How parents and kids define success differently

Denise Pope, PhD Senior Lecturer & Author, shares advice for parents on how to raise successful children and how to setting the right definitions of success is important
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How parents and kids define success differently

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So every time I do a talk, I start out by asking parents how they define success. And they say the things you would think they would say, “I want my kids to be happy.” “I want my kids to be healthy.” “I want my kids to be fulfilled, give back to society.” Wonderful, beautiful ways to define success. And then when I ask kids – teenagers, middle schoolers, even college kids – they don’t say that. The first thing they say is, “Money.” “Grades.” “Test scores.” “Where you get into college.” “Popularity.” These are all extrinsic, external ways of defining success as opposed to the parents, who are talking about intrinsic, internal ways of defining success. That’s what we want to highlight.

Denise Pope, PhD Senior Lecturer & Author, shares advice for parents on how to raise successful children and how to setting the right definitions of success is important

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Denise Pope, PhD

Senior Lecturer & Author

Denise Pope, PhD, is a Senior Lecturer at the Stanford University School of Education. For the past 13 years, she has specialized in student engagement, curriculum studies, qualitative research methods, and service learning. She is co-founder of Challenge Success, a research and intervention project that aims to reduce unhealthy pressure on youth and champions a broader vision of youth success. Challenge Success is an expanded version of the SOS: Stressed-Out Students project that Dr. Pope founded and directed from 2003-2008. She lectures nationally on parenting techniques and pedagogical strategies to increase student health, engagement with learning, and integrity. Her book, Doing School: How We Are Creating a Generation of Stressed Out, Materialistic, and Miseducated Students was awarded Notable Book in Education by the American School Board Journal, 2001. Dr. Pope is a three time recipient of the Stanford University School of Education Outstanding Teacher and Mentor Award.  Prior to teaching at Stanford, Dr. Pope taught high school English in Fremont, CA and college composition and rhetoric courses at Santa Clara University. She lives in Los Altos, CA with her husband and three children.

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