208 of 257 people found the following review helpful
Interesting data but so what for parents?,
This review is from: NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Program (What's this?)Every chapter that I read in this book had some very interesting data and scientific results. But in almost every case, I came away with a "so what" feeling for parents. Great, so we now know the importance of a regular sleep schedule for kids and letting them sleep later, that it will have a marked improvement on academic results. So what, unless you are on the school board, your school's classes are still going to start at the same too-early time and underachieve. What about the chapter showing that IQ tests and other predictive intelligence or aptitude testing for preschoolers (or anyone before about 2nd grade) are wrong more often than they're right? Interesting to know but if you are a parent wanting your kid into an exclusive school or a gifted program, your kid still has to take the test at the age the school prescribes.
I guess in a way, the book's subtitle gets it right: "new thinking about children." It's not "new best-practices in children rearing" or "new ways to make a positive impact for children." It's just "thinking about."
All in all, much of the data is interesting: drug avoidance programs are popular but ineffective, too much non-specific praise is a bad thing, siblings who fight have better relationships than siblings who ignore each other. It's all very interesting to think about, but as a parent, there's very little prescription here for what to actually do.
One other thing worth noting: although the book is listed as 350 pages, the 10 chapters and conclusion make up about 240 pages. There are nearly 100 pages of reference endnotes to all the scientific research cited.
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Showing 1-10 of 19 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Aug 3, 2009 4:01:05 PM PDT
L. L Teuling says:
By the way -- some of those endnotes are fascinating!
Posted on Sep 7, 2009 9:11:08 PM PDT
Patrick Llerena says:
I think they leave the "Now What" up to you. If you have the time and aptitude, get more involved with decision making bodies relating to you child's education. If a school requires dodgy tests for admission, vote with your feet. Praise and criticize your child's actions & achievements, not just your child. Get your child early to bed.
I, too, love the extensive endnotes and documentation. I find it gives their results an extraordinary level of credibility. Most often books relating to children or psychology are mere conjecture or one persons interpretation of one very limited study. Merriman and Bronson have given the reader almost 100 pages of notes and citations. Wow! This is not Dr. Phil pop-psych. This is real Scientific and Academic research, analysis, and presentation.
Posted on Sep 21, 2009 11:07:51 AM PDT
summer wind says:
In reply to an earlier post on Sep 21, 2009 9:34:40 PM PDT
"Me and all of my friends and I" ... maybe you should catch up on that sleep! (coming from a B student who slept in)
In reply to an earlier post on Sep 29, 2009 6:05:01 PM PDT
Yes, Armand! Go to bed, Elisabbath!
In reply to an earlier post on Oct 1, 2009 7:41:50 PM PDT
Clearly, "personal and anecdotal evidence" are never altered to support an overriding theory or misreported - ever. Personal stories and anecdotal evidence are about as bias-free, accurate and objective as you can get. Bring on those stories and let's throw all the scientific research where it belongs! Elisabbath, tell us that you are kidding - PUHLEEZE!
In reply to an earlier post on Oct 2, 2009 1:13:21 PM PDT
Dorothy Menosky says:
This is a joke - right? Come on Elisabbath, you graduated with a 4.2 GPA and you teach? Your lack of knowledge is so obvious, and you certainly didn't get an A in grammar.
Posted on Oct 11, 2009 8:58:24 AM PDT
Lisa G says:
Did we read the same book?
On sleep: No, you can't change your school start time arbitrarily but you can:
- Make your kids got to bed earlier, even if they have to give up some activity, because the science clearly shows the lack of sleep hurts far more than the loss of an activity.
- You can contact your school board. Agitate for a change. Bring the book. Join the PTA. Join or start a parent's group. Call your local Gazette.
Early Intelligence Tests:
- I would think the book would leave you questioning the value of a hyper-competitive academic environment.
- Even if it doesn't and your kid missed the cut-off in Kindergarten, go to your principal at 3rd grade and DEMAND that your child be re-tested. Don't take no for an answer. Again, go to your school board or your local representatives if you don't get help.
- I thought this was the most specific chapter there. Don't praise, "You're so smart!" Give specific praise on effort - "All your studying really paid off!" "I'm so proud of how hard you worked!" Don't give a praise Every Single Time. Go back over that chapter. There are lots of specifics scattered throughout.
- Show your children how to play together and have fun.
- Give them incentives to play well and be nice, and disincentives to be mean. As in, punish them. Give them a reason to behave well.
In reply to an earlier post on Oct 12, 2009 6:33:10 PM PDT
J. Minatel says:
Lisa G: Thanks for your response and I'm glad you got more actionable ideas out of the book than I did. Maybe I will re-read it and take some written notes.
BTW, on the amount of sleep issue, I got from what I read that it wasn't just raw hours of sleep which yes, I do have some control over but also specifically what time they wake. That regardless of what time they go to bed, that early school morning starts are not the best for learning. Maybe I read too much into that and that's another section I'll try to take a 2nd look at.
And thanks for the "on topic" comment. :)
Posted on Oct 15, 2009 12:34:16 AM PDT
Excellent review! I was going to write one, but you expressed my reaction better than I could. Like you, I'm a parent and a reader who looks for ideas I can put into action. There are a few in this book, but many of the authors' observations lead down a dead end; one more thing we can "be concerned about" and stress even more. You do others a service in pointing out the end notes take up almost a third of the pages. I'm glad the authors documented their homework, but was taken aback at the surprisingly short "main act." I'll look at your other reviews. Bravo!