Contradictions. Are common assumptions about good parenting backed by good science? Not really, according to Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman in their book, NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children. While it will come as no surprise to parents that kids of all ages (as well as adults) are bundles of contradictions, it was surprising to me to read in this book about all the ways in which scientific studies have turned commonly held notions about children and child rearing upside down. Lying can be a sign of intelligence, and deception seems like a necessary part of developing identity. Those Baby Einstein DVDs: throw them out since they seem to do more harm than good. Whether you’re a parent or not, there’s loads of fascinating information in NurtureShock, especially about the ways in which strategies for nurturing children are backfiring because we’ve overlooked key elements of what science is telling us.
Rating: Four-star (Highly Recommended)