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Nurtureshock: Why Everything We Thought About Children is Wrong Paperback – 4 Feb 2010


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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Ebury Press (4 Feb 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0091933773
  • ISBN-13: 978-0091933777
  • Product Dimensions: 21.1 x 13.5 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 36,109 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By AK TOP 500 REVIEWER on 21 Sep 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was really looking forward to this one, having read all of Po Bronson's previous stuff (was mostly highly impressed), and being highly interested in the topic. My expectations might have been coloured by that in the sense that I was expecting a more comprehensive treatise on all interesting developments in child psychology over the last 20 years.

Overall a 4/5, for the simple fact that the result that came out from the research that went in, was a bit too sparse in my opinion. While I have no trouble agreeing to all the findings and very much like the process of showing how iterative efforts are necessary at uncovering working principles, as opposed to intuitively appealing concepts, which tend not to be borne out of practice, I have expected a more thorough analysis of the issues.

Another negative for me was a somewhat lacking introduction, where the authors would explain in more detail, why the specific aspects discussed were chosen, whether those are all the areas, where a change of perspective took place, and if not, why the authors considered those most important.

On the plus side, the conclusions drawn do not ever seem flimsy and complete references are included. The authors also successfully avoid the current trend towards endlessly repeating the same basic concept with different examples, so the 239 pages of content have been thoroughly combed through with Occam's razor. The style, however, seems to strongly mirror what they would have used in the newspaper articles, which predated this book (and were based on the same research), which makes the book very readable but I personally found less than optimal in the book format, where I felt the authors would provide much more depth to the reasoning and the conclusions.
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34 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Foxylock on 22 Feb 2010
Format: Paperback
Upon receipt of this book I immediately took issue with the title, how could everything we think about raising our children be wrong ? Surely we have an innate sense of how to raise our own children, or do we ? This book provides a hefty challenge to so many of our previously indisputable parenting principles. For instance the cornerstone of any relationship is communication, the childs first words are usually uttered as a result of parental influence, other factors are at play of course but for the first couple of years the majority of language will be learned through the parents. So we buy DVD's to help with language development and needlessly prop up a multi-billion dollar industry. Sitting our children in front of this " educational tool " while we potter around the house with a clear conscience, happy in the knowledge that junior is busy learning and will be a step ahead of all the other kids. Wrong, a scientific study has shown that the use of such aids will actually decrease the childs vocabulary and proves detrimental to their development. Talking to your child while making eye contact is far better and cheaper too !

Other areas to be discussed are, why the wrong type of praise can actually hinder the childs development, why children sleep on average one hour less than thirty years ago and the effect it has on their health, IQ and emotional well being. The contentious issue of race and how it's handled by parents, why kids lie and why siblings really fight. My personal favourite was the chapter on how gifted children are assessed and educated, the claims by educators to have it down to a fine art yet the studies show they are wrong 73% of the time !
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Li-ling on 1 Mar 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Being a Malaysian Chinese mother living in the UK, my perceptions of parenting and been significantly coloured by the environment and the developments the fields of both psychology and parenting. It had also for a long time made me question my parenting style, more a tamed tiger mummy than the relaxed counterpart. This is the book that gave me the confidence that I really was doing the right thing and that being strict, mean and stern when necessary was not a bad thing.

At the end of the day, the most important message and constant reminder that we can give our children is that we love them unconditionally, and while their actions and words may need discipline and correction, at the heart of it all we do have their best interests at heart, because of our unconditional love.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Elpi on 15 May 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Loved the fact that it is analysing only facts and hard core research and it is not another one of these books where so called "experts" tell you how to raise your kid. Really interesting topics, and really valuable debates.
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42 of 50 people found the following review helpful By AK TOP 500 REVIEWER on 1 Feb 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was really looking forward to this one, having read all of Po Bronson's previous stuff (was mostly highly impressed), and being highly interested in the topic. My expectations might have been coloured by that in the sense that I was expecting a more comprehensive treatise on all interesting developments in child psychology over the last 20 years.

Overall a 4/5, for the simple fact that the result that came out from the research that went in, was a bit too sparse in my opinion. While I have no trouble agreeing to all the findings and very much like the process of showing how iterative efforts are necessary at uncovering working principles, as opposed to intuitively appealing concepts, which tend not to be borne out of practice, I have expected a more thorough analysis of the issues.

Another negative for me was a somewhat lacking introduction, where the authors would explain in more detail, why the specific aspects discussed were chosen, whether those are all the areas, where a change of perspective took place, and if not, why the authors considered those most important.

On the plus side, the conclusions drawn do not ever seem flimsy and complete references are included. The authors also successfully avoid the current trend towards endlessly repeating the same basic concept with different examples, so the 239 pages of content have been thoroughly combed through with Occam's razor. The style, however, seems to strongly mirror what they would have used in the newspaper articles, which predated this book (and were based on the same research), which makes the book very readable but I personally found less than optimal in the book format, where I felt the authors would provide much more depth to the reasoning and the conclusions.
Read more ›
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