• The Formula For Raising Successful Children | Ronald F. Ferguson And Tatsha Robertson | Episode 59

  • We all want our children to have a good life and wonder if there is a secret to raising successful children. Ronald F. Ferguson and Tatsha Robertson, authors of The Formula: Unlocking the Secrets to Raising Highly Successful Children, have answered that question with a resounding YES! Through hundreds of interviews and research from Harvard’s “How I Was Parented Project”, Ronald and Tatsha discovered a formula for raising successful children. They join Mighty Parenting podcast hosts Judy Davis and Sandy Fowler to discuss their findings along with ideas for applying this to the teen and college years.



    A Favorite Quote from the Show:

    Do not load your child’s schedule with things to do to keep them busy. Rather, help them find opportunities to explore their passions and do whatever you can to support their passion.

    High Points of Our Reflections on Parenting:

    Successful means being fully realized; making the most of yourself and your own potential or doing all you can with your human potential.

    Smarts + Purpose + Agency = Fully Realized | People who have the smarts, found something they care about and have the get-up-and-go to do something about it.

    Why do some parents just know what to do to raise high-achieving kids? Can you teach a parent to be strategic in their parenting? The answer is yes.

    Tatsha and Ron, through the interviews they conducted, found patterns and identified a formula for raising high-achieving children. It involves parents fulfilling 8 roles throughout a child’s life. The roles are taken on as needed throughout the child’s life and include:

    1. Early Learning Partner gets kids hooked on learning. Kids learn to enjoy problem solving and learned to read.
    2. The Flight Engineer stays tuned into what’s happening at school. They watch from a distance but if there’s a problem they get involved to make sure the world, the school, is serving their child.
    3. The Fixer makes sure resources are available to keep the doors to opportunity open.
    4. The Revealer exposes the child to the richness of life. They show the child the world is bigger than their neighborhood.
    5. The Philosopher helps the child deal with life’s big imponderables. They take the child seriously from a young age and respect the child as a thinker. They help them ultimately find purpose and an ethical compass.
    6. The model is a parent who conducts themselves in a way that is worthy of emulation. Sometimes the model may be a grandparent or great grandparent.
    7. The Negotiator helps the child learn how to self-advocate, to speak truth to power respectfully, how to carry themselves in a way that people will want to cooperate and collaborate with them.
    8. The GPS Navigator is the voice in the child’s head when the parent is not there.

    Whether your child is a high-achiever or not, these roles will help prepare your child for life. This is strategic parenting.

    When your child asks what you are going to do about a situation, ask your child what they can do about the situation.

    These roles are about helping and guiding our kids and modeling behavior and a way of living. It’s not about taking over for our kids.

    A Passion Project is a project focused on something your child loves, something that really lights them up. These are the things that absorb their attention.

    Do not load your child’s schedule with things to do to keep them busy. Rather, help them find opportunities to explore their passions and do whatever you can to support their passion.

    A parent’s job is to support passion projects. These passion projects will help our kids learn essential lessons from perseverance to problem solving to knowing they can learn anything.

    It’s never too late to implement these roles or support your child’s passion projects. The first step is to tune into your child. Then find ways to be The Revealer and the other roles.

    When being The Negotiator, ask your child to justify and make their case when they want something. This helps them learn to self-advocate.

    Don’t filter what your child’s passion project should be. It’s about intellectual engagement and walking through a project and bringing it through to fruition. They can transfer that understanding to everything else they do.

    Ask, “What are you most excited about today?” Then ask follow-up questions that signal your interest.

    Remember it’s all about figuring it out.

    Our Guests:

    Ronald F. Ferguson, PhD, joined the faculty at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government in 1983 and has spent his entire career there using teaching, research, and writing to increase the flow of knowledge between the university and the world. Ron holds an undergraduate degree from Cornell University and a PhD from MIT, both in economics.

    Tatsha Robertson, MA, is an award-winning editor and writer with more than twenty years of experience handling investigative, feature, and news stories. As the first female New York City Bureau Chief and National Rover for the Boston Globe, she began studying how parents raise successful children some ten years ago.


    To learn more or connect with our guests visit https://mastersoftheformula.weebly.com/the-authors.html

    Want More? Get exclusive content and learn about ways to support the Mighty Parenting on Patreon!

    […] stays tuned in to what's happening, typically at school, and most of this is from a difference," says Ferguson, "but if something starts to go off track the flight engineer quickly gets involved... the flight […]


    […] The Formula For Raising Successful Children | Ronald F. Ferguson And Tatsha Robertson | Episode 59 […]