What Freakonomics author Steven Levitt thinks is important for parents to do

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I read with great interest an interview of Steven Levitt by Christopher Kompanek published in the Financial Times. I have loved each edition in the Freakonomics franchise not necessarily because I agree with all the conclusions, but because it’s a great way to be reminded to think differently, to tackle an issue from an unexpected angle, to question assumptions and commonly held beliefs…

His views on parenting in particular caught my attention. His belief is that passion and curiosity are two most important qualities he hopes to instill in his own children, currently ages from 10 to 14. He is quoted to say:

“A lot of parents emphasize achievement, but I think that’s the wrong approach. Almost every kid knows how to read and do math, but when I look at my students, what separates the truly exceptional ones is a combination of creativity and excitement for life. Very early on I made my goal not to have my kids be really good readers or really good at math but instead to try to instill in them this idea of thinking and excitement of pursuing what they love.”

This closely aligns with my own perspective on what is important to get our kids to understand, now that there is more and more evidence that EQ is a stronger predictor of success than IQ.

Would love to get more perspectives on this, and other things you consider as the most important things to teach our children.

Alexandra T. Greenhill, CEO cofounder myBestHelper, raising three kids that we hope will be at least passionate and curious

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