Parents book_announcement_main

Published on February 17th, 2016 | by Brett Harris

Raising Kids to Do Hard Things (Our New Book For Parents)

Ever since Do Hard Things came out (back in 2008) we’ve had moms and dads asking us: “When are your parents going to write a book?”

Well, I’m pleased to announce that my dad and I are getting REALLY close to wrapping up our long-awaited book, Raising Kids to Do Hard Things.

This new book for parents is all about how to do hard things as a family and raise self-motivated kids who take the initiative at home, at school, and in their community.

It’s about how parents can create an environment in their home that encourages and equips their children to rebel against low expectations.

It’s about the difference between making your kids do hard things (i.e. forcing and nagging) and raising your kids to do hard things, where they’ve truly bought into the wisdom and goodness of stepping outside their comfort zones in service to God and others.

(You can download a rough version of the book’s introduction by clicking here.)

Click Here For Book Preview

The Crazy Story Behind This Book

There’s a crazy story behind this book. And I want to tell you that story for two reasons:

First, because I believe in being transparent. I don’t want to make it look like we have everything together when we don’t.

Second, because the story has a happy ending — and you have a chance to be part of it through our Raising Kids to Do Hard Things online course.

So, here’s the crazy story… (the short version)

My parents, Gregg and Sono Harris, signed a publishing contract to write Raising Kids to Do Hard Things back in 2009.

That’s right… EIGHT years ago.

You may know what happened next. My mother was diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer and passed away on July 4, 2010. My dad was suddenly a widower and a single parent with three kids still at home — the youngest only 10.

The book project was put on hold indefinitely.

Eventually, it became clear that my dad wasn’t going to be able to write the book by himself. The publisher had tried teaming him up with various writers, but none of those partnerships had worked out.

As a senior in college, I realized that the most obvious person to write the book with my dad… was me. After all, I knew the material better than almost anyone. I had lived it. I knew how powerful my dad’s ideas were, because they’d literally changed my life.

And I thought, “What better way to honor my father and mother than to help preserve and pass along some of their wisdom?” So, three years ago, in 2012, I jumped into the project full-time. 

Then disaster struck again. A few months into our marriage my precious wife, Ana, got really sick, really fast. Once again the book was put on hold as my dad and our publisher freed me up to take care of my bride.

I won’t go into all the details, but if you are interested you can read more over at the Gospel Coalition website.

The last 5 years have been a roller-coaster. Ana is doing much better, but still has a long way to go. And along the way I have been chipping away on the book, sending chapters to my dad and to my editors as I can, and making slow progress.

Today, we have a manuscript. It’s still rough around the edges, but the content is there. And here’s where YOU come in…

(This is the happy ending)

Over the last few years we’ve had hundreds of Christian families walk through the entire manuscript with us through our Raising Kids To Do Hard Things online course.

Here’s how one mom described the experience:

When I heard about the new class the Harris family was offering, I knew it would bless us. Even though our children now range in age from 15 to 28, and are all walking with the Lord, I learned so much from this class! The profound truths that are shared, and the wonderfully interactive format of the class, blessed my heart richly.

When the book comes out, it will not only be my new favorite baby shower gift, but we plan to also make copies available at our church. The vision cast through these teachings for who our children are supposed to be in the Lord is empowering and exciting. Hope will be renewed, even as the culture around us tries to deaden our understanding of who God created our children to be.

I strongly and urgently encourage all parents to take the “Raising Kids to Do Hard Things” online course. The world desperately needs our families to be salt and light, and this course is a wonderful tool to help parents fulfill that responsibility.

— Anne Conder

So here’s the good news: Right now (between October 30th and November 16th, 2017) enrollment for the Raising Kids online course is OPEN. We want to give more families the opportunity to engage directly with us and with the pre-release manuscript.

Our goal is to work with 500 families before submitting the final manuscript to our publisher. If you’d like to be one of them, there are two things you need to do:

1. Pick a time and place to watch the 15-minute course overview.

2. Enroll in the course before registration closes on Thursday, November 16th.

I hope you can join us.

About the Author

is co-founder of and co-author of Do Hard Things, along with his twin brother, Alex. He is married to his best friend, Ana, who blogs at He is the founder of the Young Writers Workshop — an ongoing coaching program for serious writers.

  • Tatiana

    That’s truly amazing! I’ll be sure to tell my mom about this. I’m so glad you guys are doing this, I know DHTU was amazing so this has to be.

