Nancy Frates tells a superbly told story about making an impact

Care. Do. Enlist others. Make an Impact. Share your story well.

If you ever come across a situation that you see as so unacceptable, I want you to dig down as deep as you can and find your best mother bear and go after it. (Applause) Thank you. (Applause)

Nancy Frates: Meet the mom who started the Ice Bucket Challenge

Curiosity, Control, and Caring. #fsbl and Bran Ferren’s TED talk on Pantheon miracles.

The best passionate pursuits of learning always seem to begin with exploring, observing, questioning, and being curious. This is why we started #fsbl – “father-son-based learning” – in my family.

As I listened to “Bran Ferren: To create for the ages, let’s combine art and engineering,” I smiled almost continuously throughout the talk because I pictured Ferren on an #fsbl adventure that started with raids of electronics piles, trips to science museums, and a mesmerizing visit to the Pantheon. And his adventure is still going.

Ferren’s curiosity was allowed to flourish as he was granted a high degree of control over his explorations and observations. And from such foundations of his surrounding adults’ pedagogies (and parenting), he developed deep caring for what he was discovering and learning. From these depths of curiosity, control, and caring, Ferren maintained the persistence and intrinsic motivation that nurtures his continuous inquiry, innovation, and impact.

If there is a “formula” for passionate pursuit of learning and difference making in this world, then I believe this is darn close to it!

Curiosity Tap Root @boadams1


RELATED POST: “Could there actually be one ‘C’ to rule them all?!”

Agile parenting and empowering our children for accumulating small successes

Bruce Feiler: Agile programming — for your family

And here’s the worst news of all. Our children sense we’re out of control. Ellen Galinsky of the Families and Work Institute asked 1,000 children, “If you were granted one wish about your parents, what would it be?” The parents predicted the kids would say, spending more time with them. They were wrong. The kids’ number one wish? That their parents be less tired and less stressed.

So how can we change this dynamic? Are there concrete things we can do to reduce stress, draw our family closer, and generally prepare our children to enter the world?

I spent the last few years trying to answer that question, traveling around, meeting families, talking to scholars, experts ranging from elite peace negotiators to Warren Buffett’s bankers to the Green Berets. I was trying to figure out, what do happy families do right and what can I learn from them to make my family happier?

Great advice from Feiler: (lessons for parenting and many other things)

  1. Adapt all the time.
  2. Empower your children.
  3. Tell your story.

“What does learning a lot feel like, Dad?”

Driving PJ, my eight-year old, to school this morning, I asked, “Peanut, how’s school?”

“School’s great, Dad. I love school.”

“Are you learning a lot?”

[Long pause]

“What does learning a lot feel like, Dad?”

That question has stuck with me all day! If you feel so inclined, I’d love to read how you might respond to such a question.

Nothing like crowd-sourcing my parenting!

Grit. Peter Tough #characterANDcognition


There is a lot of advice out there on how best to help our kids thrive, but after surveying the research, I believe that most parents are more worried than they need to be about their children’s grades, test scores and IQ. And what we don’t think about enough is how to help our children build their character — how to help them develop skills like perseverance, grit, optimism, conscientiousness, and self-control, which together arguably do more to determine success than S.A.T. scores or I.Q.

– Paul Tough

Read more:

And hear Daniel Pink’s Office Hours interview with Peter Tough.