Category Archives: Parenting

A Nation Empowered: Evidence Trumps the Excuses Holding Back America’s Brightest Students

Source: Psychology Today, Apr 2015

acceleration is the most effective intervention for students who are ready for challenge and advanced curriculum. The flip side isn’t as shiny. Students who are not challenged become disengaged from school and their joy of learning goes away.

There are more than 20 forms of acceleration and some are extraordinarily effective, in particular grade-skipping and single-subject acceleration.

Research with tens of thousands of students documents that the vast majority of accelerated students make a good adjustment socially and emotionally, and there are no ill effects.

Pregnancy is Lowest for the Richest

Source: Washington Examiner, Feb 215
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the richest women got pregnant just 2.9 percent of the time

Table 1

“Crazy is a Compliment”

Source: FT, Oct 2014

She has a wise take on the question of risk. “Pretending your job is safe and your company is stable leaves you dangerously exposed. If you think risk taking is risky, being risk averse is often riskier.”

… trying something new and being disruptive will mean challenging the status quo, group think and powerful incumbents. Then, accusations of craziness may follow. But in her experience, “almost all entrepreneurs at one point or another have been accused of being out of their minds”.

What prevents more of us branching out and taking greater commercial risk? It is what a colleague of Rottenberg calls the “pre-Bannister mistake” of self-limitation. Before Sir Roger Bannister broke the four- minute barrier for running a mile in 1954, no one thought such a feat possible. But three years later 16 runners had done it. Your dreams may be “crazy” but they may also be worth shooting for.

Experimentation is also vital. She suggests entrepreneurs should “minnovate” – take a lot of small steps.

Stand out from the crowd, Rottenberg says, and be ready to be rebuffed. “If they don’t call you crazy you aren’t thinking big enough.” But remember you have a home life, she warns, and signs off with a homely message for her daughters: “I can be an entrepreneur for a short time but I am a mommy forever.”

Getting into Harvard: Make Your Children Interesting

Source: The Atlantic, Jun 2014

“We could fill our class twice over with valedictorians,” Harvard President Drew Gilpin Faust told an audience at the Aspen Ideas Festival, sponsored by the Aspen Institute and The Atlantic, on Monday. That means admissions officers rely on intangibles like interesting essays or particularly unusual recommendations to decide who comprises the 5.9 percent of applicants who get in.

Faust’s top tip for raising a Harvard man or woman:

Make your children interesting!”

Faust recommended encouraging children to follow their passions as a way to develop an interesting personality. It’s much easier to complete a checklist, however daunting, than to actually be interesting.

Related Resource: Prep Beijing, Jul 2014

The thing about being “interesting” is that it is subjective; there’s no checklist or criteria to check off, there’s no one definition of interesting.

Instead, approach it by encouraging your child to be themselves, rather than force on them the rat race of test prep, tutoring and abundance of extra-curricular activities that robs them of time to think, self-reflect and enjoy themselves.

When your child isn’t overburdened, it’s easier to be creative and develop passions — and of course, to persevere through challenges and setbacks that often come with trying to reach new and higher levels.

Google X has 8 projects

Source: Fortune, May 2014

Google X has precisely eight projects, four of which Brin discussed, and he won’t allow new ones until a current member of the class “graduates.”

Related Reading: Recode, May 2014

Loving Our Child(ren)

Source: NYTimes, Jan 2014

Senior draws on the psychologist Daniel Kahneman’s distinction between the “experiencing self” that exists in the present moment and the “remembering self” that constructs a life’s narrative.

“Our experiencing selves tell researchers that we prefer doing the dishes — or napping, or shopping, or answering emails — to spending time with our kids. . . .

But our remembering selves tell researchers that no one — and nothing — provides us with so much joy as our children. It may not be the happiness we live day to day, but it’s the happiness we think about, the happiness we summon and remember, the stuff that makes up our life-tales.” She talks about parents’ pride in their children, not only in their accomplishments but even in their basic development as human beings, their growth into kindness and generosity.

“Kids may complicate our lives,” she writes. “But they also make them simpler. Children’s needs are so overwhelming, and their dependence on us so absolute, that it’s impossible to misread our moral obligation to them. . . . We bind ourselves to those who need us most, and through caring for them, grow to love them, grow to delight in them, grow to marvel at who they are.