Nurture Shock: A Summary

Finally got my hot little hands on a copy of Nurture Shock: New Thinking about Children by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman.  After scouring the bookstores, I discovered a copy at Kinokuniya in KLCC and Times Bookstore in Pavilion.  If you’re looking for your own copy, I suggest you get it from Times because it’s about RM30 cheaper.  It’s retailing in Times for RM64.  At Kino, it’s retailing at RM99.  Don’t know why the large discrepancy on the price – possibly hardcover versus soft cover?

Anyway, I haven’t started reading the book, but from the contents page there appears to be a lot of very interesting topics in this book.

I’ve often been told to stop reading books and rely my “parenting instincts” when it comes to raising children.  Interestingly, the introduction to Nurture Shock talks about “why our instincts about children can be so off the mark”.  Whether you believe it to be or not, I definitely think it warrants a closer look, don’t you?

What’s in the book Nurture Shock:

Chapter 1: The Inverse Power of Praise

“Sure he’s special.  But new research suggests if you tell him that, you’ll ruin him.  It’s a neurobiological fact.”

Excerpt – “The Inverse Power of Praise”

Chapter 2: The Lost Hour

“Around the world, children get an hour less sleep than they did thirty years ago.  The cost: IQ points, emotional well-being, ADHD, and obesity.”

Excerpt – “Snooze or Lose”

Chapter 3: Why White Parents Don’t Talk about Race

“Does teaching children about race and skin colour make them better off or worse?”

Excerpt – Even Babies Discriminate

Chapter 4: Why Kids Lie

“We may treasure honesty, but the research is clear.  Most classic strategies to promote truthfulness just encourage kids to be better liars.”

Excerpt – Are Kids Copying Their Parents When They Lie?

Chapter 5: The Search for Intelligent Life in Kindergarten

“Millions of kids are competing for seats in gifted programs and private schools.  Admissions officers say it’s an art: new science says they’re wrong, 73% of the time.

Excerpt – Early Testing in New York City Schools Called Faulty

Chapter 6: The Sibling Effect

“Freud was wrong.  Shakespeare was right.  Why siblings really fight.”

Excerpt – Play Time for Siblings Matters More than When They Fight

Chapter 7: The Science of Teen Rebellion

“Why, for adolescents, arguing with adults is a sign of respect, not disrespect – and arguing is constructive to the relationship, not destructive.”

Excerpt – Why Counting Blessings is so hard for teenagers

Chapter 8:  Can Self-Control be Taught?

“Developers of a new kind of preschool keep losing their grant money – the students are so successful they’re no longer “at-risk enough” to warrant further study.  What’s their secret?”

Excerpt – How Long Does Your Child Play With Their Favorite Toy?

Tools of the Mind – “Can the Right Kinds of Play Teach Self-Control?

Chapter 9: Plays Well with Others

“Why modern involved parenting has failed to produce a generation of angels.”

Chapter 10: Why Hannah Talks and Alyssa Doesn’t

“Despite scientists’ admonitions, parents still spend billions every year on gimmicks and videos, hoping to jump-start infants’ language skills.  What is the right way to accomplish this goal?”

Excerpt – 11 Ways to Jump-Start Infant and Toddler Language Skills

Now if that list of topics doesn’t interest you at all, then I’m not sure what does.

Published by Shen-Li

SHEN-LI LEE is the author of “Brainchild: Secrets to Unlocking Your Child’s Potential”. She is also the founder of Figur8.net (a website on parenting, education, child development) and RightBrainChild.com (a website on Right Brain Education, cognitive development, and maximising potentials). In her spare time, she blogs on Forty, Fit & Fed, and Back to Basics.

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