The author of the New York Times bestselling book How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success (2015) and Real American: A Memoir (2017), Julie Lythcott-Haims is deeply interested in what prevents people from living meaningful, fulfilling lives. How to Raise an Adult and her TED talk How to Raise Successful Kids- without Over-Parenting emerged from Julie’s decade as Stanford University’s Dean of Freshmen, where she was known for her fierce advocacy for young adults and her fierce critique of the growing trend of parental involvement in the day-to-day lives of college students.
She received the university’s Lloyd W. Dinkelspiel Award for creating “the” atmosphere that defines the undergraduate experience, and toward the end of her tenure as dean she began speaking and writing widely on the harm of helicopter parenting. How to Raise an Adult has been published in over two dozen countries and gave rise to a TED talk that became one of the top TED Talks of 2016 with over four million views, and counting, as well as a sequel which will be out in 2020.
In a different vein, the memoir Real American details Julie’s personal battle with the low self-esteem that American racism routinely inflicts on people of color. The child of an African American father and a white British mother, Julie shows how microaggressions in addition to blunt-force insults can puncture a person’s inner life with a thousand sharp cuts. Real American expresses also, through Julie’s path to self-acceptance, the healing power of community in overcoming the hurtful isolation of being incessantly considered “the other.” Julie Lythcott-Haims received her bachelor's degree at Stanford University, her law degree at Harvard Law School, and her MFA in writing from the California College of the Arts. She lives in Silicon Valley with her partner of thirty years, their two teenagers, and her mother.