Have you run into this yet? Nurture Shock: New Thinking About Children, by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman (2009) is a best-selling book that has been well-covered in the news, and has inspired quite a following among youth development professionals.
The book examines a number of popular strategies for raising children— techniques most parents see as “common sense” —and suggests that modern scientific research can explain why too often what we hope to accomplish backfires. It’s a little bit shocking, but the book argues our American child-rearing habits are flawed, and in fact, are probably hurting our kids.
Over ten chapters, the authors explore sibling rivalry, children telling lies, the problem with excessive praise, teen rebellion, language acquisition, and more (school testing, self-control, etc.). Each chapter challenges the assumptions of conventional wisdom, but also leaves the reader understanding these issues in ways that can lead to more effective parenting. Even if it’s as simple as making sure our kids get more sleep, there are concrete lessons to be learned here.
The authors have written several columns for Newsweek and are currently on a tour to discuss the book. Learn more on their web site. Also, here is a video of the authors introducing the book.