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Parental guide aims at raising entrepreneurs


Jerry and Sarah Cook began to realize their oldest son, Jacob, wasn’t a typical 10-year-old when he used eBay to turn a $40 profit on a dilapidated Xbox five years ago. The young man is now making $20 per hour resolving computer problems as well as providing tutorials and technology reviews on his YouTube site. What’s more, he’s been featured on

Jacob’s knack for entrepreneurship prompted the Cooks to seek the resources that would help their son and others make the most of their potential. They discovered that there was nothing available from the parental perspective. Following 18 months of interviews and research, the Cooks produced The Parents’ Guide to Raising CEO Kids.

Although the book is designed to help youngsters make a profit, Jerry, an associate professor of Family and Consumer Sciences at Sacramento State, hastens to add that The Parents’ Guide is not merely a monetary manifesto. He and his wife, who conducted 200 interviews, want parents to understand how they can best prepare their children to succeed in an increasingly competitive society and to make a difference in their communities.

Instead of accepting a one-size-fits-all education model, Jerry says parents should help their kids channel their passions into positive pursuits.

The book’s 140 profiles reflect a socioeconomic cross-section.  Economically disadvantaged families in particular can benefit from the book, Jerry says, because its principles are the same. The more resilient the child, the more likely he or she is to make the adjustments necessary to succeed in life. That begins with the parents getting their children doing what they want to do.  It also requires consistent parental monitoring and mentoring. That can be tough, Jerry says, in light of rapid technological and cultural changes, which can befuddle parents.

The Cooks’ self-published book is a roadmap for parents who only want their children to do their best so they can live an even better life. Sounds self-evident enough, but the Cooks are convinced that many parents want to do the right thing by their children, but become preoccupied with trying to make ends meet.

Professor Robert Brooks, a clinical psychologist at Harvard Medical School, endorses the Cooks’ concept in the book’s foreward. He contends that raising resilient, self-disciplined, productive children is best begun at an early age.

Brooks’ belief that parents can have a positive impact on a child’s life is borne out by the Cooks’ oldest son, Jacob, and his younger sister Clarissa. The 12-year-old recently compiled her own cookbook, made $500 from sales and donated the money to a charity for children with cancer.

To purchase the book, visit:

– Alan Miller

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