Esther Wojcicki AKA the Godmother of Silicon Valley, legendary teacher, and mother of a Super Family has been inspiring legends like Steve Jobs. She shares her tried-and-tested methods for raising happy, healthy, successful children using TRICK, standing for Trust, Respect, Independence, Collaboration, and Kindness in How to Raise Successful People. Let her tell us about her book.
Hi Esther, so why did you write this book… now?
Esther Wojcicki : I wrote the book for three reasons. Number one is that I see an epidemic worldwide of helicopter parenting and that is creating a generation of adults who feel that they always need help and they always need approval before they do anything. Kids are trained by their parents, who do it unintentionally, that the adults know the best and that the adults will direct their activities and make sure they stay on the path to success. Helicopter parenting disempowers the kids.
The number two reason that I wrote the book is to show teachers and parents that we no longer need to use the lecture based method as the main method of education, but that we can can use technology to support teachers who in turn gives students more control of projects that they can do in class. Kids learn the most from project-based learning and from Collaborative Learning. They learned very little from memorization and most education and most countries around the world focus on memorization. Studies show that most people forget what they memorized after just a few weeks.
And the third reason that I wrote the book is to answer all those questions that all those hundreds of parents ask me about what I had done with my daughters to raise such entrepreneurial children. The answer is in the book.
An extract from your book that best represents yourself?
If you want the kids to follow the rules, which I am sure you do, then they need to help create them. If they create them, they will more likely follow them. Also it makes them feel good about themselves since their ideas are respected and they have more control over their lives. They are an equal part of the team—that builds their self esteem.
The trends that are just emerging and that you believe in the most?
E.W.: The number one Trend that is emerging that I believe in the most and this is thanks to the pandemic, is that kids can actually learn online effectively and that is if it’s collaborative. That last part, if it’s collaborative, is the most important part. No one likes to learn alone. it’s the interaction between people and between the learning that makes the learning meaningful
If you had to give one piece of advice to a reader of this article, what would it be?
E.W.: The number one piece of advice that I would give a reader of this article is to read my book and to understand the acronym that is in my book which is T.R.I.C.K. It stands for trust, respect, Independence, collaboration, and kindness. Parents and teachers should give students more Trust, more respect, give them an opportunity to work independently, collaborate with them instead of dictating, and always treat them with kindness. It works for parenting, for the classroom, for the corporate world and for your interpersonal relationships
In a nutshell, what are the next topics that you will be passionate about?
E.W.: All my topics are about education but my next topics will be about healthcare. You cannot learn if you are sick.
Thank you Esther
Many thanks Bertrand