This is the best parenting/child development book I have read ever!! I just cannot recommend this book enough. Every time I think about it I want to grab whoever is next to me and tell them that this book is so important and each individual who has any contact with children at all should read it. I wish you could see the full extent of my smile and how I was nodding up and down with my head like a car dash toy pretty much the whole way through NurtureShock. It is sickingly good.
There were several chapters that gave me the chills as I read them, one is the first chapter which is titled The Inverse Power of Praise, and subtitled "Sure, he's special. But new research suggests that if you tell him that, you'll ruin him. It's a neurobiological fact". Okay, so you can probably see where that is going-but the amount of research and time proved what I have known since day one with my boys. My oldest is very smart and educational success comes easily, however I have noticed that he is much quicker to give up than his younger sibling if he doesn't get it right the first time. That is a key of this chapter, that the way we praise our children makes a world of difference as to if they will quit or try until they get it. I can't tell you just how important this chapter is to me, especially since I am staying at home with the boys and we are homeschooling. The second I got this info I tried it and it is completely true- he started to be proud of how hard he was working and not give up as quickly!!
Another chapter (Chapter 3) Why White Parents Don't Talk About Race, subtitled "Does teaching children about race and skin color make them better off or worse?" was shocking! This one will BLOW YOUR MIND. Study after study shows that children DO notice racial differences even if their parents never mention it at all. What this does is it causes them to think that they aren't supposed to notice these differences either-but since they do notice they begin to think all sorts of negatives about why their parents don't want to discuss it.
This chapter as well proved to be completely true in our home. We have been around people of different races, they have friends with different skin tones so I figured-hey why cause distinctions where there shouldn't be any and thus ignoring the issue. I mostly did this because I really had no idea how to talk about it or what to say. Immediately after reading this chapter in the book I began telling the boys about different races, and that we needed to be sure to treat all people equal no matter if they have dark skin, light skin...and so on. Jackson's face lit up and he said, " I was wondering why all those men who play football looked like they have dark skin but I think they are just dirty-they probably smell bad too". I could not believe I was so naive as to think kids could figure out such a difficult issue without my guidance. I guide them in everything else! My negligence could have been really bad if I hadn't figured it out while reading this book. Kids will make guesses as to why others are different and without a parent's guidance they will generally make very wrong assumptions. Now I tell all my friends-"Don't hide race from your kids, they see it!". My kids are 5 and 3 and they noticed already. I now am an advocate for discussing race with children!!
Those are just two of the chapters in the book and you see how it gets me going!? The other chapter titles are:
1. The Inverse Power of Praise "Sure, he's special. But new research suggests that if you tell him that, you'll ruin him. It's a neurobiological fact"
2. The Lost Hour "Around the world, children get an hour less sleep than they did thirty years ago. The cost: IQ Points, emotional well-being, ADHD, and obesity"
3. Why White Parents Don't Talk About Race "Does teaching children about race and skin color make them better off or worse?"
4. Why Kids Lie "We may treasure honesty, but the research is clear. Most classic strategies to promote truthfulness just encourage kids to be better liars",
5. The Search for Intelligent Life in Kindergarten "Millions of kids are competing for seats in gifted programs and private schools. Admissions officers say it's an art: new science days they're wrong, 73% of the time"
6. The Sibling Effect "Freud was wrong. Shakespeare was right. Why siblings really fight"
7. The Science of Teen Rebellion " Why for adolescents, arguing with adults is a sign of respect, not disrespect-and arguing is constructive to the relationship, not destructive"
8. Can Self-Control Be Taught? "Developers of a new kind of preschool keep losing their grant money-the students are so successful they're no longer "a-risk enough" to warrant further study. What's their secret?
9. Plays Well With Others "Why modern involved parenting has failed to produce a generation of angels"
10. Why Hannah Talks and Alyssa Doesn't "Despite scientists' admonitions, parents still spend billions every year on gimmicks and videos, hoping to jump-start infants' language skills. What's the right way to accomplish this goal?"
Again after I wrote all those out I thought, " I need to read Nuture Shock again!!!" Uh-oh! I really just can't tell you how much I think this book will blow you away. I didn't %100 agree with every single thing, but really about %99 of it for sure. I can almost guarantee that you will probably want to underline and pass this book around to your friends. It is the best parenting book that I have read ever. EVER. And captivating to read too- you will understand for the first time so many things that you thought you already knew. A MUST READ.
- ISBN: 9780446504126
- Subtitle: New Thinking about Children
- Author: Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman
- Publisher: Twelve
- Subject:Parenting, Child rearing, Child Development, Children's Studies
- Publication Date:September 2009