“What’s in It for Me?” Author Julia Cook Answers

How do we motivate our kids? Why do they need to fail? How do we allow technology to add to our children's life as opposed to taking from it?

These, and many more topics, were discussed in student, parent, and staff workshops across two days with national award-winning author Julia Cook. Ms Cook is a former teacher and counsellor and has presented at hundreds of schools and conferences and appeared on television across America. DCB was delighted to welcome her back for a visit.



Drawing from her extensive research and experience, Julia gave many useful tips and fresh perspectives on everyday parenting and, on the flip side, growing up dilemmas.

Using her books as well as audience participation, she touched on several life skills with Junior School students including taking risks, forming good habits, staying focused, and being responsible online. For each topic, she gave compelling reasons as to why it is worth it for the kids to do so; in other words, what’s in it for them?

Hence, parents and educators should refrain from saying “you have to do this” but instead, say “you get to do this”. It is important for parents and educators to provide an engaging environment for children but with clear boundaries. “Kids need a safe place where they can screw up,” said Ms Cook, because the best predictor of success is grit. Grit is “passion and perseverance for very long-term goals”.

Conversely, video games provide instant success—no value in real life. With regards to technology use, parents should serve as role models. So parents, put away your phone when your child is speaking to you!

With so much positive feedback from students, parents and staff, we thank Ms Cook for her great no non-sense tips and advice.