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How to Raise Successful People: Simple Lessons for Radical Results

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  2,161 ratings  ·  267 reviews
The Godmother of Silicon Valley, legendary teacher, and mother of a Super Family shares her tried-and-tested methods for raising happy, healthy, successful children using Trust, Respect, Independence, Curiosity, and Kindness: TRICK.

Esther Wojcicki—“Woj” to her many friends and admirers—is famous for three things: teaching a high school class that has changed the lives of t
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published May 7th 2019 by Mariner Books (first published 2019)
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Average rating 3.92  · 
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May 13, 2019 rated it it was ok
Wojcicki's basic concept is great. She advocates for the importance of teaching children about trust, respect, independence, collaboration and kindness, and explains how she did so with her own children and her students. Though the concept is important, I found the personal stories she told to support her ideas came across more as bragging. She has good reason to brag - she has raised three very successful kids and is clearly doing something right as a parent and teacher. However, I had trouble ...more
Erin Bomboy
Jun 24, 2019 rated it it was ok
Esther Wojcicki seems like a nice enough lady, and she should rightly be proud of her three daughters' success, but this was a slog from beginning to end.

First, I'm not sure why she chose TRICK as her acronym. The word carries such negative connotations (turn a trick, play a trick) that it casts a pall over what is an approach to positive parenting. Furthermore, the values (trust, respect, independence, collaboration, kindness) are the vague ones of seemingly all corporations and for-profit ente
Apr 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
I read this book in one sitting. I will start by saying that I am not a fan of parenting books in general. I find that they are either written by people who aren't parents or people who tell you there's one right way. Neither of which works for me. I have a teenager who rolls his eyes each time he sees me look at a parenting book and tells me that they are not worth it.

Alas, I picked up this book anyway because I am always open to learning, growing and trying to do better. There's much in this b
Jul 29, 2019 rated it did not like it
I felt like this book by Esther Wojcicki ran the gamut of the good, the bad, and the ugly.

First, the good: There is some valuable advice in these pages, and I particularly appreciated the focus on parents working through their own trauma and the chapter on trusting your kids.

The bad: As noted by other reviewers, Wojcicki's tales of her children and her students often come across as bragging. The points she's making are valid. This is an issue not so much of the what as the way. I also didn't a
Rob Anderson
Jun 26, 2019 rated it liked it
This one is tough to review. It’s an interesting book with lots of individual parts that succeed, but I’m not sure it works as a whole. As a parenting book, it is a bit frustrating. Obviously there isn’t a “silver bullet” method for raising “successful” kids and it’s unrealistic to expect any magic answers to common parenting challenges, but I was hoping for something a little more well-defined than what Wojcicki offers. That said, I like her TRICK concept and their are some very good (and inter ...more
Krishna patel
Jul 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book had suggestions and science-backed tactics to help build strong, independent, and kind individuals. Woj doesn't cite everything in the book as it's mentioned but there is an appendix and that makes it super easy to read without feeling lost or that you need a child development degree or more.

Trust, Responsibility, Independence, Collaboration, Kindness. These are highly categories that scratch the surface of basic human needs. I love that it offers a collaborative approach to raising k
Jul 16, 2019 rated it did not like it
I really thought I would love this book but it is full of bragging and name dropping. Not really what I was expecting at all.
Emil Petersen
Aug 01, 2019 rated it it was ok
At the bottom line, the message of Esther Wojcicki's book is actually pretty good. The problem is that this takes up about a quarter of the book; the last three quarters are filled with self-indulgence and bragging. I found it very annoying. Small stories of the form "this person such and such had a big problem that nobody could figure out. Then I met that person and could see right away that the solution was such and such. I have always been like this and have raised my three daughters like thi ...more
Apr 18, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: parenting, netgalley
This book is full of helpful, accessible, practical advice. The author's TRICK (Trust, Respect, Independence, Curiosity, and Kindness) method is great. The very long personal introduction from the author felt unnecessary as did the many personal anecdotes, which is why I dropped my review to 3 stars.

