NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children
  • NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children
  • NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children

NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children

4.3 113
by Po Bronson, Ashley Merryman
     
 

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One of the most influential books about children ever published, NurtureShock offers a revolutionary new perspective on children that upends a library's worth of conventional wisdom. With impeccable storytelling and razor-sharp analysis, the authors demonstrate that many of modern society's strategies for nurturing children are in fact backfiring—because key

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Overview

One of the most influential books about children ever published, NurtureShock offers a revolutionary new perspective on children that upends a library's worth of conventional wisdom. With impeccable storytelling and razor-sharp analysis, the authors demonstrate that many of modern society's strategies for nurturing children are in fact backfiring—because key twists in the science have been overlooked. Nothing like a parenting manual, NurtureShock gets to the core of how we grow, learn and live.

Released in hardcover in September 2009, NurtureShock remained on the New York Times best seller list for three months, and was one of Amazon's best selling books for 2009. The book has become a worldwide phenomenon with editions published around the world - in fifteen languages, to date.

In addition to Bronson and Merryman's writings on praise — first made famous in New York magazine — there are nine more equally groundbreaking chapters. Among the topics covered:

Why the most brutal person in a child's life is often a sibling, and how a single aspect of their preschool-aged play can determine their relationship as adults.

When is it too soon - or too late - to teach a child about race? Children in diverse schools are less likely to have a cross-racial friendship, not more - so is school diversity backfiring?

Millions of families are fighting to get their kids into private schools and advanced programs as early as possible. But schools are missing the best kids, 73% of the time - the new neuroscience explains why.

Why are kids - even those from the best of homes - still aggressive and cruel? The answer is found in a rethinking of parental conflict, discipline, television's unexpected influence, and social dominance.

Parents are desperate to jump-start infants' language skills. Recently, scientists have discovered a series of natural techniques that are astonishing in their efficacy - it's not baby videos, sign language, or even the richness of language exposure. It's nothing you've heard before.

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Editorial Reviews

TheDailyBeast.com
"Irresistible... [NurtureShock] will make you a better mom or dad without you even knowing it."
Susan Dominus - New York Times
"Adds insight to irresistible nonfiction subject matter... destined to turn up in conversations among working parents."
From the Publisher
"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)
"

Blinding... Brilliant."

— 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."
Wired
"

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."
Financial Times
"

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."
TheDailyBeast.com

"A.V. Club
"The least touchy-feely [parenting book] ever... hard to put down and easy to take seriously."
Good Morning America
"The Freakonomics of child rearing... a fantastic read... a wake-up call for parents."
Wired
"The most important book I've read this year... If you only read one thing I review, please make it this."
HuffingtonPost.com
"Some of the most groundbreaking research on children conducted in years... will knock your socks off."
Financial Times
"Engaging.... revelatory... A funny, clever, sensible book. Every parent should read it."
Publishers Weekly
The central premise of this book by Bronson (What Should I Do with My Life?) and Merryman, a Washington Post journalist, is that many of modern society's most popular strategies for raising children are in fact backfiring because key points in the science of child development and behavior have been overlooked. Two errant assumptions are responsible for current distorted child-rearing habits, dysfunctional school programs and wrongheaded social policies: first, things work in children the same way they work in adults and, second, positive traits necessarily oppose and ward off negative behavior. These myths, and others, are addressed in 10 provocative chapters that cover such issues as the inverse power of praise (effort counts more than results); why insufficient sleep adversely affects kids' capacity to learn; why white parents don't talk about race; why kids lie; that evaluation methods for “giftedness” and accompanying programs don't work; why siblings really fight (to get closer). Grownups who trust in “old-fashioned” common-sense child-rearing—the definitely un-PC variety, with no negotiation or parent-child equality—will have less patience for this book than those who fear they lack innate parenting instincts. The chatty reportage and plentiful anecdotes belie the thorough research backing up numerous cited case studies, experts' findings and examination of successful progressive programs at work in schools. (Sept.)
Kirkus Reviews
A provocative collection of essays popularizing recent research that challenges conventional wisdom about raising children. An award-winning article, "How Not to Talk to Your Kids," which advised parents that telling children they are smart is counterproductive, prompted journalists Bronson (Why Do I Love These People?: Honest and Amazing Stories of Real Families, 2005, etc.) and Merryman to dig further into the science of child development. Here they ably explore a range of subjects of interest to parents: adolescents' sleep needs and the effects of sleep deprivation, children's attitudes toward skin color and race, why children lie, the dangers of using a single intelligence test at an early age to determine giftedness, how interactions with other children affect relationships with siblings, the positive effects of marital conflict, how self-control can be taught, the effects of different types of TV programs on children's behavior and the development of language in young children. Their findings are often surprising. For example, in schools with greater racial diversity, the odds that a child will have a friend of a different race decrease; listening to "baby DVDs" does not increase an infant's rate of word acquisition; children with inconsistent and permissive fathers are nearly as aggressive in school as children of distant and disengaged fathers. Bronson and Merryman call attention to what they see as two basic errors in thinking about children. The first is the fallacy of similar effect-the assumption that what is true for adults is also true for children. The second-the fallacy of the good/bad dichotomy-is the assumption that a trait or factor is either good or bad, when in factit may be both (e.g., skill at lying may be a sign of intelligence, and empathy may become a tool of aggression.) The authors also provide helpful notes for each chapter and an extensive bibliography. A skilled, accessible presentation of scientific research in layman's language.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780446504133
Publisher:
Grand Central Publishing
Publication date:
01/05/2011
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
73,039
Product dimensions:
5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x 1.00(d)

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Susan Dominus
Adds insight to irresistible nonfiction subject matter... destined to turn up in conversations among working parents.

New York Times

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