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Nurture the Nature: Understanding and Supporting Your Child's Unique Core Personality Hardcover – April 20, 2007

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Family therapist Gurian (The Wonder of Girls) approaches his nature-based theme from a slightly different angle in his latest work, urging parents to buck "social trends parenting" and make decisions based on the core personality of their individual child. A researcher of brain science and gender differences, Gurian believes that much of a child's behavior is inborn from the start. But Gurian sees a disturbing trend in parents' increasing willingness to disregard their own instincts, letting media and society-driven fads dictate the way they raise their kids. In his own "clinical detective work," he has found that children are becoming bogged down by activity overload and the "material anxiety" that arises from trying to keep up with the latest designer fads or electronic gadgets. Gurian presents an in-depth, chapter-by-chapter analysis of child development, beginning at infancy and ending in early adulthood. Gurian's presentation is comprehensive and peppered with fascinating facts (i.e., how pheromones of biological fathers affect the onset of girls' puberty or how parts of a toddler's brain actually swell during a tantrum). The author's new text will help parents begin, in the tradition of Maria Montessori, to "follow the child," rather than adapt their kids to a contemporary one-size-fits-all mold. (May)
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From Booklist

Scoffing at fads in parenting, Gurian, family therapist and author of The Wonder of Boys (1996) and The Wonder of Girls (2002), encourages parents to fine-tune their child rearing to the unique personalities of their children. Each child has a core nature, or temperament, that parents should heed when deciding on discipline, nurturing, education, activities, and the myriad other decisions that go into parenting. He urges parents to resist "social trends parenting," which is contradictory, confusing, and mass-marketed. He details 10 myths of social trends, including that experts know more about children than parents, children are born as blank slates and parents are responsible for engraving the slates, and children's lives must be regulated with lessons and activities. Gurian uses case studies and offers specific advice for parents to address issues from eating disorders to misbehavior to school performance at each stage of a child's development, taking into account a child's unique personality. Sound advice for parents who want to avoid cookie-cutter approaches. Vanessa Bush
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 1 edition (April 20, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 078798633X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0787986339
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.3 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,701,820 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Michael Gurian is a social philosopher, family therapist, corporate consultant, and the New York Times bestselling author of twenty books published in fifteen languages. The Gurian Institute, which he co-founded, conducts research internationally, launches pilot programs and trains professionals. Michael has been called "the people's philosopher" for his ability to bring together people's ordinary lives and scientific ideas.
As a social philosopher, he has pioneered efforts to bring neuro-biology and brain research into homes, workplaces, schools and public policy. A number of his ground-breaking books in child development, including THE WONDER OF BOYS, BOYS AND GIRLS LEARN DIFFERENTLY! THE WONDER OF GIRLS and WHAT COULD HE BE THINKING? have sparked national debate. His newest work, THE MINDS OF BOYS (September 2005) provides a revolutionary new framework, based in neuro-biology, by which to understand and care for the educational needs of our sons.
Michael has served as a consultant to families, corporations, therapists, physicians, school districts, community agencies, churches, criminal justice personnel and other professionals, traveling to approximately 20 cities a year to keynote at conferences. His training videos (also available as DVDs) for parents and volunteers are used by Big Brother and Big Sister agencies in the U.S. and Canada.
As an educator, Michael previously taught at Gonzaga University, Eastern Washington University, and Ankara University. His speaking engagements include Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, Stanford University, Macalester College, University of Colorado, University of Missouri-Kansas City, and UCLA. His philosophy reflects the diverse cultures (European, Asian, Middle Eastern and American) in which he has lived, worked and studied.
Michael's work has been featured in various media, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, USA Today, Newsweek, Time, People, Reader's Digest, the Wall Street Journal, Parenting, Good Housekeeping, Redbook, and on the Today Show, Good Morning America, CNN, PBS and National Public Radio.
Michael can be reached on the worldwide web at
www.michaelgurian.com

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By James S. Hadaway on May 29, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Michael Gurian has written a book that gives me the confidence to follow my parenting instincts. Many times, what I thought was the right course of action ran counter to the popular parenting theories of the day. I naturally assumed that I was wrong and gave in to what the "experts" were saying. In this book, Michael Gurian points out that our instincts are usually correct and he gives the scientific background to support this conclusion.

