How to Raise Successful People
Simple Lessons for Radical ResultsBook - 2019
From the critics
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“says she commonly sees children at eight, nine, and ten months old who wake up throughout the night. There are even one-, two-, and three-year-olds who don’t sleep through the night. Why? Because they haven’t been taught. “Sometimes as parents we’re frightened to give our kids the opportunity to learn,” she says. “We feel like we’re harming them, and that we’re not supporting them in the way they need to be supported.”
Quotes herein focus on author's approach to parenting, education, community and work-in-progress with her extraordinary inner circle. Also, her thoughts on Amy Chua's "Tiger Mom."
What's wrong with this picture? It is a portrait on extreme "opportunity inequality":
One of my grandkids recently rated me the “craziest person” in my family because I get down to their level. I have been known to crawl under the table with the kids and bark with the dogs and have a sincere conversation with the cats. Sergey (son in law, Google C-suite co-founder) has the same playful spirit and for that reason was voted second craziest in the family. Steve Jobs had a similar attitude toward life, and even told his daughter, Lisa, that schools kill creativity. I remember him in our cramped classroom, camped out on the beige corduroy beanbag chair. He’d talk to the students, play on the computers, and, well, hang out. He never stopped playing and exploring, and we all know what came of his incredible imagination.
Parting thoughts P 1 of 4:
Today in the United States there are more than 4,300 Boys & Girls Clubs serving kids in poverty. Even here in Palo Alto, we have families living in RVs on El Camino Real, unable to afford housing anywhere in the area. In every city in America, rich or poor, there are opportunities to serve others. Legendary baseball player Alex Rodriguez was helped by the Boys & Girls Clubs, and now he is giving back to the Boys & Girls Club of Miami. We all can find a way to be of service. We all need to support the kids in our communities, in schools, in organizations like the Boys & Girls Clubs, in programs like CCAI in Monterrey, Mexico, and in our lives.
Parting thoughts P 2 of 4:
TRICK works for all ages, all stages of life. Everyone needs to be trusted and given respect for who they are. Everyone needs to be given freedom and taught how to work with others. Everyone needs to be shown kindness so they can reflect it back to the world. Because that is the real meaning of raising successful people: shaping the next generation, teaching the skills we all need to make life better for everyone. And that is what Steve Jobs wanted for his oldest daughter, Lisa, when he put her in my program in the early 1990s (he even showed up to interview me in advance—glad I passed!). As he famously said, “The people who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world are the ones who do.”
Parting thoughts P 3 of 4:
Perhaps he saw me as “crazy enough,” and by the way, so do my own kids. Well, I feel “crazy enough,” but I need many more crazies to join me in using TRICK regularly to give our children the power to change the world. TRICK only seems “crazy” to a system that is truly flawed and destroys the creativity, ambition, and dreams of students. Parents always want what is best for their children but so often what is seen as “loving” or “supportive” parenting is actually stifling the child’s innate capacity to learn and grow. We are the crazy ones who will change the world by truly trusting and respecting our children enough for them to develop independence, to collaborate, and to be kind.
Parting thoughts P 4 of 4:
This is what the future needs from us. This book is part of a movement to change the culture of education and to help support the first educators: parents. Parents and teachers are always asking how they can help young people succeed. Well, here is the answer: rediscovering and teaching the core values in all of us and, by the way, in all religions—TRICK with love. That has been the core of every religion—including Judaism, Christianity, Islam—throughout history. Let’s remember that. I hope you will share this book with other parents, educators, grandparents, therapists, coaches, caregivers—anyone who is responsible for the minds and hearts of young people. Success begins with our kids and us. Let’s all believe we are “crazy enough” to change our world together, and we will.
Chapter 4 Don’t Do Anything for Your Children That They Can Do for Themselves
IN THE FALL OF 2014, I found myself on a brightly lit stage in Puebla, Mexico. Seated next to me was Amy Chua, author of Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother and a vocal proponent of tiger parenting, a form of strict child-rearing common in China and other Asian countries. We’d been invited to debate each other at the Ciudad de las Ideas Festival, an annual gathering of some of the world’s brightest minds in education, public policy, and technology. The auditorium was filled with more than seven thousand people eager to hear how we’d raised our daughters. It was a bit strange to be on a stage at such a large venue, but my innovative teaching philosophy and my daughters’ success in Silicon Valley had gained me some recognition.
Amy Chua’s book, which was a bestseller. The stories she shared about her daughters troubled me. She represented a growing trend in parenting that I thought was, well, really wrong. I’m sure some parents were reading her book and disagreeing with it, but I suspect many of them thought they ought to be tigers themselves. Chua is well known for her controlling, top-down, demanding style. Essentially, her philosophy is that the parent knows best and it’s their responsibility not only to guide their children but to enforce the kind of behavior that leads to success. A few examples: She forbade playdates because they were distracting and useless. She decided which activities her daughters would pursue, regardless of their preferences or interests. It wasn’t good enough for her daughters to get an A– or to be number two in the class. They had to get As and be number one (“in every subject except gym and drama”). Doesn’t sound like much fun, does it?
Amy Chua was worried about her daughters losing the edge that helped shape her own success. In Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, she writes of third-generation immigrants: This generation will be born into the great comforts of the upper middle class . . . They will have wealthy friends who get paid for B-pluses. They may or may not attend private schools, but in either case they will expect expensive, brand-name clothes. Finally and most problematically, they will feel that they have individual rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and therefore be much more likely to disobey their parents and ignore career advice. In short, all factors point to this generation being headed straight for decline.
Amy Chua, Tiger Mom, even said in her talk with me in Puebla, Mexico, that she never worried about kindness or happiness. She just wanted her daughters to be number one. But we’re paying a price by focusing on individual success and perfection. We are inadvertently raising narcissistic children who lack kindness and empathy. We don’t mean to do that, but that is what is happening. They don’t have time to think about other people: they’re too focused on performing. If they don’t excel, they might not receive the love and acceptance they need from you, the parent. How kind is that? So they funnel all their energy into succeeding, which might produce perfect grades but does nothing for their independence and sense of empowerment, let alone their kindness toward others. And when it’s all over, our kids end up entitled and self-obsessed in a society that values individual achievement above almost anything else.
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