Friday, June 15, 2012

Book Review -- NurtureShock

NurtureShock: New Thinking About ChildrenNurtureShock: New Thinking About Children by Po Bronson
My enjoyment rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Book source:  Nook
Genre:  Non fiction; self help-parenting
Objectionable material: none -- unless what they espouse makes you uncomfortable as a parent!

One thing I’ve done right as a parent – taught my children to sleep. Teach you might ask? Yes…it started when they were 6 weeks old – consider it basic training for infants – or Baby Wise or Baby Whisperer or Cry it Out – regardless, it worked and my kids have always had strict bedtimes and no other sleep related issues.

In their book, NurtureShock, Po Bronson and Ashley Merriman try to de-bunk the common myths most parents adhere to when raising their child(ren): praise and reward them often, their activity schedule is more important than their sleep schedule, raising a child in a diverse environment automatically makes them racially accepting, sitting a child in front of a language video will immediately advance their language skills, among other issues like lying, and sibling rivalry

For the most part – none of their topics seemed “new” or “wow’d” me. We’ve always put a priority on sleep; we’ve never been overdosing praise-type parents – probably because my kids are just “average” kids – who for the most part struggle with everything they attempt. So instead of “you’re so smart” or “you’re so great”, it’s “you’ve got to try harder…”.

I certainly appreciated the chapter on LYING. We’ve entered that phase in our household. To know that my kid isn’t necessarily evil – and that 96% of kids lie to their parents – is comforting, I guess. Also, that the arguments my daughter and I have will most likely be forgotten, is a relief. Whew.

After spending a week at boy scout camp, I’m sure my husband would view this book as required reading for 98% of the parents who had kids there, because of the behavior issues he encountered. He is done with over-praised, self entitled children.

Overall, a good analysis and shake up of long held beliefs – and how we can do better for our kids.