between preschool and elementary school that serves children ages 3-11. He has advised on the city, state and federal levels on family policy and school reform and has written for numerous scholarly and popular publications including the New York Times, The New Republic and the American Prospect.
Richard approaches his subject as a psychologist and from the front lines of parenting as a father of three, and a former volunteer basketball coach. He is acutely aware of the daily challenges parents face in raising children, and his objective is to offer an encouraging road map to all that parents are doing right, and where they may consider correcting course. He writes, “What matters most as a parent is not whether my wife and I are ‘perfect’ role models or how much we talk about values, but the hundreds of ways – as living, breathing, imperfect human beings—we influence our children in the complex, messy relationships we have with them day to day.”