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Amazon number 1 new release in child development category Order Now!
Amazon number 1 new release in child development category Order Now!
The Case Method Miracle

If you have - or know someone with - a child or grandchild, this may be the most important book that you buy.


The Book Concept

Do you want to stop worrying and start having fun with your kids? The Case Method Miracle is about how to use the Harvard Business School case method with a child. As a result the child learns to make wise decisions and build internal strength. To make it work with kids, the author has stripped it to its bare bones. Any parent or caregiver can do it, anytime, anywhere. Less timeouts, yelling and screaming, or telling the child what to do. The genius in the approach is that the case method teaches the child to think for himself.

The author graduated from Harvard Business School. She is a mother and used the case method with her son. When she saw the miracle happen, she researched why it works, and wrote The Case Method Miracle to share it with other parents. It blends the clear thinking of a Harvard grad with the passion of a mother.

The case method—as the author has defined it—is easy to do. All a parent has to do is tell their child a one-minute story about another child in a situation—with which the child can identify—where he has to make a choice. “Once there was a little boy…” The boy makes a choice. At the end the parent asks, “Was that a wise or unwise decision?” Or, “What should the little boy do?” That’s it. The parent stops and lets it sink in.

When the child states the wise response, the parent affirms the child with hugs and praise, “Great job, you know how to make wise decisions.” He receives the message, “You got it.” In addition, rewarding the child with an expression of love capitalizes on his most powerful desire, to be loved.

book cover front
Anne with her son in a bamboo forest
The case method miracle

The case method miracle takes place when the child starts making mindful, wise decisions in his or her own life, both in situations that resemble the told case stories and in situations that do not.

The key outcomes are grit and self-reliance for the child, and mutual bonding with the parent. Thinking through the case and making a judgment or a decision about what the case protagonist should do prepares the child for the same kind of challenges in life ahead.

This brief experience— likely taking less than a minute—strengthens the bond between the parent and child. The child gains confidence that he has what it takes to handle the situation. It becomes easier for him to stick to what he knows to be wise, and to focus on the task at hand. He becomes more self-reliant and perseveres to stand alone, even passionately, for what he believes is right.

Amazingly, a method developed in a prestigious business school works brilliantly with children! The Case Method Miracle makes that available to parents everywhere.

Summary Points

The Case Method Miracle

The concept

  • Using the HBS case method with a child.
  • Only keep the basic elements of the case method.
  • Make it simple and easy to do.
  • Opportunity for HBS to reach beyond the classroom.

Birth of the idea

  • Parenting and business dilemmas.
  • Overwhelming parenting literature.
  • Desire to simplify.
  • HBS experience and connection.
  • Why not?

Comparison of Case Elements

Element HBS Case Method: The Case Method Miracle:
Teacher: Professor, other students. Parent, caregiver, mentor.
Student: Business school students. A child.
Relationship: One-to-many, many-to-many. One-on-one.
Protagonist: A business leader. A generic child.
Case scenario: Description of a business situation, real. A situation from the child’s life, real or imagined.
Case construction: Complicated. A story on the fly.
Case description: Written. Oral.
Case length: 15-30 pages, 80 minute discussion Less than a minute.
Case conclusion: Dilemma. Decision.
Response: Detailed plan of action. Evaluation, choice.
Follow-up to decision: Detailed analysis, arguments. Minimal, let the idea sink in.
Reward: Peer approval, grade. Hug, praise, affection.
Learning process: Challenging, time-consuming. Simple, straightforward.
Impact: Business school students, learn to make better business decisions. Children, fun, learn to make wise life decisions. Bond with parent.
angry girl with crossed arms
Ground Rules

What to Mind

  1. Keep it simple: Characters, story, decision, and rewards.
  2. Make the story short, straightforward, and focused.
  3. Be clear, no need for background or big words. Jump straight in!
  4. Speak from the child’s viewpoint, not yours.
  5. Create distance from an emotionally-charged situation.
  6. Enable quick wins, build incrementally.
  7. Engineer your approach with trial and error.
  8. Save the child’s face, avoid public humiliation.
  9. No finger pointing from the parent.
  10. Give a reward right away.
Ground Rules Pocket Card
book cover back
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