November7, 2012 > posted by Jonathan

Introducing Interviews with Parents of Thiel Fellows

Here is a great new series of interviews with parents of Thiel Fellows, offering advice and encouragement for parents whose children are uniquely self-motivated and ways to support them in their journeys.

Since Dale received the Thiel Fellowship, I’ve gotten questions about what we did and how we helped him get involved with things. How did we make him self-motivated? What do you do with them when they are self-motivated? Have ideas other kids or adults have no interest in? What should I do with my child?

Whenever possible I take the opportunity, to hear other’s stories, from the perspective of the parent or child. I like to ask the child, “What did your parent do that really made a difference for you?” And to the parent, “What was it like? How did you figure out education? Find resources? Advice?”


All parents worry and want to do the best for their child. There is a misconception that if a child is really bright or self-motivated or naturally gifted at something then it’s no problem. You should really have nothing to worry about, compared to a child struggling with learning.

But all children have strengths and weaknesses and unique needs to be met. Some of the challenge arises from how unique the area of interest or talent might be, as well as that the child may have widely different areas of ability and weakness. The challenges are still real even though often perceived by others as not a big deal.

Read the rest of Introducing Interviews with Parents of Thiel Fellows here.