Leanne's Reviews > NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children

NurtureShock by Po Bronson
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's review
Mar 07, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: parenting, self-help
Read from March 07 to 24, 2011

I'm always looking for ways to be a better parent, to give my kids the best chance I can. So it is no surprise that Nurture Shock caught my eye. I like that Po Bronson uses a conversational tone to interpret new scientific studies on children. Some of it felt like a no-brainer to me--common sense tells me that testing children's kindergarten IQ is not the best way to predict their future success--but some of the chapters felt helpful.

For example, I felt quite cheered up to read that children who argue with their parents are generally being much more honest with them. In fact the entire chapter on the "Science of Tenn Rebellion," felt reassuring. A lot of what Bronson writes, points out that what we do or don't do as parents really does matter.

The first chapter, "The inverse Power of Praise," (similar to Alfie Kohn's Punished by Rewards), reveals that instead of our well-meaning praise building our children's "self-esteem," we are actually creating praise junkies who have "an actual chemical need for constant reward." Such praise dependency robs our children of the quality of persistence--a very important point our society needs to grasp.

I thought the book was well-worth my time; I just wish I could commit more of it to my memory and use it in my every day parenting!

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