Three Party Agreement For Parents

Thanks for learning about the primary difference between by instruction and conventional tutoring. Let’s make sure you, me, and your student all  understand each other in this Three Party Agreement.

Stop Fighting About Schoolwork

Many a well meaning parent has made a suggestion to their child about how better to handle their school affairs. Unfortunately, this can undermine the student’s belief that they can succeed on their own. Because cortisol, the stress hormone, is released into the body during periods of conflict, daily fighting about schoolwork produces toxic levels of cortisol in students. Understanding the detrimental effects of high cortisol levels on the teen-aged brain has been well documented in literature. Stixrud and Johnson would advise you to adopt the slogan “I love you too much to fight with you about schoolwork.”

So you should let your student do whatever they want?

Not technically, but in general you should do your best to give control where you can. William Stixrud makes the argument in his quote below:

“We really can’t control our kids—and doing so shouldn’t be our goal. Our role is to teach them to think and act independently, so that they will have the judgment to succeed in school and, most important, in life. Rather than pushing them to do things they resist, we should seek to help them find things they love and develop their inner motivation. Our aim is to move away from a model that depends on parental pressure to one that nurtures a child’s own drive. That is what we mean by the self-driven child.”

William Stixrud

What is the Three Party Agreement?

The Three Party Agreement formalizes the metaphor that I am the coach, the student is the player, and you are the cheerleader (and not a second coach). By doing things this way, motivation is fostered in your student and you can be more free to enjoy your time with them before they leave for college.

What is your role as a parent?

Your role in this arrangement as the “cheerleader” is to love and support your student in order to foster a low cortisol level environment. Having a safe home base is a true need of your student ― and it’s something that only you can provide. Stixrud also makes the case that lowering the cortisol levels in your own life is probably the second best thing you can help your student with: “When we can be a nonanxious presence for our children, we do a world of good—just by not freaking out. In fact, a recent study showed that other than showing your child love and affection, managing your own stress is the best thing you can do to be an effective parent.”

What is my role as the tutor?

I play the role of the coach.  Your student and I will work as a team to discuss what assignments would be useful for that week considering their workload and schedule. At the conclusion of each tutorial, I will send via email a tutorial summary document, which is a brief summary of old and new business. You are not expected to discuss the contents of these summaries with them, but if you do, please do your best to be supportive of their efforts.

“Teachers can teach, coaches can coach, guidance counselors can outline graduation requirements, but there’s one thing only parents can do: love their kids unconditionally and provide them with a safe base at home. For children who are stressed at school or in other parts of their lives, home should be a safe haven, a place to rest and recover. When kids feel that they are deeply loved even when they’re struggling, it builds resilience.”

William Stixrud

What's a Social Credit Score?

As mentioned above, any of the three parties can terminate the arrangement, and the parent or student may terminate our relationship at any time for any reason. If I ever wish to terminate our relationship, I will do so by lowering the student’s social credit score. 


The student’s social credit score is a measure of how well they are working with me as a team member to accomplish a worthy learning objective. It emphasizes the completion of assignments and quality of communication. If a student’s social credit score reaches the lowest of three scores, all future tutorials are cancelled, and work may only resume upon the student’s delivery to me, in writing, of a compelling reason to begin work again. 

I try only to stop working with a student when I truly believe it’s in the student’s best interest to find a more helpful guide for them. Students sometimes choose losing strategies such as chronic non-completion of work or intense procrastination. I promise to do my best to help convince your student that it is in their best interest to increase their daily number of impact hours in order to solve their problems, but if the student continues to starve their dream for lack of daily hours, I will recuse myself. This is a losing strategy. They’re going to have to find a cheaper way to lose, and I get to look for a new student who is hungry to shape their life with control of their time and efforts.

“Start with the basics, by adopting the following three precepts when it comes to your kids: “You are the expert on you.” “You have a brain in your head.” “You want your life to work.” When you buy into these three things, it’s much easier to tell your kid, “It’s your call. I have confidence in your ability to make informed decisions about your own life and to learn from your mistakes.”

William Stixrud

What's My Student's Role?

Your child is expected to work in good faith with me to accomplish their learning objectives as well as exert their best efforts to improve as a person.

An Equitable Sharing Of Risks and Gains

Let’s start with the potential gains. You, as the parent, seek to gain a relaxed home space where you can enjoy your family instead of fighting with them. You also stand to gain the financial and emotional benefits of your child’s potential success. Your child stands to gain a more secure future and the chance to prove that their work, done the way they want it to be, can lead to their own accomplishment. I stand to gain not only your eventual review and referrals of my services, but also the fulfillment of truly improving the life and the future of your student.

Now, the risks. As a parent, you are investing your time and your capital into these tutorials. While most of my previous students have experienced success ranging from marginal gain to completely remapping their collegiate map, there is ultimately no guarantee that your student will experience such a change. Your student also puts their irreplaceable time at risk, as well as their outcome. I am beholden to you and your student’s review on google. Currently, I enjoy a five star rating, and I do not seek to lower it.

“Don't try to carpet the world when it's far easier to give out slippers.”

William Stixrud

What should my student do now?

If they have not already done so, your child should read the student portion of this website so they can understand better the kind of arrangement I am proposing. It is very important to have everyone’s buy in before we begin our new roles. Once you both are on board, please submit an application to enroll a student here.

Table of Contents

What's Left?

Thank you for learning about my business. Where would you like to head next, or are you ready to apply?

Research

My instruction is based on real science. Let’s nerd out.

The Three Party Agreement

A significant departure from conventional tutoring.

Are you ready to apply?

Which subjects do you tutor?

have a question?