I LOVED this book.
The Self-Driven Child: The Science and Sense of Giving Your Kids More Control Over Their Lives
The basic premise of The Self-Driven Child is that, as parents, we want to help our children find their own inner drive and make the most of their potential.
The rest of the book is broken down into how to help your child find their inner drive (with some brief – and easy to understand – brain science) and how to deal with the things that get in the way of them developing inner drive.
There are chapters about homework (one of the places in modern life where most parents see a lack of self-motivation in their kids), how to find your own sense of control and decrease your anxiety, downtime, sleep, technology, exercise, learning disabilities, college prep and more.
I devoured every one of them.
It’s a super readable book and I never found myself bored or tempted to skim.
Also, you know how some non-fiction books feel like they could have been a pamphlet instead? This one didn’t feel like that to me at all – it was just JAMMED with fantastic examples, ideas, research, and things to work on in your own home.
I especially love that at the end of each chapter, there is a section called “What to do tonight” with really specific things you can do to implement their research and suggestions yourself.
These sections also act as a great overview of each chapter so you can refresh your memory of the most important parts of each chapter without re-reading the whole thing.
One of my other favorite things about this book is the push back against the idea that there is only one way to be successful. There are so so many ways for kids to succeed in the world and as adults and not every child needs to be valedictorian or get into Harvard to have a successful, fulfilling, happy life.
I think this is the kind of book that can take a lot of stress off you as a parent – to help you deal with the pressure of other parents or social expectations and remember what your job is as a parent and what is NOT your job (for instance. your child’s homework? Not your job).
I got asked by a reader if this book would be useful if her children were still really young (toddler ages) and my answer is a resounding YES.
Many of the examples in The Self-Driven Child deal with older kids, but the principles of letting your child have control over their own life, dealing with your own anxieties and setting them up for success with good habits around sleep, technology, and downtime are valuable for parents with children of any age.
Frankly, I think the sooner a parent reads this book, the better able they’ll be to help their child succeed from the outset, rather than having to try to adjust and fix things down the road.
I’m so glad to have read this book and can’t wait to talk about it this month (you can see the reading schedule here!).
Have you read The Self-Driven Child? I’d love to hear what you thought!