I received an ARC from NetGalley.
Jul 23, 2019 rated it liked it
It wasn’t terrible, and I got most of the way through, but the incessant name dropping and self-aggrandizing was too much for me to take. Some good tricks (ha) for both parenting and teaching, though, but not a book’s worth.
Ryan Monson
Jul 12, 2019 rated it liked it
Overall I liked the content in this book and will use many of the strategies with my own children. I gave the book a 3, not because of the content, but because of how it is written.

The book started out strong and has a lot of really good ideas but it really struggles with its identity and audience. I think Wojcicki should have written two separate books; "How to Raise Successful People" and "How to Teach Successful People". Early on, most of the examples/stories that she relayed in the book were
May 25, 2019 rated it liked it
Interesting but flawed.

Wojciki puts together a framework for child raising which is almost diametrically opposed to the “Tiger Mother” approach. It’s an interesting take (particularly the emphasis on kindness), but the tone is maddening. Wojciki is the mother of three incredibly successful women, and a celebrated educator and speaker in her own right, and boy does she let you know it. There’s a heavy strand of smug self-congratulation which runs all the way through this: “… and who knew that I’
Karolina Šilingienė
Dec 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Beautiful book on installing TRICK (trust, respect, independence, collaboration and kindness) values into human beings. This “parenting” book doesn’t give you any cheap advice or simple lessons and that’s why I appreciated this book, because raising a successful human means demonstrating an example and living up to TRICK values yourself aaaaalll life long!
Sebastian Gebski
Aug 02, 2020 rated it liked it
Good points, good principles and ... so what?

Acknowledging these principles is just about 10% of the success - it's the execution that is a truly challenging part. Each child is different, has different personality traits, falls more or less to different tendencies - even the best effort may be fruitless if applied to a child that doesn't resonate with it.

A big plus for the chapter about the grit and referencing A. Duckworth. To be honest I've found her book (titled "Grit") much more useful and
Mary Webb
Jul 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book. I borrowed it, but now I think I'd like to own a copy to reread and use as a reference book. Esther Wojcicki is a spirited, grounded, honest, kind, vocal and brave person. I'm grateful to her that she spent her time and energy writing this book to share her knowledge with the world. I think her goal with writing this book was to use whatever influence she has to make our world better.
Parenting has its challenges, and every generation thinks they have it harder than t
Dion Lim
May 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing

Esther Wojcicki is the most credible author I have come across in terms of her real world success as 1) a noted mother who has raised three daughters (CEO of YouTube, Founder/CEO of 23andMe, UCSF researcher) who are making a big impact on the world and 2) a decorated teacher (California Teacher of the Year) who has educated thousands of high school students of diverse race and income over 37 years
Jun 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I mostly enjoyed this book and agreed with the techniques discussed. However, I did have a few issues. She calls her philosophy TRICK, which stands for Trust, Respect, Independence, Collaboration, and Kindness.

First, I enjoyed the introduction and the author's personal stories. I also liked her suggestion of really thinking about your own childhood and using experiences from your own childhood to more purposely parent your own children.

The Trust and Respect sections felt pretty similar to me. I
Laura Cason
Oct 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this one! I am surprised by the bad reviews. Yes, it's a little long winded, but it is full of some great wisdom. The key with parenting books including this one is to find the nuggets you want to implement in your own family.

I found Esther's take on raising her daughters refreshing for the most part and I whole heatedly agree parenting is never just about children - it's about the adults and citizens they become. Letting children be within reason and encouraging them to creativ
Roberto Reynoso
Aug 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The more I read these parenting/teaching books, the more I like them. However, they have more or less the same ideas. This one in particular has a chapter dedicated to GRIT (Angela Duckworth's best selling book) and another good part to The Marshmallow Effect. It does have great examples and even provide with real camps to send your kid far, far, far away.... ...more
Miranda Woyce
Dec 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
As a mother of small children, I hadn't really thought about these principles. I'm glad I read it when I did. Its changed many of my parenting philosophies, and it's been amazing to see just how those small things have made improvements in our relationships. An excellent insight into parenting that is worth the read. ...more
Jul 05, 2019 rated it liked it
I’m kind of at the tail end of the whole parenting job, but this book is full of good advice for use as a grandparent, mentor and even self-improvement. She does come off as a little braggy and know-it-all, but she kind of deserves to.
Jan 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Of course, I thought it was great and I recommend it. I wrote it!! I hope you will find it helpful and insightful. There are lots of insightful stories in the book!
Kara Fitzjarrald
Feb 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I really like this book from a highly Successful parent.
Mar 28, 2022 rated it did not like it
This is a curious parenting book. I'm not sure why anyone particularly cares what Esther Wojcicki has to say about parenting. From what I can tell her claim to fame is that she has three successful daughters. I guess the idea is that she'll be able to tell us what child-raising techniques she used to turn her daughters into successes?

