NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman
I’m a little late to the praise party for this book, but I can’t help myself from jumping on the bandwagon. Disclaimer: I don’t like to read non-fiction, and I have never successfully completed a “parenting book.” But I devoured this book. Why? Because it’s written in a completely accessible style and it’s not a “parenting book.” It’s a book about how kids (of all ages) work, and ways that we’ve been completely misinterpreting them for years.
For example, most of us praise our kids, for all kinds of mundane things, all the time. It’s the best way to instill confidence and self-esteem, right? Wrong! Read chapter 1, “The Inverse Power of Praise” to find out more.
And what’s up with teens, anyway? They’re so angsty and moody. But, I guess that’s just the way things are, they’ll grow out of it. Or maybe it’s that chronic sleep deprivation increases moodiness, adversely affects problem solving skills, and actually causes our brains to process unhappy experiences more effectively than happy ones. Chapter 2, “The Lost Hour” explains it way better than I ever could.
And I wish I could copy chapter 10, “Why Hannah Talks and Alyssa Doesn’t” and hand it out to every mother I see with an infant or toddler in tow. See, we’ve always been told that the most important thing you can do to develop your child’s language skills is talk to them. A lot. About anything. But that’s not it at all — it turns out how we respond to our child’s babbling has a lot more to do with language aquisition than what we say to them.
But wait, there’s more! Chapters about race identification, why kids lie, “gifted” children, sibling relationships, teen rebellion, self-control and social skills literally offer something for every parent, regardless of the age of your child.
So here you go — a non-fiction book anyone can appreciate. Don’t be put off by the science and the scary number on the spine. You’ll like it, I promise. I’d never steer you wrong.
And it this doesn’t float your boat, check out some of our other parenting books to find something that works for you.