Thursday, October 22, 2009
I usually avoid parenting books. Most of them cherry pick studies, or just make stuff up, to agree with their own personal theories, then try and convince everyone else they are right. I also have a long-standing conviction that you should not be allowed to give parenting advice in the media unless you have two or more kids. The reason I read this book in spite of these previously held rules is that the format of this book is different. Rather than being a prescriptive book (telling you what to do) it is a descriptive book (telling you what four decades of child research has discovered).
I trusted the authors a bit more when I heard one confess, in a radio interview, that he had to rethink some of his own parenting ideas after doing the research for the book. Once I knew the author wasn't just finding excuses to preach about why his way was the best, I was much more interested.
The book is broken up into broad topics and describes the sum of years of research. I really liked how they took a large number of studies, and even included those whose results didn't necessarily agree with the mainstream. In fact, I was surprised at the number of times the total of scientific ideas conflict with the stuff you get from the talk shows and parenting magazines.
I would recommend that every parent should read this, not necessarily to change how you parent, but to give you some new ways of looking at your kids and your family dynamics. I truly appreciated the tone of the book. Too many parenting books imply that if you do not follow their advice, your family will be a complete wreck. This one offers you new ideas and lets the reader decide how (or if) to implement them.
Look! Look! I read a whole book! I love the second trimester.
Nurtureshock: New Thinking About Children. Po Bronson & Ashley Merryman. Twelve. 2009