Book Review: NurtureShock by Po Bronson, Ashley Merryman

As a child I used to reread great books. I rarely do that now. So little time, so many great books. However, I just finished Po Bronson’s and Ashley Merryman’s NurtureShock and I’d give it the rare classification of worth rereading. Whether you’re a teacher, parent or both, this book is a fantastic collection of ideas worth pondering. In fact, I limited myself to reading one chapter at a time so my mind had sufficient time to ponder each idea. Instead of telling you about the book (just read the Amazon reviews!), I’ll tell you a few ways I’ve changed my parenting:

  • I’m more thoughtful whenever my 4-year old daughter lies or tattles. I consider her motivations, my leading questions (am I setting her up to lie?) and the ways I can help steer towards honesty and independence.
  • My husband and I have stopped babbling with our 16 month old son and instead label objects and actions. Already we’ve tripled his vocabulary and are shocked by his progress. Is this what it takes to get him to talk?
  • When watching the kids play with each other and friends, I’m watching for physical, relational and verbal aggression. I’m not watching so I can intervene, instead I’m simply fascinated with the dynamics taking place at this early age. When exactly should I intervene? I don’t know. I do know that do/don’t do rules aren’t the answer and sometimes it’s best to pretend I wasn’t paying attention.

Initially I expected that I’d be able to apply more of the book to my job writing online math curriculum for elementary-aged learners. While there are nuggets that apply to my job, I discovered a wealth of knowledge I can apply to interactions with kids of all ages. This is a must-read book!