This is a hard book to like. She has her framework: TRICK (Trust, Respect, Independence, Curiosity, and Kindness). But of course her daughters are all in theirs 30s
Jan 31, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: my-books-2021
I liked this book - and the TRICK framework is hard to disagree with, partially cause it’s quite generic. A good reminder we need to respect our children as individuals, and start with ourselves if we want to change others. There’s nothing groundbreaking - mostly things you hear a lot - but all nicely tied together in a system.

It does leave a strange aftertaste though... too many things to be on top of? “I did it all right so you can too” tone? Also it didn’t read as a parenting book tbh - more
Brianne Hm
Oct 23, 2022 rated it liked it
This book about parenting has some great overarching principles and nuggets of information. I was 60/40- I agreed with many of her thoughts around parents needing to “chill out” and increase opportunities for independence. I loved the TRICK principles and will use them in my life and practice. It was hard to sift through the incessant name dropping that appeared counter to the core message. Further, there were key points that I strongly disagree with, including the encouragement to stay married ...more
Dec 26, 2019 rated it liked it
3 1/2 stars. Her ideas reflect her own personality and experience very much, as well as a privileged adulthood (though not childhood), but are a good corrective to the constant worry and inability of parents to allow their children independence -- for example, letting elementary-age kids walk places or go into stores by themselves. However, society's attitudes toward child rearing have changed so much that many things people thought nothing of when I was a kid would now be reported by "good sama ...more
Marina B
Jan 13, 2020 rated it liked it
I am still not sure what to think about this. I will give 3*, but I would say it's more 3.5.

I don't really like parenting books but I thought this one will be somehow different. And it was - with all the famous names Wojcicki included in her book. Little bit too much bragging?

Even though most of the stories were interesting, sometimes it sounded like she wrote her autobiography, and not a parenting book.

I will still take some of Esther's advice, such as things about letting our kids be more i
Rasa Svelnikaite Pieslike
Aug 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Author uses TRICK methodology to describe how to raise children, what values to bring and how to shape personalities. Lovely written book with many personal examples. Author raised 3 successful and highly achieved daughters, worked as teacher and putted all her knowledge into book.
It was easy-reading. I’d say it’s more inspirational material than teachable one. At least for me.
4/5 because I liked it, because it’s good, but it didn’t reshaped my as a reader and usually I expect that from the bo
Michael Forsyth
Aug 02, 2020 rated it liked it
Seems very true; Mrs. Wojcicki's 'trick' system rings true. However, she repeats herself a lot, and it feels very lacking in terms of any understanding of a final destination. It feels a bit like she's also patting herself on the back a bit much for her legitimately successful practices; and her placing of companies like Google on an ethical pedestal is a bit eyebrow raising. ...more
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10 likes · 1 comments
“says she commonly sees children at eight, nine, and ten months old who wake up throughout the night. There are even one-, two-, and three-year-olds who don’t sleep through the night. Why? Because they haven’t been taught. “Sometimes as parents we’re frightened to give our kids the opportunity to learn,” she says. “We feel like we’re harming them, and that we’re not supporting them in the way they need to be supported.” 1 likes
“In other words, if you don’t act as your own therapist, and interrogate your own childhood, you won’t be the best parent you can be. A parental perspective allows you to understand the challenges your parents faced that you might not have recognized as a child. A child’s perspective is myopic, and it’s impossible for us as children to understand all the factors that influence our parents’ behavior.” 1 likes
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