- Paperback: 352 pages
- Publisher: Twelve; Reprint edition (Jan. 5 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0446504130
- ISBN-13: 978-0446504133
- Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 2.5 x 20.3 cm
- Shipping Weight: 295 g
- Average Customer Review: 17 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #44,327 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children Paperback – Jan 5 2011
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"The Freakonomics of child rearing... a fantastic read... a wake-up call for parents."
―Good Morning America
^Astonishing... prepare to be slack-jawed... This tour de force is one of the best parenting psychology books in years and will likely be seismic in influence."
―Library Journal (Starred Review)
-- Washington Post^Compelling... Captivating... Explains cutting-edge research to the lay readership... It's riveting."
-- San Francisco Chronicle^"A highly readable Malcolm Gladwell-esque look at the social science of child rearing."
-- 'XX Factor,' Slate.com^"The most important book I've read this year... If you only read one thing I review, please make it this."
^"Some of the most groundbreaking research on children conducted in years... will knock your socks off."
―HuffingtonPost.com^"Engaging.... revelatory... A funny, clever, sensible book. Every parent should read it."
^"Adds insight to irresistible nonfiction subject matter... destined to turn up in conversations among working parents."
―Susan Dominus, New York Times
^"The least touchy-feely [parenting book] ever... hard to put down and easy to take seriously."
―"A.V. Club," The Onion
^"Irresistible... [NurtureShock] will make you a better mom or dad without you even knowing it."
About the Author
Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman's New York Magazine articles on the science of children won the magazine journalism award from the American Association for the Advancement of Science, as well as the Clarion Award from the Association for Women in Communications. Their articles for Time Magazine won the award for outstanding journalism from the Council on Contemporary Families. Bronson has authored five books, including the #1 New York Times bestseller What Should I Do With My Life?
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The authors then summarize the current research on each of these topics, and come up with answers that run counter to popular conventions. For example, scolding your child for lying can have the effect of promoting lying. Because it teaches the child that admitting to lying means they're going to get a scolding. Better for them to just keep quiet. Better yet for you to praise their honesty, so they're motivated to be honest rather than trying to motivate them to be afraid of lying. That's not revolutionary, but then again, neither are children. They are complicated though, and so is parenting. While they aren't as careful in the individual chapters, the authors do state in the introduction that children are not "one size fits all" in their development. That's important for parents to realize. Still, science can tell us what works for most kids most of the time.
So it's very nice to have a book that does a lot of the hard work for parents by speaking to a wide range of different experts, reading (sometimes dense) scientific journal articles, and coming up with an easy-to-read summary of the issue. As a professional and a parent, I found that I knew and agree with parts of the book, but there were other issues that were enlightening to me. Bronson and Merryman are careful not to preach to parents about what's right and wrong. Rather, they present the evidence, which speaks pretty clearly for itself. This kind of advice- impartial, evidence-based, and pragmatic, makes the book a very worthwhile read for parents of children of all ages. The advice, as you can tell from the topics, ranges from infants to teens. The book in general is clearly written and engaging, but there are still lots of good references at the end of the book should you be interested in digging deeper on your own for any of the topics. My only complaint would be that there weren't more topics covered, but that would both go against making the book easily digestible and be a never-ending task. As it stands, Nutureshock will almost certainly make you think about how you parent and/or the reasons why certain parenting actions make the difference that they do.
Why is it that children are sleeping in class?
How can praising children have an adverse effect?
Why do children lie?
Why do siblings fight?
Can self-control be taught?
These and a multitude of other questions are being addressed in NurtureShock.
The style of writing for this book is easy to follow and relies heavily on recent research to support the authors' argument. It is straight forward and not a 'dry read'; you don't have to look up anything on Google or on Wikipedia. The concepts and findings are easy to understand and the authors build up what is necessary in order to make their point.
The authors aren't telling the readers what is the right way to nurture children as that would be an insult to many parents, but rather what the research is telling us about the effects of the different ways parents and teachers are contributing to the children's growth. The book is more about the general findings and how this may be applied to most children.
This book is far from boring. To many parents, many ideas will challenge you and baffle you. I wouldn't say this book will ultimately change the way kids are being raised as old habits die hard, but you will experience a nurture shock.
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Can you tell if children are lying? Most adults believe they can: they also frequently believe that boys are more prone to...Read more
He was five when I read it, and I found lots of interesting ideas about raising children.