The case for self-driven kids

There’s a lot that resonates with me in The Self-Driven Child: The Science and Sense of Giving Your Kids More Control Over Their Lives, but nothing more so than these three false assumptions they invite parents to confront.

False assumption #1 is that there is one narrow pathway to success in life and that kids need to be competitive at all times or be left behind. This assumption places the responsibility on parents to push, control, and manage their kids’ journey along that one defined path.

False assumption #2 is that it is critical to do well in school if you want to do well in life. There are “some winners and many losers,” and parents better make sure their kids fall into the winning segment.

False assumption #3 is that the more parents push, the more likely their kids will become accomplished and successful adults.

For parents who read those false assumptions and find them anything but false, the book probably isn’t for you. But if you’re a parent who’s tired of being made to feel that your kids need to be top-of-the-class, curve-busting, standardized-test-taking, gold-medal-winning leaders and inventors and rocket scientists just to have any chance of making it in the world today, I think you’ll find the book both refreshing and reassuring.

And here’s an NPR interview with the authors that includes the transcript so you can either listen or read.