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Parenting Book Reviews: I've been wanting to do this for a while

October 02, 2009   |   by Rachel

Maybe it's a good idea, maybe not.  We'll see. I love parenting books!  They help give me perspective.  They offend me.  And usually they help me see things that never ever would have thought of on my own.  I have a some that I love, some that I love parts of, and others that I fine trite.  As I read them I'll be giving my thoughts on the book for you to take or leave. I do this with a bit of trepidation.  I think I'd rather talk politics, or religion in mixed company than talk parenting.  Until I became a parent I never realized how passionate this subject can be.  And I'm not free from my passions and biases.  This is just going to be a place to advertise things that I found helpful. Okay, my first review, NutureShock.  To start off, I don't really like the title of this book.  I don't think that it really reflects its content at all.  Form the title it sound like a "Spank 'em, and Tough Love" kinda thing.  It has NOTHING to do with that.  If I could title it I would call it, "Interesting Results from Well Performed Psychological Studies that Would Be Helpful for Parents to Know."  One if my favorite things about this book is that it's not advocating any parenting style, nor is it telling any parents at how or what to do.  Several reviews online have criticized it for not being a step-by-step guide to parenting, but that's one of the things that I really like about it.  It gives really helpful and often surprising scientific information that many parents would find helpful. Some of the topics are: Praise-The most common ways that we praise our kids can actually be harming them. Race-In an effort to foster "colorblindness" in our children we inadvertently leave them confused and suspicious. Teenage Arguing-Why, to most teenagers, arguing and lying are opposites. Sibling Rivalry-Why siblings who fight while they play have better relationships than those who avoid each other. Relationships-Why movies like Finding Nemo and Homeward Bound can be more destructive to relationships than Power Rangers. (oh, Baby Einstein might delay a kid's speech development yet regular TV doesn't.) Those are only a few of the chapters.  It's a really interesting book.  He gives lots of numbers, and a good bit of geeky information.  Then he lets the parent decide how to apply it to each child.  Don't be scared away though.  It's a really fast and well written book-not dry at all. I don't think that this book is for everyone.  If you're into this kind of thing it's a great book, 10 stars, but I don't think that it's a book that every parents really needs to read.  Helpful, interesting, informative. I've changed some of the things that I do and say because of this book.  I'll also be looking into the Tools of the Mind teaching approach to see what I can do at home.  It I were to summarize in one word it would be "fascinating."



cool! thanks for the review. I will add it to my repertoire of books I recommend/give to parents and grandparents :)


Ditto to my sis. Rachel, what kind of things have you changed about what you do and say around your kids? Interested.

Rachel Henderson2009-10-10

Erin, I think that the 2 most easy to describe things that I've changed are how I praise our kids and how we educate them about race. About 2 hours after I'd finished the race chapter Win was watching football and asked Jared why some of the players were brown. We jumped on the opportunity to explain to him why people have varying skin colors. Also, we're now very careful not to tell him that he's smart. We try to make observations about his behavior instead of declarations of his person. Read the book. I think you'll really like it.


I even like the title on the chapter about race- thinking about it, I guess it's right that parents (teachers!) try to ignore race, which makes kids (students) suspicious. I'd like to read this book!