Tuesday, February 23, 2010


For those of you (most of you) who are also friends with me on Facebook, you may have noticed my status update about the all books I have requested from the library coming in at once. This means I have five books to get through in the next month or so and one is so new it is on a 14 day loan. Eeek! I requested the books at different times and didn't think they would all come in at the same time. I also have a high interest in all of them and don't want to send them back to the library and get on the waiting list again...so reading, reading, reading.

I am taking a quick break from the reading though to mention one book I just finished. I found it fascinating, engaging and very timely to me as our little guy turns one. It seems the first year of parenthood is all about getting to know the baby and making sure the basics are covered: eating, sleeping and attachment. Now I realize we are also responsible for helping our baby to become a happy and well rounded child and later a fully functioning adult.

NurtureShock takes into account some of these issues and examines the recent research to help reexamine our thinking of common parenting issues. From sleep (kids are not getting enough which could be leading to low testing scores and obesity) to race relations (kids need explicit conversations about race), the authors touch on some really interesting insights into our kids. I was really intrigued on the chapter on praise. Research is showing that our constant praising of children is not creating the self-assured kids we hope it to, but children who are so in need of more and more praise they are afraid to take chances.

Chris is reading this book right now too and we are having lots of conversations about the topics it brings up and how we want to raise Milo. Clearly the book doesn't have all the answers, but it does bring up some really interesting questions. The book also isn't a how to guide for parenting, but rather it highlights the current research and lets the reader draw their conclusions.

The book is award winning and is a hot topic right now. It looks like you can read some of the individual articles / chapters on the web site. Checking those out would be a good starting point if you are interested.


Nutsy Coco said...

That sounds like an interesting book. I've seen a number of studies recently about over praising kids today and all the participation awards that are given out. Praise is definitely important, but we learn as much from our failures as our successes and kids need to learn/understand that life has its challenges. I know it's natural to want to protect your child, but my mom was there to help me through my failures which is what's important.

Amy said...

Exactly Melanie. I oversimplified the research, but basically the praise that is shown to be harmful is the "you are so smart" type rather than the "you tried really hard type" of praise. It seems like in some kids the former type of praise made them scared to fail and not get more praise. Does that make sense? I think it is something we should all at least be aware of.

Andrew & Carly's Mom said...

Sounds like an interesting read...I find it frustrating to see kids who can't accept failure b/c they have never been exposed to it -or even worse, adults who create rules that don't 'teach' kids about the ups and downs of life. Now, if only I could find time to even get to the library to check it out!