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How to Raise Successful People by Esther Wojcicki

Key Takeaways

1. Trust

  1. Never dismiss kid’s thoughts or ideas just because they’re kids. Listen to them and respect them

  2. Trust yourself and trust your kids. Lack of trust in our society creates anxiety and stress and this is passed onto our kids

  3. The majority of people are trustworthy and you want to instill this into your kids

  4. You need to start instilling trust in your baby as soon as they’re born. Respond to them and give them what they need so that they learn to trust you and their environment. Trust that they can put themselves to sleep. Comfort them and be with them when they cry or whimper, but you don’t always need to pick them up – just pat them on their stomachs when they’re lying on their back’s and give them a chance to soothe themselves. Kids learn to self soothe if you give them a chance to learn how. You want them to want to be with you and not to need to be with you

  5. Always ask yourself if what you’re doing is building and establishing trust or breaking it down

  6. Children need to take risks in order to learn, grow, and find their boundaries. Don’t instill your fears and biases in them – let them learn for themselves

  7. Kids will break your trust at some point – it is just part of life and you must hold them accountable but you can do so in a good-humored way so as not to rupture the relationship

  8. You have to trust that you’ve taught your kids well and you can’t control them. Let them make their own decisions and become their own people

  9. Parents need to calm down! Kids have their own timeline and will do it (whatever “it” is) when they’re ready. Obsessing and worrying about it won’t help anyone

2. Respect

  1. Respect means living it out. You have to model it every day and in every interaction

  2. Never force subjects or hobbies on your kids. Find a way to get them self-motivated or into something else. Respect what your children are drawn to and let them pursue those interests. Don’t push what you want for them but make sure they’re always doing something outside of school

  3. Avoid baby talk – treat kids like adults as soon as possible, trust and respect them.

  4. Ages 0-5 are the most important socially and developmentally. Use them to help them become independent kids and later independent and empowered adults

  5. You have to respect kid’s timelines but when they’re doing nothing, such as when they graduate from college, you have to get them moving. Six months free rent is fine but they can’t be doing nothing

  6. Feeling respected as a human being is an innate want and when you don’t get it, it leads to fear, isolation, and distance between parent and child

3. Independence

  1. Financial independence is of utmost importance to instill. Teach compound interest and the power of paying off credit cards every month. Travel and education should get the highest priority and spend

  2. Don’t do anything for your children that they can do themselves

  3. Practice the “French Pause” when your child wakes up in the middle of the night. Before rushing out and soothing your child, give them a minute to see if they self soothe. If not, go in and comfort them but this helps them learn how to soothe themselves and sleep without needing you there

  4. Temper trap tantrums are about control and, depending on the context and what they want, sometimes you should give it to them. About 20% of the time let them dress themselves or put on their own shoes or do what they’re asking. This will help give them a sense of accomplishment and help them learn

  5. Your kid’s homework is their work. Give them advice if they ask for it but never do it for them

  6. Always give children a job that this theirs and theirs alone

  7. Give them certain freedoms like decorating their own rooms

  8. Shopping is a great way to teach. Help your kids understand what a budget it, how to select groceries, how to put back products if you’re over budget, etc

  9. It is really important for kids to see you feel and know that you don’t know everything. Admit when you messed up. react to it, well and show that failing is a huge and important part of learning

4. Collaboration

  1. Collaborate > Dictate

  2. Cooperating with adults helps empowers kids and shows them that they can problem solve on their, own giving them confidence and independence

  3. Build a mutually beneficial relationship which helps deepen the relationship and build agency

  4. Give options rather than dictating. Red or blue sweater? Rather than do you want to wear a sweater

  5. Get kids involved in chores, budgets, questions, planning, and decision making. This makes them feel valued. For example, ask them how they would regulate phone usage and that what they determine should be implemented

  6. Having a big group of friends and playing sports greatly help children learn how to collaborate

  7. Guide and support their decisions rather than telling them what to do

  8. Important to have kids reflect and express their feelings. Can sit alone and think, write, or draw

5. Kindness

  1. Kindness and gratitude are often overlooked. A self-centered view of the world is harmful and also takes away some of the major joys in life – helping others

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