Children are not a "blank slate". They are born with natural tendencies and personalities. As parents, it is our responsibility to provide the support and guidance that allows the child's personality and abilities to shine through. As a result, the child is allowed to grow into the most capable adult possible. Gurian's book gives a parent the resources needed to resist "social trends parenting".

As an educator (I teach math), this book has given me a new appreciation for the individuality of each student. I am reminded that children do not come with a common template and that teaching them as if they did will, in most cases, miss the mark.

For parents, educators, and anyone who deals with children (which includes almost everyone), this is a most important book.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Lawrence R. Hackett on May 30, 2007
Format: Hardcover
As he has done in earlier books and presentations Michael Gurian again exercises his unique ability to communicate the interlocking realities of nurture and nature in the daunting tasks of raising children. He combines experience and insights from his practice of family therapy, his own parenting evolution and the best thoughts of those helping us understand the rapidly increasing knowledge in neuro-science and gender differences. He presents the reader with an extremely accessible sequence of suggestions for helping children grow from pre-natal to young adult.

Using both his gifts as a story-teller and educator Michael entertains and inspires while providing the reader with specific ideas and methods to be explored. Nurture the Nature invites us to action on behalf of our child and children everywhere.

Michael offers a firm but gentle hand to help us surmount the significant hurdles contemporary life-styles provide. He may occasionally jar us from a treasured accepted practice and generally asks us to rethink our over-dependence on social trends as our primary reference but in it all strongly urges us to discover and nurture our individual child's inborn nature.

As a (not-so-great or grand) great-grandfather I am introducing this book to my extended family and all those with whom I work in education and family relationships. Thank you, Michael, for what has come before and now this wonderful addition to your wise counsel!

Larry Hackett
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Betsy Hoke on May 29, 2007
Format: Hardcover
As an educator and school administrator for more than three decades and a parent of two college-age children, I wish this book had been available for the past 25 years. In Nurture the Nature, Michael Gurian gives the key to raising healthy and happy children: discovering, appreciating and following each child's basic personality. His suggestions are down to earth and just what parents need to hear in our media-dominated culture that sends many unhealthy messages to children and parents. The clearly presented information is carefully connected to scientific research and provides valuable tips for parenting children of all ages. Unlike most books written for parents, it will not overwhelm the readers with what they may be doing wrong, but instead give them the tools to meet the needs of each of their children. For parents, parents-to-be and anyone who works with children, this is a must read book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By S. Regner on October 19, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Encourages that you follow your own instincts with your children and pay attention to their personalities. Following this advice leads to less stress in parenting and happier children.
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11 of 16 people found the following review helpful By viktor_57 on May 8, 2007
Format: Hardcover
As the expecting parents of a baby boy, my wife and I have made it our happy mission to become as fully informed as possible in the science of child care to give our little one all the advantages for a happy, healthy and productive childhood. We also bought him a printing calculator, green eyeshades, some blank ledgers, a bunch of no. 2 pencils, and a complete copy of the latest U.S. tax code because we knew he would grow up to be a great accountant, if not the greatest.

"Nurture the Nature: Understanding and Supporting Your Child's Unique Core Personality" opened our eyes at how media portrayals of flashy and successful accountants were biasing how we viewed our unborn child. Rather than accepting him for who he will be, we were unfairly forcing our own dreams upon him, setting him up for possible frustration and failure.

Michael Gurian, one of the founders of the Gurian Institute, "a training organization focused on providing schools, homes, workplaces, and community agencies with crucial understanding of how boys and girls learn and grow," brings his years of experience and the latest scientific findings to "Nurture the Nature", offering practical advice based on research and observation. Warning against current societal trends which overburden children with activity overload (I guess we'll be canceling the baby swim, yoga, reading and equestrian classes... OK, maybe just the equestrian class) and "material anxiety" coming from trying to keep up with the latest gadgets and toys, Gurian offers practical solutions, many from other parents, such as letting the child himself guide his activities and having him give away a toy every time he receives a new one.
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