    • Thanks so much, Tatiana! You can think of this as Do Hard Things University for parents. =)

      • @BrettHarris:disqus, what is Do Hard Things University? How much does it cost?

        • DHTU was a six-week online course I taught last year for young people who want to change the world. I’m planning to do it again this year, but don’t have all the details ironed out.

          • Schweet!!

          • Hey Sam?

            I’m having some trouble with DHTU Connect. It won’t publish anything I write anywhere. Got any tips?

          • Hmmmmmmm. You’re in there, right? And you’ve tried making a post and a comment? Or just one? Also, are you on a computer or a mobile device?

          • I’m on a computer. I had to check the box (remember me) in order to stay logged in, because it keeps logging me out as soon as I’ve logged in and clicked on something. I’ve tried sending messages and posting, (many times) on various threads, all to no avail.

          • I think you need to have browser cookies enabled, if you don’t already. If the site has worked on that computer (specifically that browser) before, and you didn’t change anything, then that’s probably all set.

            It may be something I tested recently. I’m going to go make sure I put everything back in order. Hmm. Not sure. I’m confident that something is messed up right now, but I don’t know exactly how to take care of it right now. More on that later…

            One thing to try is removing the page name from the link and trying that. For example, “” instead of “”.

            If you actually made it to the dashboard, bring down the account menu and actually click the logout button, then log in again. It seems like I had to do that once when I changed something.

            But, if all fails, try again later this week. The plan is to do some major upgrades and move some stuff around on that site and my other site. The whole process would most likely make the problem go away entirely. :)

          • Thanks, Sam:) I’ll try your suggestions and see if anything works. (*crosses fingers hopefully*)

          • It’s still not working. I’ll just try again later and see what happens. :/

          • Okay. Oh hmm! One more thing you could try. Open a private session (inprivate/incognito) of your browser, and try to log in from there. (I think you’ll have to check “remember me” for it to work.) Basically, if you use a private session, it won’t try to use what it thinks it already knows about the website. Sometimes that’s a cure.

          • Hey Mallory. :) I completed the migration today, so I think it should work now. Let me know.

          • Yay! I can post again! Whoohoo! And it’s so much faster than before:D

            Thanks, Sam! :)

          • Yeah that must have been what I did. I didn’t think it would break it for anybody. Sorry!

          • That’s okay:) It probably wasn’t your fault. I’ve actually been having some problems with it for a month or two, (I’ve been praying every time I hit submit that it will actually go through) but it didn’t completely stop posting things for me until more recently.

          • Ah, well that was when our shared server was reallllllly slow. We’ve been using one (since the end of November) that can’t handle the traffic we get between that site and Revive. It’s been really bad for a while. So…this week the plan is to move to a new server, that hopefully won’t give us so much trouble. :) And in the process, it will wipe out the other problem I just identified tonight.

      • DHTU is the best! I can’t believe it’s only been a year! I’ve been trying all kinds of new and scary hard things since then:)

    • I know, right!?

      • Gabrielle

        Oh my gosh!!! Hey me brother Sam!!! How’s it going??!!!

        • Oh hey! It’s going okay for me. :) How are you doing?

          • Gabrielle

            I’m alright, just trying to finish high school and fight my crazy sleep pattern, which totally disrupts my entire day, and sometimes makes me miss my personal time with God in the morning, which is SO critical!! I’m hanging in there!! Kinda hard right now, but I’m striving to keep God first this year, no matter what!

  • This is so awesome!

  • Woah, I’m so sorry. I didn’t know your mother died. : (

  • Sydney

    As soon as I got the email announcing the release of this book I forwarded it to my parents! This is awesome.

    • Thanks so much, Sydney! I really believe that the BEST thing I can do to help young people is to encourage and equip their parents — so I’m super-excited about this book and online course.

  • Haylie

    I’m super excited about this Brett, and I’ll be praying for you and your Dad as you finish up the book :)

  • Hong DanielEP

    This is an amazing idea. I’ll be praying for you and your father to be strengthen by God always. Love the fact that God is preparing ‘families’ to do hard, great things.

  • anica chen

    Thank you Brett, what you provided has always been a blessing for us! Will keep praying for your work and everything!

  • Angela

    I`m glad that you`re helping your dad finish the book. I`m getting this for my parents the second it comes out!

  • Congratulations to you and your dad on the new book, Brett!

  • Cooper Cross

    It hasn’t come out……..It has been 2 years……….i feel like this site is dead sometimes……..

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