This mom thinks overachieving kids are overrated

By Adam Skobodzinski

Jane Andraka is changing the face of parenting as we know it. Her son, Jack, is the inventor behind a life-changing invention that detects early signs of pancreatic cancer. Her other son, Luke, is studying electrical engineering. She doesn’t credit their innovation to overachieving or checking off “the right boxes” in school – instead she credits her children’s success with curiosity and creative thinking.

Image by TED/the Andrakas

And how did her kids get there? Jane hijacked her sons’ education.

Instead of raising overachieving teens, she led her sons down a path of exploration and ideas. These paths are the true heart of innovation. Jane explains why struggling and success is important:

“[I try] to guide them to a place where they can excel and find some measure of success. It really drives me crazy when parents say, ‘I just want them to be happy.’ I want more than that.”

And it’s more than that, too. Success isn’t about checking off the “right boxes” or jumping through hoops. Jane reminds us that parents and mentors need to serve as resources, too:

“Kids don’t [really] know what they like, and so that’s your job [as a parent], to expose them to as much as you can.”

H/t via TED

Stephanie Valente
Content Manager


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