How To Raise Kids Who Aren’t Sheeple, Who Swim Upstream & Who Can Gracefully Engage In Divergent Thinking & The Art of Insubordination, With Todd Kashdan.

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When I first received the book The Art of Insubordination: How to Dissent and Defy Effectively by my guest on today's show, Todd Kashdan, I thought it was going to be some fringe rebel handbook or something like The Alchemist's Cookbook, or a title that was meant to incite riots and violence.

I was dead wrong.

Instead, this book is a research-based toolbox for anyone who wants to create a world with more justice, creativity, and courage. I eventually wound up interviewing Todd for the episode “The Art Of Insubordination: How To Dissent And Defy Effectively, With Todd Kashdan.”

But now, Todd is back—and he's back specifically to focus on content that will be featured in my upcoming book Boundless Parenting, which will showcase Todd and 30+ additional amazing parents from around the globe sharing their deep wisdom and advice so that you can be a better parent and better human.

Look for that new parenting book to launch in the winter of 2022 and click here to stay updated on the book release.

In the meantime, if you want to know how to raise kids who swim upstream, who aren't sheeple, and who can gracefully decline to participate hook, line, and sinker in the anemic social standards of modern society, you'll want to tune in.

In this episode, you'll discover:

-Todd shares about his children, and what he's most proud about them…07:25

  • 15-year-old twins, getting into the dating scene
  • One is an uber-athlete; the other is an analytical mind
  • Chloe's hand/eye coordination is off the charts
  • Violet (9 yo) is the imaginative one
  • Todd is separated from spouse; raising children as a single father

-How to train children in the skill of divergent thinking…15:40

  • Convergent thinking: A problem with a clearly defined set of answers
  • Divergent thinking: More creative, unconventional thinking, problem-solving
  • Exploring questions about the initial question leads to divergent thinking
  • Public schools for the most part excel in convergent thinking
  • Allow space to express their thoughts on a problem, and how to approach resolving it
  • The Week magazine, targeted to adolescents
  • Be aware of what your kids are reading
  • “Stay in your lane” = your opinion doesn't matter

-Resources Todd uses to raise his daughters…29:39

-How to approach relying on others for children's development…34:58

-Things Todd learned while writing his book he's passing on to his children…39:39

  • Discover the adventure in “boring” subjects such as math and science
  • Stories (with warts and all) approach to sharing history (ex. MLK)

-Things done differently with the twins and the nine-year-old…43:28

  • Physical and emotional affection

-Reconciling differing parenting styles when mom and dad live under different roofs…45:13

  • Are societal norms working for you
  • Defy societal norms regarding co-parenting
  • Respect the other's boundaries; offer tactful suggestions to differing parenting styles
  • It's not about “winning”; it's about what's right for the child

-Exposing children to societal taboos in an environment the parent can control…47:48

-How to carve out one-on-one time with children…59:40

  • Take kids on travel separately
  • One-on-one adventures with kids

-Final questions for Todd…1:07:12

  • What would you want your children to inscribe on your gravestone?
    • “You taught me how to be an independent, critical thinker in the world that can create my own path through life”
  • What would the children's fondest memory of their childhood be?
    • Mt. Fuji
    • Soccer game in the rain
    • Creating new rules for games
    • Rites of passage

-The message for parents Todd would put on a billboard…1:15:00

  • Flexibility trumps positivity

-And much more…

-Upcoming Events:

Click here for the full written transcript of this podcast episode.

Resources from this episode:

Todd Kashdan:

– Podcasts:

– Other Resources:

Episode sponsors:

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Do you have questions, thoughts, or feedback for Todd Kashdan or me? Leave your comments below and one of us will reply!

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2 thoughts on “How To Raise Kids Who Aren’t Sheeple, Who Swim Upstream & Who Can Gracefully Engage In Divergent Thinking & The Art of Insubordination, With Todd Kashdan.

  1. Mike says:

    Ben I’d jettison using the word “Sheeple.” It’s really a pejorative. How about using words like “Free-thinking” or “independent minded” to get the idea across.

    “Sheeple, sometimes spelled sheople, is a portmanteau of the words “sheep” and “people” used mainly by political cranks to describe the great unwashed masses that are blissfully “unaware” of whatever fringe issue the crank wants to publicize.”

    1. Ben Greenfield says:

      thanks for the suggestion Mike

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