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NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children Paperback – January 5, 2011
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Top Customer Reviews
The blurbs about this book intrigued me, but I was also skeptical--until I read the first chapter on the inverse power of praise. Parents and guardians--just get ye to a bookstore and read the first chapter. I think you will be galvanized by its immediacy and logic (as well as back-up data) and it will inspire you to continue. It all clicked when I read about our praise-junkie tendencies, and how it has a paradoxical effect. The authors never condescend to us; they maintain that all of us want to make the best and most informed decisions. For instance, most of us start telling our babies, from the cradle "You are so smart" as almost a mantra of parenting. The authors do not criticize positive praise--they are revealing the data for specific types of praise. Telling a kid he or she is smart rather than specifically praising them for their efforts will eventually backfire. The child will have a tendency to not put out a lot of effort when they are challenged because they are stymied by the feeling that they have to stay smart, or that they must be NOT smart if they can't solve a problem or puzzle.Read more ›
NurtureShock joins a new mini-genre of literature that sells by turning old assumptions on their heads, and making us question what we once thought was surely true. Also in this category is Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything (P.S.) and Outliers: The Story of Success.
The book is highly entertaining, and impossible to read without a number of "Ah Hah!" moments, but does have limitations. While presenting powerful evidence that it is best not to dole out generic praise by the boxcar load to children (it actually impairs their performance) the book is at its best. Teachers, by the way, have known this for decades, and good teachers transformed long ago from non-specific cheerleaders (You're doing great!!) to more specific statements ("I like the way you stuck with that math problem until you figured it out"). Similarly, teachers have been acquainted for years with another theme of the book: academic skill testing done prior to the third grade correlates very poorly with academic performance down the line.Read more ›
The chapters in the book are all very interesting, covering babies and teens and much of the in between. The chapter on testing for giftedness, which has become a hot button topic of late, is very thought-provoking. I agree with the authors that most gifted programs have run badly amok, but as one who had many years of experience at a private school for highly gifted children, I know that there are children who, in an average school environment, would be teased mercilessly for their ability to relate better to numbers and books than to their classmates. For highly gifted girls in particular, a school such as that can be a very safe place for them to be very smart.
The chapters on false praise, sibling rivalry, teen rebellion and overly-involved parenting speak more to an affirmation of common sense wisdom than to academic breakthroughs, but the research and studies are fun to read nonetheless. The chapters on race, sleep and lying are quite thought-provoking. Overall, the book is well written (not in florid or garbled academia-speak), very well researched, and the authors succeed in offering quite a few new, and fun, things to learn about children.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
There was a lot of interesting content in this book, but, in the end, there wasn't really any guidance for parents. Read morePublished 6 days ago by nWiley
If you have children buy this book. I'm a psychology major, it opens your eyes. A key point in the book suggests that telling your kid they are super smart all of the time hinders... Read morePublished 9 days ago by Kristie
Great book about children and problem parents have. Many great ideas on how to help from the experts.Published 20 days ago by James R. Solomon
Looking for similar books now, an intriguing read. Suggested to my friends and family that enjoy learning about child developmentPublished 24 days ago by Nerd's Attic
Very good information for everyone! This is new for me, as a Grandmother and student. Important!Published 28 days ago by Aimee B. Roesel
Loved this book. It really made me rethink what to expect from my kids and what the best tools are for their development.Published 1 month ago by S. Jackson