Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Nurtureshock needs some Natureshock

I've finally been reading Nurtureshock and I would highly recommend this book to every parent. It looks at current research to debunk some of the common parenting misconceptions. The book is divided into nine chapters, each covering a different research topic. Some of the information has blown me away, such as the chapter that explains why watching educational tv makes kids meaner than if they watch violent tv shows.

Yes, you read that last sentence correctly.

The biggest lesson I take from the book is from the chapter on siblings. It is no secret that Nate and Alex do their fair share of fighting. The book explains it is possible to teach siblings to get along better. With Jon out of town, I tried this with the boys last night. While I made dinner, I set them up with a game and asked them to play it together and not fight. It worked. It was CRAZY.

The only chapter I do not agree with is the chapter on language development. They argue language development is a nurture thing, and parents can do more to improve language skills. To me, they completely ignored the nature component of language development. Having twins both raised in the same environment in the same manner and seeing them develop spoken language at such a vastly different rates, I think this research ignores the child's personality type. Alex = introvert, Nate = extrovert and nowhere is this personality trait addressed in the book. While Alex and Nate have always had the same language comprehension level, Alex simply doesn't talk as much and never has.

That said, I give this book 5 stars and would encourage every parent to read this book. Simply amazing information!

10 comments:

Shari said...

Whenever our girls fight I say to them, "You two are sisters and you need to take care of each other. There are plenty of people out there who are going to be mean to you. You need to be nice to each other." It always jolts them back to better behavior -- if even for a few minutes.

windycityvegan said...

Hey, do you own this or did you get it from the library? If it's yours, can I borrow?

Joanna said...

I may have to add this to my list. I'm not sure. It may set off my tendency to throw parenting advice books against the wall. I've only made it through a few.

I'm not sure if you can teach siblings not to fight, but I'm pretty sure that yelling at the sibling that makes the most noise about it is not the best approach.

Beth said...

Reading the reviews of this book on GoodReads is what made me decide to move forward with sleep training. However, I'm kind of afraid to read this because I don't want to be reminded of everything that I'm doing wrong and how I'm damning my kids to a life of doom with all my mistakes and misconceptions. In the end, though, I know that knowledge is power, so I will add myself to the wait list at the library! Thanks for the review.

Janna said...

To further support your theory, my boys have done everything at the EXACT.SAME.TIME. They rolled over on the same day, walked on the same day, say the same words, etc... I mean, they are different people, of course, but as far as milestones go - exactly the same, because they have the same nature and nuture.

I've been conflicted about reading that book. I hate parenting books. I think my parents are rockstars and so I just basically try to copy what they did raising us four kids. And as far as I've read in the reviews, we already do the right things (the babies don't watch TV, we talk about race - or at least we will; they're not quite two yet - and while they get LOTSA praise, it's usually not arbitrary).

But if LauraC still thinks I should read it; I will. You saved my life w/ your backwards ductape brilliance and your encouraging email when Eric left town for five days when the twins were 10 months, so I do everything you say :)

tovarena said...

Okay, so my curiousity is piqued. While I'm unlikely to find any time to read in, oh, the next 2 years or so ;), I'm wondering - what is their reasoning for educational tv making kids mean? Or would that be a spoiler? ;)

Heidi O said...

I am reading the mom book about personalities and then I got another book talking about kids personalities. I will have to take a look at this.

Steph said...

Sounds interesting- I will have to add to the extensive list of books i want to read but haven't read yet...

McGurkus said...

I saw this book and was curious about it. It seemed refreshing after all the positive parenting books. Generally I agree with positive parenting, but some have taken it toofar. Like never saying "no". Really? How is that a healthy precedent? But anyway, I, too, am reluctant to read another parenting advice book. But, maybe I will investigate further.

Jodi said...

I might add that to me - this was not even a parenting book per se. I mean - it's awesome for parents... and there are amazing details and loads of info that might be helpful to parents - but this book has another side to it. It's like it taught ME stuff - about myself... how some of my own internal feelings and perceptions are being translated to my kids, or percieved by others... you know? I took the literal parts of it to heart and am incorporating bits and pieces. The chapter on lying was very interesting to me as a parent, but also as a person. My older two kids aren't really fighters - so that's not been a huge deal for us. But my own brother and I - FIGHT. STILL!

It's a great read.