book coverNurtureShock by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman Our “common sense” about children reflects a lot of thinking that hasn’t held up to testing, usually along the lines that children react like adults. This book by award-wining science journalists tells what newer research shows about various aspects of child development. A few areas were already familiar to me, but most of them were new. They are all discrete and entertaining articles, to make for good dipping into. Topics include the negative effects of praise (by now familiar to me), the importance of sleep, the impossibility of kindergarten iq testing, teaching self-control, why children lie and what it means, infant speech development and why educational videos don’t work, why watching typical preschool tv shows makes kids more aggressive, how to keep siblings from fighting, and why teens feel that arguing is showing respect. Many of the articles would seem to require systemic change to actually implement – things like starting high school an hour later or delaying gifted program testing until third grade. Some are hopefully possible, like being conscious of your own lying behaviors in front of your children or being more conscientious about putting them to bed early. But mostly, this is just a fascinating look into the way children and teens work. Someone else please read it so I can talk about it with you!

About Katy K.

I'm a librarian and book worm who believes that children and adults deserve great books to read.
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