How to raise independent kids

  1. Life isn't fair: Shielding children from this concept corrupts their ability to cope.

  2. Get out of the middle: Parents 'hover' too much and get in the middle of relationships that children should learn to manage themselves, especially relationships with authority figures, like teachers.

  3. Be vulnerable: Embrace your flaws; let your children see that no one is perfect. They will be more comfortable sharing their own mistakes and fears.

  4. Permission to fail builds success: When children are encouraged to own their mistake, they can talk about it freely with their parents; learn from it, and move on.

  5. Persistance beats resistance: Confident children persist and ultimately thrive.
About Joanna Rees:

She is the Founder and Managing Partner of VSP Capital, a San Francisco-based venture capital firm, where she raised and managed more than $400 million.

Joanna focuses on consumer technology and marketing software & services investments. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of Posit Science,, AccountNow and QuinStreet.

Joanna has served on the board of more than 20 venture backed startup companies across a broad range of industries In addition to managing investments, Joanna also serves as Chairman of the USA for Madrid-based FON, the world's largest WiFi community. Joanna is an Adjunct Professor in the Leavey School of Business at Santa Clara University where she teaches Leadership.

Prior to founding VSP Capital, Joanna led Venture Strategy Group, a strategic consulting firm. Joanna worked in investment banking including positions at BA Securities and the boutique merchant bank Vrolyk & Co. She worked in private placements and mergers & acquisitions focused on retail, restaurant and branded consumer companies.

Joanna also brings deep expertise in marketing and strategy, and has held several senior marketing management positions with Groupe Danone, a $20+ billion global consumer products firm, with her last position as head of New Product Development.

Joanna began her career at DMB&B, working with clients such as General Foods, RJR Nabisco, Brown Forman, Digital Equipment Corp, and Texaco. The World Economic Forum selected Joanna as a Year 2000 Global Leader for Tomorrow (GLT). The Aspen Institute selected Joanna for its 2002 Class of Henry Crown Fellows. The National Association of Women Business Owners named her "The 2000 Entrepreneur of the Year Rising Star".

Joanna is active in the non-profit community. She serves on the boards of Endeavor, a global organization supporting entrepreneurs in developing countries, New Schools Venture Fund whose mission is to improve public K-12 education by supporting a growing community of education entrepreneurs, the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship "NFTE" and the advisory council for the San Francisco School Alliance.

Joanna recently completed her term on the board of the National Venture Capital Association where she continues as a media spokesperson.

She previously worked with, and raised funding for, other non-profits including the Junior League and the March of Dimes. Joanna currently serves on the Annual Fund board at Duke University.

She is a member of the Duke Basketball Legacy Fund. She earned her MBA from Columbia University (beta gamma sigma) and a BS from Duke University where she was a member of the gymnastics team.

You can read more of Joanna's blog at

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