Posted in: Books, Mothers, Uncategorized

Wonderful Mom – Esther Wojcicki

Background research:

  • book: moonshots in education: to enable every child to reach their fullest potential by being fully engaged and inspired in their learning. …the teacher needs to change from the “sage on the stage” to “the guide on the side.”  
  • faculty at singularity university
  • dean at harmony plus
  • is an American journalist, educator, and vice chair of the Creative Commons advisory council. Wojcicki has studied education and technology. She is the founder of the Palo Alto High School Media Arts Program in Palo Alto, CA.
  • The mother of two Silicon Valley CEOs and a college professor: “Kids are supposed to screw up as kids so they screw up less as adults,” “One of the biggest mistakes we make as parents is to assume personal responsibility for our children’s emotions,” she writes. No matter how much you love your child, they have to suffer a bit. It’s called “growing up.”
  • book: How to Raise Successful People: how to empower your kids. What do you do for their breakfast?
  • Twitter, facebook, ….

Notes from attending Parent Education Series on 8/29/2020 organized by Harmony Plus

Helicopter Parenting (HP): From good intentions to poor outcomes

  • 2014 debate with Amy Chua
  • Amy: parenting is difficult, stressful, kindness does not matter. She has goals for her kids.
  • Book: Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, Panda Mama
  • List of Amy’s daughters could not …. They both played at Carnegie Hall as teenagers. First daughter graduated from Harvard and joined the army.
  • Signs of a HP
  • HP hurts kids regardless of love or support.
  • UC Berkeley’s Ultra-popular adulting class shows just how badly our society has failed young people.
  • Book: How to Raise an Adult by Julie Lythcott-Haims (Former dean at Stanford).

Helicopter kids problems

  • Have more health problems: HP can cause Binge Drinking, Addiction and other mental health issues.
  • They feel entitled and “center of the universe.” “I demand the best because I’m worth it.”
  • They have emotional problems. If they were angry, their parents calmed them down. more likely to be depressed. 2013 study by U of Mary Washington in VA, to burn out
  • They rely on medication: 2011 study by U. of Tennessee “study drug” abuse
  • Lack self-regulation skills. 2014 study U. of Colorado.

Skills for life missing

  • managing time
  • managing money
  • getting from here to there…
  • communicating with others
  • maintaining your environment
  • healthcare and self-care
  • stress management
  • building personal relationships.

kids need routines to feel secure

  • Routines eliminate power struggles
  • help kids cooperate
  • learn to take charge of their own activities
  • learn the concept of Looking forward to things they enjoy
  • regular routines help kids get on a schedule

Media Arts Program

TRICK: trust, respect, independence, collaboration, kindness; Change parenting, change the world.

One of the best thing the teacher can give to students is Patience.


  • opportunities for kids to take risk, to be leaders. …
  • quiz to take to see if you are a HP.

Q & A

  • Social Media to connect with your kids, be a listener. That is a good way to stay in their lives.
  • immigrant parents: disconnection between parents and kids. Be open and supportive. good listener. how’s sb. doing in the class? more accepting.
  • kids don’t have self-discipline. collaborate with them. what is your goal, what is your schedule. come to decision together.

Napa travel with 8 grandchildren. Every kid was on their phone. Confiscate all the phones. No…Talk, what do you want to do in Napa. Tell your schedule about the phone. .. All the kids went to another room and came up with a rule “No phone from 9 am to 9 pm. “

Kids learn a lot of computer games. with limits. Try to do those games yourself. Lead to a lot skills and technology. Be selective.

Give the book to kids and read together.

main goal back in 20 century: memorization and following the rules.

today: no one looks for those people instead every company looks for: creative, critical thinker, collaborate well, communicate well. 4Cs. perfect score, after 2 weeks, you only have 2 percent left in your brain.

  • father-son relationship: both have problems. respect If you don’t respect your partner, it is the beginning of the end. They have different things to worry.
  • career path. professional ballerina. let her do/try. Ann is talented in voice, but she chose to do ice skating. She became semi-skater. Follow your dreams. Even you fail, you can say, I tried. James … gifted mathematician. he decided to be an actor at 17. He followed his dream. [Movie: Good Will Hunting – I understand that I have no right to expect a talented person to reach his full potential. He has right to do whatever he likes. Even I feel so pity that he wasted his God given gift. Now I have changed into this attitude: Kid, you have talent to reach higher. But it is your choice to be either outstanding or common. Both are good. But you have to set your goal and live a life that matches your goal. ]
  • lie. big things: he goes to John’s house, but he is not going there. small things: he is playing games but he said he reads book. Trust. None of us likes surprises. After school you stay with your teacher. I never send anybody to office. You have to write an essay about what you did wrong.
  • college students: different political views. New York Times, Economists, LA times, Washington Posts. least reliable news is Fox. try to avoid talking political issues. or give you an article, or let me expose you to another side by showing you another article. Important for them to say what they think. And counter them from other sources. Stay open and informed. Prove your sources are reliable. Interview both sides.

black life matters.

  • personality: shy. because they’ve been helped a lot. You have to change now. My class has 60-70 kids and some one does not talk in the beginning. I show that I confess that I make mistakes. This opens kids up, knowing that it’s totally fine to make mistakes, verbal or wrong questions. give them leadership, let them do something. open the door taking to people. Throw them to the pool so that they learn to swim. Help them build confidence by doing things. 2 years old,…
  • How to convince the other parent to do the same thing. Community – your family. child is gift from God. Your job is a nurture the child to be whatever she wants to be. If a plant does not grow well, you blame the environment not the plant.
  • TRICK vs HP: stay home parents and working parents — providing kids something to do and give parents a break.
  • distance learning: 7 hours of zoom calls is not effective. kids are trapped in that. Have them read a book with a friend. instead of lecturing for the whole time. different teaching methods. 15 minutes of lecturing, then let kids interact. Kids miss their friends. They don’t miss their teachers and buildings. We are going to forget what other human beings look like.
  • different teaching methods. don’t compare them, don’t have a favorite, which one of my fingers is my favorite? I have to cut one which one should I cut? Boys … harder, to wait until 16. huge shift at this age. stop worrying about what they miss from school.
  • imposing consequences. yes. don’t bail them out. life has consequences. They learn from their mistakes. They went to bed at 7 until they are 8 or 9. You need sleep to develop your brain.
  • talk back. debate – argue effectively. wining is not good. [This is our Chinese culture.]
  • regrets. when Ann was born, J was three, S was four. I moved from Palo Alto to Switzerland. I would not move. stressful. too much at that time.
  • measure progress of home education: they feel good about themselves. math skills and reading for 10-12. Khan academy. Don’t worry. Polio pandemic, every day there was a friend who got polio. A lot friends ended up crippled and some died. optimistic vs pessimistic.
  • kids don’t know what they want to do when they are in high school. I would not tell them what to do. Let them to discover themselves. S decided to go to India for one year. A. took a trip by herself.. trans-sebia … J went to Africa… They are smart and will figure out what to do.

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