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The Self-Driven Child

The Science and Sense of Giving Your Kids More Control over Their Lives

Dr. William Stixrud & Ned Johnson

A clinical neuropsychologist and test prep guru combine cutting-edge brain science with insights from their work with families to make a radical new case for giving kids more control if you want to unleash their full potential. 

Many of us know we’re putting too much pressure on our kids – and on ourselves – but how do we get off this crazy train? We want our children to succeed, to be their best, and to do their best, but what if they are not on board? 

A few years ago, Ned Johnson and Bill Stixrud started noticing the same problem from different angles: even high-performing kids were coming to them acutely stressed and lacking any real motivation. Many complained that they had no real control over their lives. Johnson runs PrepMatters, an elite tutoring service that teaches teens how to perform better on standardized tests. Stixrud is a clinical neuropsychologist who helps patients suffering from ADHD, anxiety, eating disorders, and depression. Both have devoted their lives to coaching kids and they have hit on a counterintuitive solution to unlocking their full potential: even at a young age kids need to feel that their views matter. They need more agency. A healthy motivation hinges on having a strong sense of control.

William Stixrud, Ph.D., and Ned Johnson have 60 years combined experience talking to kids one-on-one. The most common question they get when speaking to parents and educators is: What do you say? While many adults understand the importance and power of the philosophies behind the books that dominate the parenting bestseller list, parents are often left wondering how to put those concepts into action. In What Do You Say?, Stixrud and Johnson
show how to engage in respectful and effective dialogue, beginning with defining and demonstrating the basic principles of listening and speaking. They share new ways to handle specific, thorny topics of the sort that usually end in parent/kid standoffs: delivering constructive feedback to kids; discussing boundaries around technology; explaining sleep and their brains; the anxiety of current events; and family problem-solving. What Do You Say? is a manual and map that will transform parents’ ability to navigate complex terrain and train their minds and hearts to communicate ever more successfully.

Expand your parenting toolkit by ordering What Do You Say? Specific, science based guidance for communicating effectively with children, teens, and young adults about the topics that matter most.

ORDER THE BOOK

Expand your parenting toolkit by ordering What Do You Say? Specific, science based guidance for communicating effectively with children, teens, and young adults about the topics that matter most.

Contact Us

Bill & Ned are available for press inquiries, keynote addresses, and private events. 

Bill & Ned are available for press inquiries, keynote addresses, and private events. 

PRESS INQUIRIES

Please contact Shelby Meizlik

SPEAKING EVENTS

Please contact Zarafet Burrell

Stay up to date on Bill & Ned’s special events, speaking engagements
and new books.

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Other Ways to Engage

Listen to Ned's Podcast, PrepTalks
Join the Self-Driven Child Facebook Group
Follow Ned's Twitter feed

About the Authors

Dr. William Stixrud

William R. Stixrud, Ph.D., is a clinical neuropsychologist and founder of The Stixrud Group, as well as a faculty member at Children’s National Medical Center and an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics at the George Washington University School of Medicine. He is also the co-author, with Ned Johnson, of the national best-selling book, The Self-Driven Child, and of their new book, What Do You Say? Talking with Kids to Build Motivation, Stress Tolerance, and a Happy Home. Dr. Stixrud’s work has been featured in media outlets such as NPR, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Times of London, The Wall Street Journal, U.S. News and World Report, Time Magazine, Scientific American, Business Week, Barron’s, and, New York Magazine. He is a long-time practitioner of Transcendental Meditation, and he plays in the rock band Close Enough

NedAuthor

Ned Johnson

Ned Johnson is an author, speaker, and the founder of PrepMatters, an educational company providing academic tutoring, educational planning and standardized test prep.

A professional “tutor-geek” since 1993, Ned has spent more than 40,000 one-on-one hours helping students conquer an alphabet of standardized tests and honing his insights on communicating with students and parents. A battle-tested veteran in the fields of test preparation, anxiety management, and student performance, Ned coaches kids how to manage their stress while simultaneously motivating and empowering them to reach their full potential.

Ned has written for the New York Times, The Telegraph, U.S. News & World Report & The Washington Post and co-authored three books, including the national best-seller The Self Driven Child, and he hosts the PrepTalks Podcast.

His staff has finally convinced him to be active on his Twitter page.