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How to Raise Successful People

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How to Raise Successful People

Simple Lessons for Radical Results

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt,

15 min read
7 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

By trusting and respecting your children, you can help them become independent, capable and kind individuals. 

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“There’s a real lack of understanding of what parenting is about,” explains mom and teacher Esther Wojcicki. She sees parents who are fearful that their child will fail, and anxious that they’ll make irreparable mistakes. This fear and insecurity come from a place of love – they want their children to succeed – but the result is a generation of anxiety-ridden and helpless young people. Using the “Woj Way” that stresses trust, respect, independence, collaboration and kindness, will help you raise children who become self-reliant, capable and confident adults.


Parenting experts seldom offer advice on how to raise successful, principled and happy adults.

Today’s parents try to prevent their offspring from experiencing any hardship, adversity or failure. As a result, they’re raising fearful, dependent children who lack determination and perseverance. Parents also emphasize personal achievement above all else, teaching kids to focus solely on performance, and discounting values such as kindness toward others and gratitude for what they have. Society’s obsession with children’s happiness and achievements is making kids more unhappy, depressed and anxious. It is failing to prepare them to face the normal adversities of life.

As the mother of three girls, Esther (“Woj”) Wojcicki developed a parenting philosophy that she based on her gut instincts and experiences as a journalist and teacher. Her daughters Susan and Anne are CEOs of YouTube and 23andMe respectively. Daughter Janet is a pediatrics professor at the University of California in San Francisco. Woj’s former students include actor James Franco, pro basketball player Jeremy Lin, Economist editor Gady Epstein and psychologist Craig Vaughan...

About the Author

Educator and journalist Esther Wojcicki is the mother of two CEOs and a college professor. She built a renowned media arts program at Palo Alto High School and serves as the vice chair of the nonprofit Creative Commons. She was a leader in developing the Google Teacher Academy.

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