Raising a self motivated child

What's your child's favorite pastime? Well, besides Minecraft.

You should let them engage in it as much as possible, according to William Stixrud and Ned Johnson, authors of The Self-Driven Child: The Science and Sense of Giving Your Kids More Control Over Their Lives.

"When I used to do psychotherapy, I was struck by how many young adults I saw who said, 'I feel like I've spent my whole life trying to live up to other people's expectations. I want to try to figure out what's really important to me,'" says Stixrud. He believes that children must have a sense of control over their lives.


"If a kid is deeply involved in something that he loves to do, he's going to create a brain-state that combines high focus, high energy, high effort and low stress. Ideally, at least in our professional lives, that's where we want to be most of the time. We want to be interested, engaged, active, alert, and focused but not highly stressed."

As for how parents can ease up on the need to control, Stixrud suggests to take a role of a consultant rather than a manager of your child's life. You can offer your knowledge and help instead of forcing them to do their homework.

Read a full interview with William Stixrud here.