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Esther Wojcicki—journalist, teacher, the renowned "Godmother of Silicon Valley," and mother of uber-successful daughters Susan Wojcicki (YouTube’s CEO), Anne Wojcicki (23andMe founder and CEO), and Janet Wojcicki (UCSF doctor and researcher)—did not want to write just another parenting manual.
Her new book, How To Raise Successful People, isn’t an instructional manual to teach your kids how to eat, sleep through the night, or earn a six-figure salary in an ever-more-unstable job market. Instead, it upends the prevalent helicopter parenting philosophy. Our children already have the inner drive to become powerful, happy, and successful on their own. All we need to do is calm our own anxiety and get out of their way.
At WIRED25, Wojcicki ran through her mnemonic TRICK—Trust, Respect, Independence, Collaboration, Kindness—which can equip kids with the mental, moral, and emotional stability necessary to become a self-governing adult who can come up with clever solutions to problems.
WIRED’s Sarah Fallon asked Wojcicki to talk about instances in her own life when she has trusted her own children and grandchildren and given them independence, which ranged from letting Susan choose pink shag carpeting for her bedroom to dropping her grandchildren off at Target and the hair salon, at 8 and 9 respectively, to shop for their own school supplies and get their own haircuts.
“They still talk about how important that was to them,” Wojcicki said. “They felt really trusted and capable … it made a big difference. And Adam looked OK, in spite of everything.”
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