Julie Lythcott-Haims believes in humans and is deeply interested in what gets in our way. Her work encompasses writing, speaking, public service, and activism.
She is a New York Times bestselling author of books on human development, a TED speaker, a former Stanford dean, and a lawyer, and she holds degrees from Stanford University (BA), Harvard Law (JD), and California College of the Arts (MFA). She serves on numerous nonprofit boards whose work focuses on equity, education, youth, wellness, and the arts.
Julie lives in Palo Alto, California with her partner of over thirty years, their itinerant young adults, and her mother. She is a member of the Palo Alto City Council.Download Bio
Your TurnHow to Be an Adult
Henry Holt and Co.
Publishing April 2021
Having tackled a far-reaching parenting crisis with her New York Times bestselling How to Raise an Adult, Julie Lythcott-Haims is back with an equally powerful and persuasive book for the adult children of those hovering parents—and for everyone who struggles to be a grown-up in these challenging times.
Real AmericanA Memoir
Henry Holt and Co.
Bringing a poetic sensibility to her prose to stunning effect, Lythcott-Haims briskly and stirringly evokes her personal battle with the low self-esteem that American racism routinely inflicts on people of color. The only child of a marriage between an African American father and a white British mother, she shows indelibly how so-called "micro" aggressions in addition to blunt force insults can puncture a person's inner life with a thousand sharp cuts. Real American expresses also, through Lythcott-Haims’s path to self-acceptance, the healing power of community in overcoming the hurtful isolation of being incessantly considered "the other."
How to Raise an AdultBreak Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success
Henry Holt and Co.
A provocative manifesto that exposes the harms of helicopter parenting and sets forth an alternate philosophy for raising preteens and teens to self-sufficient young adulthood.
Listen as she shares how she found self-acceptance through the healing power of community. Her story is deeply personal, but its message is universal: people from marginalized communities will recognize echoes of their own experiences, and allies will learn how they can better show up, listen, and advocate for others.
How to Raise Successful Kids–Without Overparenting In this widely acclaimed talk, Julie draws on her insights as the former dean of freshmen at Stanford as well as her deeply personal journey as a parent to highlight the ways in which overparenting undermines skill development and positive mental health and wellbeing in our children. Listen as she offers practical parenting strategies that allow children to make their own decisions and mistakes and develop the resilience, resourcefulness, and inner determination necessary to become healthy, thriving adults.
Throw Out the Checklisted Childhood The world looks vastly different for kids today than it did for their parents. Everything is highly connected, fast-moving, and often overwhelming. As a result, many students feel lost, lonely, empty, unsure, insecure, or ashamed.
In this compassionate and inspiring talk, Julie encourages kids and educators alike to throw out the checklist of accomplishments they’ve been told will lead to a happy life—the classes they should take, the requirements they need to meet, the short list of colleges they must get into—and instead focus on finding the courage to be who they are.
Becoming Yourself Julie began her career as a litigator in Silicon Valley. She then became a Stanford dean, and now she’s a writer. From her own life trajectory and from working with tens of thousands of our nation's best and brightest young adults, Julie has a clear sense of how we become the humans we want to be, and of what gets in our way. Julie’s style of storytelling moves people. They feel she “gets” them. They laugh, they contemplate, and sometimes they even get emotional. After the talk they're motivated to invest in their own growth and development.
It’s My Life, And I’m Going to Live It My Way (Or At Least Try)! Drawing upon her decade as Stanford’s dean of freshmen, in this talk Julie helps teens and young adults feel seen in the struggle to forge a healthy whole self amid the stresses of growing up and the expectations and behaviors of family. Listen as she offers practical tips for figuring out who you are and what you want, as well as advice for how to get out from under those who want to be in charge of your life.
Read an article in the San Francisco Chronicle about Generation Z helping us heal in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death in which Julie is quoted.
Read an article in New York Times about raising anti-racist kids in which Julie is quoted.
Read an article in O Magazine about young adults moving home due to COVID-19 in which Julie is quoted.
Read Julie’s review of Imani Perry’s memoir Breathe: A Letter to My Sons in The New York Times.
Read an op-ed in The Washington Post on how mainstream feminism excludes poor women and women of color.
Listen to Julie Lythcott-Haims talk about how to stop the cycle of overachieving on The Anxious Achiever podcast.
Listen to Julie Lythcott-Haims on Guy Kawasaki’s podcast Remarkable People.
Watch Julie Lythcott-Haims give “adulting lessons” on Good Morning America.
CNN‘s feature of Julie Lythcott-Haims and college admissions.
Julie Lythcott-Haims to speak at Sacred Heart Schools.
Julie Lythcott-Haims on the harms of overparenting on NPR’s TED Radio Hour.
Check out her feature on CBS This Morning.
Parent Toolkit interviewed Julie Lythcott-Haims on tips to guide your child to choosing the right college without overstepping.
Julie Lythcott-Haims speaks with MPR News on the college admissions scandal.
