The Self-Driven Child: The Science and Sense of Giving Your Kids More Control Over Their Lives by William Stixrud and Ned Johnson

“Instead of trusting kids with choices . . . many parents insist on micromanaging everything from homework to friendships. For these parents, Stixrud and Johnson have a simple message: Stop.” –NPR

“This humane, thoughtful book turns the latest brain science into valuable practical advice for parents.” –Paul Tough, New York Times bestselling author of How Children Succeed

A few years ago, Bill Stixrud and Ned Johnson started noticing the same problem from different angles: Even high-performing kids were coming to them acutely stressed and lacking motivation. Many complained they had no control over their lives. Some stumbled in high school or hit college and unraveled. Bill is a clinical neuropsychologist who helps kids gripped by anxiety or struggling to learn. Ned is a motivational coach who runs an elite tutoring service. Together they discovered that the best antidote to stress is to give kids more of a sense of control over their lives. But this doesn’t mean giving up your authority as a parent. In this groundbreaking book they reveal how you can actively help your child to sculpt a brain that is resilient, and ready to take on new challenges.

The Self-Driven Child offers a combination of cutting-edge brain science, the latest discoveries in behavioral therapy, and case studies drawn from the thousands of kids and teens Bill and Ned have helped over the years to teach you how to set your child on the real road to success. As parents, we can only drive our kids so far. At some point, they will have to take the wheel and map out their own path. But there is a lot you can do before then to help them tackle the road ahead with resilience and imagination.

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“Stixrud and Johnson provide compassionate, well-supported suggestions and strategies for parents to help their kids deal with ever-more-competitive academics and extracurriculars…By studying the levels of stress and motivation in children, the authors discovered that ‘a low sense of control is enormously stressful and that autonomy is the key to developing motivation.’ Stixrud and Johnson theorize that a sense of control is the ‘antidote to stress,’ touching on common stressors for American kids, such as social media, demanding homework, and lack of sleep . . . The authors make a highly persuasive case for how parents can help their children segue from feeling stressed and powerless to feeling loved, trusted, and supported.”

                                                                              Publishers Weekly

Reach out to the authors:
Dr. William Stixrud

Ned Johnson

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