2 Following


Currently reading

The Golden Slipper and Other Problems for Violet Strange
Anna Katharine Green
Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life
Anne Lamott
Skippy Dies
Paul Murray
Breasts: A Natural and Unnatural History
Florence Williams
A Short History of Nearly Everything
Bill Bryson
The Blind Assassin
Margaret Atwood
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Stephen Chbosky
How To Teach English
Jeremy Harmer
NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children - Po Bronson, Ashley Merryman Notes:

1: Praise effort, not smarts. Teach kids that the brain is like a muscle. The harder you work it, the better it gets. Praise intermittently. Be specific. Chinese moms who analyzed the child's performance (Maybe you didn't concentrate) and tell their kids to work harder affect kids' scores more than American moms who tried to downplay poor performance.

2: A lost 15 minutes to an hour of sleep has a measurable impact on performance.

3: Living in a diverse community or going to an international school is not enough to make children less racist. Race must be explicitly discussed by parents with their children, preferably before third grade. Around fist grade.

4: Lies: Don't put kids in a position to lie ("Did you write on the wall?" You know they did it. They'll just deny it). To encourage kids to tell the truth, there should be immunity + making the parent happy = "I will not be upset / your friends won't get punished if you did [that bad thing]. If you tell me the truth it will make me happy/"

5: IQ tests before 11 or 12 are meaningless.

6: The Sibling Effect: Didn't get a lot from this chapter. Will have to reread.

7: Teens: arguments can be constructive. Parents can negotiate.

8: Tools classroom. How to get kids to focus, sustained play. To look into, could apply to my own learning. Ex: Penmanship, identifying the best character. Buddy reading. Play plans.

9: TV and aggression. Children can be exposed to parental conflict, but make sure to resolve arguments sincerely in front of them.

10: Baby talk. Respond to sounds made by babies, with either physical touch, or verbal. Reinforcement, makes them talk earlier, larger vocab. A word can be learned faster if heard spoken by different speakers. Label objects when the baby's gaze is on it, don't call attention to it. Don't (mis)interpret sounds for words. (Baby says "buh". Parent says "You wanted the bottle?" when actually the baby meant the spoon.) Educational TV can't take the place of love interaction. Parents who are high responders to children have kids who develop their vocab faster.


Like other reviewers have pointed out, it's like Freakonomics for parenting. You might think something is so, but research shows that it isn't, and here's what you should try to do instead.