The Effort Myth: How to Give Your Child the Three Gifts of Motivation

By Sherri W. Fisher

the effort myth

Do you believe that gritty effort is the key to success? If so, you may believe in the false promises of trying harder.

Students often do try harder and make short term improvement. That’s because effort is necessary.

Trying harder, though, is not enough.

This is confusing for both students and adults. In Sherri Fisher’s decades of experience as a learning specialist, positive psychology coach, and mom, she even discovered that focusing on effort and production as your solutions can make a student’s motivation problems worse.

Would you like to see your child develop their rich potential?

Here is the secret:
Successful students do more than try harder. They try differently.
Now your student can, too.

This is the book parents have been asking for. In The Effort Myth: How to Give Your Child the Three Gifts of Motivation, Sherri Fisher shares real stories and solutions from her decades in private practice where she coached thousands of students and parents like you. She teaches you the core parenting skills you’ll need to give your child the Three Gifts of Motivation.

best seller

Whether your child struggles with distraction, disorganization or learning disability, you’ll learn how to identify potential problems besides lack of general effort and gain valuable solutions to effectively support their self-awareness, self-regulation and independence.

No one should have to suffer to be able to learn.

A Peek Inside the Book

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Sherri Fisher will tell you when to reach out for help and what kinds to consider. As you read you’ll be building a tool kit of strategies for helping your child live the experience of success beyond grades, especially during the critical time when they are between 10 and 20 years old.

This book will guide you to:

  • Participate more effectively in the education of your children
  • Know when you need to step in and when you need to let your children figure it out themselves
  • Help in ways that will enable your children to grow in ability and independence

Praise for The Effort Myth

With clarity, empathy, and humor, The Effort Myth takes complex, murky spaces in parenting a struggling adolescent and makes them clear, actionable and relatable. As an experienced clinician in this field, I find this book is spot-on from a developmental and family systems perspective. As a parent, it really speaks to my heart.

The Effort Myth is Sherri Fisher’s best book yet. Sherri shows us that education is not a one-size-fits-all endeavor, and that each child can learn how to learn. I wish that The Effort Myth was available when I was growing up and later when raising my own children.

I highly recommend The Effort Myth for parents, teachers, and adults who themselves were challenged learners. Using well-founded research and years of experience as a coach and educator, Sherri’s approach is personal, engaging, and accessible. I even walked away with some powerful learning about myself!

Get Started Free! Give the Three Gifts of Motivation

Three Gifts

School ends for most people in early adulthood. Ideally, learning is never completed.

With the tools in The Effort Myth: How to Give Your Child the Three Gifts of Motivation, you can help your child develop personalized and agile approaches for lifetime learning and success that will extend far beyond their school and college years.

 The Effort Myth begins at the heart of it all – the parent-child relationship. With clarity, empathy, and humor, you will learn concrete coaching strategies and questions that will transform how you communicate with your children. It is from within this fortified parent-child partnership that any parents can give their children The Three Gifts of Motivation: Competence, Choices, and Self-direction.

I taught college classes for eleven years before this book completely changed my perspective about how students learn. One idea after another showed me how I could better support students who’d been challenged by mainstream approaches to education. I’d always coached my students to work smarter, not harder, but that message isn’t necessarily intuitive. The Effort Myth offers a clear, accessible approach to success that addresses exactly how to work smarter, with exquisite detail.

Sherri Fisher’s practical approach in The Effort Myth is both easy to understand and implement for parents who are trying to do what is best for their child to thrive beyond schoolwork to lifetime learning. Through humorous and poignant stories, Fisher’s practical parenting and learning strategies help you to see your struggling child and yourself in liberating, positive, and constructive ways.

About the Author of The Effort Myth


Sherri Fisher has dedicated decades to challenging the effort myth, both in schools and private practice. She believes that no one should have to suffer to be able to learn. As a learning specialist and executive coach for students and their parents, Sherri has pioneered research-based tools that build skilled resilience, motivation, and self-direction. Parents who work with Sherri in their youth even return with their own children. Her client relationships don’t just span grades; they span generations.

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