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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parenting adhd kids

Strategy Guide for Parenting ADHD Kids with Brian King

The diagnoses of kids with ADHD is at an all-time high. How do we raise them the best we possibly can so they can be the best versions of who they’re meant to be? Author, speaker, and parenting coach Brian King is here to give us a workable strategy guide for parenting ADHD kids.

Adults and children with ADHD think very differently, but as we discovered in the episode with Peter Shankman, this can be leveraged into a superpower. But what if you’re the parent of an ADHD child? The epidemic is growing past the resources parents have to educate themselves and cope.

Brian King

Brain King suffers from ADHD and dyslexia. He also has three boys who have ADHD and Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of autism. But he doesn’t feel sorry for himself or his family. Brian King’s core beliefs are to be resilient in every situation. He had experienced times of fear and helplessness, like cancer and divorce. Working through these obstacles made him determined to always be solution-focused and to see the opportunity in every adversity. Even today, after being diagnosed with a genetic connective tissue disorder, and discovering two of his sons inherited it too, Brian remains optimistic and open to learning.

See every thing as a teacher.

Unless you suffer from ADHD, it’s difficult to understand why a child simply can’t focus. There are different neural pathways involved in attention. It is believed that the release of dopamine allows a person to concentrate on the things that interest him. An imbalance of the brain chemistry is what prevents those who have ADHD from being able to focus. Most medications to treat ADHD are used to keep dopamine levels at optimum levels.

Brian King  says there are three factors he notices most in an ADHD family.

  1. Reactivity – ADHD kids are emotionally sensitive. This leads to bigger tantrums. Parents react to their child’s reactivity, compounding the problem.
  2. Incredible disorganization – Another common trait among ADHD children is disorganization. They have trouble following directions to clean up and organize, even when they’ve been told repeatedly.
  3. Parents’ Guilt – Many parents feel guilty for not being able to succeed on parenting their ADHD child on their own. The feel they’re supposed to be perfect and should not need to ask for help.

School and ADHD Kids

Most parents’ first concern is how can they get their kids to do better in school. Brian Kings says parents must look for clues as to why their kids might be resisting school. Are they being discouraged? Are they being embarrassed? Are they misunderstood?

There needs to be an alliance formed with the teacher.

Brain suggests creating a one sheet that lists what your child likes or dislikes. What frustrates him? What strategies have helped him in the past? Get the email address for every teacher your kid has and send them a copy. Let the teachers know that you will not be left out and that you will make sure that they have the resources they need to succeed. Instead of waiting till later in the school year when things start going wrong, be proactive.

Emotionally Supporting ADHD Kids

Brian King says that every parent must learn how to be mindful. When you’re mindful, you are aware of the present moment with your child. You leave the baggage from your own childhood behind and you can be in touch with your own thoughts and emotions without letting them overrule you. Then you’re in a place to choose a response. This gives your kids the space to do the same. They feel like they’re at home and safe in their own brain.

Brian King’s Dad Wisdom

Brian’s wisdom to others dads:

Always remember that we are in this together.

He says that nothing you’re experiencing is an isolated case or a new problem. Others have gone through it before you and are happy to pay it forward. Surround yourself with good dads. Humble yourself, and reach out for help.

Mentioned episodes:

How to Unlock ADHD Superpowers with Peter Shankman

Defying the Odds To Win at Life, Work, and Fatherhood with Brian King


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