How do you avoid helicopter-parenting? Listen to the podcast with Julie Lythcott-Haims on WGN Radio.
Julie on fatherhood for the Huffington Post.
Julie shares advice on “Getting In” in a column for Slate.
Julie on being black in America for BET.
Listen to Julie speak about being a ‘Real American’ KQED Public Radio.
Read a review of Real American from The New York Times Book Review.
The Los Angeles Times mentions Julie Lythcott-Haims in their article on young adults moving back in during COVID-19.
Keep up with Julie on her website.
- Groton School, Groton, MA
"Julie is a gifted speaker and a wonderful woman, and we were thrilled to have her speak with our students, faculty, staff and parents."
- Suzanne Gottlieb Calleja, Associate Head of School for Communications & Strategic Partnerships, Palmer Trinity School
"Julie was spectacular - her style was fantastic, and her presentation really resonated, especially when almost everyone in the audience was guilty as charged!"
- Ross Ellis, Vice President and Managing Director, SEI
"[Julie] is a phenomenal speaker, and such a lovely person. Her talk was so well received (standing ovation!), and she was so kind to everyone who wanted to talk to her."
- Cathy Adams, CEO, Zen Parenting Radio
"One word sums it up: WOW! Julie was just terrific. Her very personal and powerful presentation just added to the energy and power generated by the opening session. She could not have been more gracious in her interactions with all of our students. We are just thrilled that Julie could join us."
- Brentwood School, Los Angeles, CA
"We had a PHENOMENAL visit with Julie. Every moment she spent on campus with our community members was filled with love, energy and authenticity. I was thanked a million times over for bringing Julie to campus from students, faculty, staff, and parents alike. She had us laughing and crying alongside her. Meeting Julie and having the privilege to spend not just one, but two days with her has been a professional highlight over my 27 years at Andover."
- Aya S. Murata, Associate Director, College Counseling and Ninth Grade Course Head, Empathy, Balance & Inclusion Program, Phillips Academy
"She was one of the best speakers we have ever heard and her message was just right at just the right time. This was a 'nail on the head' kind of experience for us. She encouraged us to let go, to broaden our view of pathways our students might walk post-high school, and to continue to confirm their worth to us as humans regardless of a GPA, a test score, or any other performance. We were inspired and uplifted and we cannot wait to start living out some of her suggestions."
-Skyline High School
"Three standing ovations in three days from three different groups of stakeholders is a pretty good record. Her messages about the dangers of overparenting - with the millennial generation being overprotected, overly directed and over handled - were relevant and thought-provoking."
-Atlanta International School
"Julie was absolutely amazing. We were inspired and excited. We’ve never had a better speaker; it was exactly the message our parents needed to hear."
-Episcopal School of Dallas
"Julie's visit was fantastic. Her presentation to the parents was wonderful as was her talk with the Upper School students. As Julie may attest, our families are in the thick of wrapping their heads around all that it means to be a teenager and a parent in this time of the college admissions "arms race" and many were so grateful that Julie is approaching this all-important topic head on."
-St. John's School (Houston, TX)
"We found Julie's topic and presentation to be extremely compelling. With over 900 people in attendance, it would be easy for a parent to feel like one of the masses. However, Julie has a wonderful way of presenting this vital information as if you are two parents talking about your kids over coffee. The book is well researched, timely and helpful. It is incredibly reassuring to know that Julie is a parent of teens - just like us - and searching for ways to raise healthy, happy children. We would highly recommend her to other organizations!"
-Peninsula Parent Speaker Series
“Wow, she is an amazing presenter! She really got a buzz started here.”
“Julie was truly engaging and thought-provoking. So many attendees at the breakfast told me how much they appreciated her insight.”
“Powerful and embracing delivery from Ms. Julie Lythcott-Haims. Parent University was proud to present the community with such an inspiring speaker. Julie was funny, warm, bright and thoughtful on and off the stage.”
-Davis Parent University
"Standing room only. Record number of books sold. Parents lives changed. Our district has hosted dozens of speakers over the years. Julie's talk is by far the most relevant, timely, and powerful of all we have offered. Her style is honest, funny, and heartwarming. She is someone to whom all parents can relate and her content is second-to-none. I can't recommend Julie highly enough. I wish we could all have little 'pocket Julie's' to carry with us, daily offering us wisdom and advice as we attempt to do the hardest job in the world--raising happy and healthy kids."
- Erik Burmeister, Menlo Park City School District
"Our event with Julie Lythcott-Haims was a smash hit. She was just delightful, wise and really drove home a message with our community that was well-received."
-Ridgefield Public Schools
"Julie was very well received by students, faculty, staff and parents! She is down to earth, and speaks from heart with amazing insight and the studies to back up her findings. Her presentation has started a school-wide conversation, that is building on other work the school is already doing. We are so very glad we invited Julie to speak."
- Kathleen McCulloch, MVHS PTSA Parent Ed Seminar Coordinator