Late Bloomers

Late Bloomers: Giving Your Kids Space to Grow with Richard Karlgaard


Our society is obsessed with early achievement. We want our kids to become incredible athletes, advanced students, and high-earners. We have a tendency to compare them with their peers and if they aren’t at the same level, we worry that they won’t succeed.

Our guest is Richard Karlgaard. He’s a journalist, award-winning entrepreneur, and speaker. He is the author of bestselling book, Late Bloomers: The Power of Patience in a World Obsessed with Early Achievement. He talks about how today’s kids are under huge pressure to perform and feel like failures if they don’t meet society’s expectations. This coincides with a 70% rise in depression and anxiety in teenagers in the past 25 years.

It’s natural for every parent to wish the best for their child’s future, but Richard Karlgaard explains how kids develop in different ways at different ages. He teaches us how to meet our kids where they are and give them space to grow. He also tells us how allowing them to find their way later in life can be an advantage to long-term achievement and happiness.

Blooming happens early or late, but it happens. When you meet that intersection of your native gifts, your deepest passions, and your sense of purpose, you can bloom.—Richard Karlgaard

Richard Karlgaard and Late Bloomers

We live in a society where kids and parents are obsessed with early achievement, from getting perfect scores on SATs to getting into Ivy League colleges to landing an amazing job at Google or Facebook—or even better, creating a start-up with the potential to be the next Google or Facebook or Uber. We see software coders become millionaires or billionaires before age thirty and feel we are failing if we are not one of them.

Late bloomers, on the other hand, are undervalued in popular culture—by educators and employers, and even unwittingly by parents. Yet the fact is, a lot of us—most of us—do not explode out of the gates in life. We have to discover our passions and talents and gifts.

That was true for author Rich Karlgaard, who had a mediocre academic career at Stanford (which he got into by a fluke) and, after graduating, worked as a dish – washer and nightwatchman before finally finding the inner motivation and drive that ultimately led him to start up a high-tech magazine in Silicon Valley, and eventually to become the publisher of Forbes magazine.

There is a scientific explanation for why so many of us bloom later in life. The executive function of our brains doesn’t mature until age twenty-five—and later for some. In fact, our brain’s capabilities peak at different ages. We actually experience multiple periods of blooming in our lives. Moreover, late bloomers enjoy hidden strengths due to taking the time to discover their way in life—strengths coveted by many employers and partners, including curiosity, insight, compassion, resilience, and wisdom.

Based on years of research, personal experience, interviews with neuroscientists, psychologists, and countless people at different stages of their careers, Late Bloomers reveals how and when we achieve our full potential—and why today’s focus on early success is so misguided, and even harmful.

What You’ll Learn

  • The emphasis on elite colleges makes schools obsessed with putting kids on a conveyor belt to early achievement
  • Teens nowadays feel like a second-rate citizen if they’re a B student.
  • Some kids would prefer to learn a skill or trade but feel inferior if they don’t go to college.
  • Neuroscience proves we bloom in multiple ways at different times throughout our lives.
  • There is a correlation between late bloomers and highly-motivated people.
  • How parents can be better at communicating that their kid’s value isn’t tied to getting into college
  • Too many parents outsource parenting their kids’ futures to educators.
  • 94% of prescriptions written for ADHD are given in the US.
  • Why parents feel so much pressure for their kids to succeed
  • How to prevent wrapping up our identity in our kids’ futures
  • How to honor your kids’ dreams
  • The fine line between pushing your kid out of their comfort zone and pushing them too far
  • Why it’s harmful when your kid feels pushed to perform
  • When you’re blooming you feel like you’re being pulled by your gifts, passion, and purpose. Not pushed.
  • What’s “repotting” and when to do it.
  • How to provide unconditional love while not acting as your kids’ best friend
  • Why the “never quit” attitude is fallible. In some cases, quitting is the smart choice.
  • Why you can outwork anybody when you’re blooming!

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Richard Karlgaard’s Links

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