Top positive review
42 people found this helpful
A must read for parents
on 22 February 2010
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 ! We are shown why teen rebellion is a goood thing, how self control can be taught and how watching kids DVD's can make young children more aggressive.
I'm the proud parent of a seven week old and I must admit to being daunted by parenthood, I've had a head full of preconceptions and misconceptions about parenting for quite some time and I imagine we all believe we are the best parent. Beliefs are fallible but experience is a great teacher while guidance is invaluable, this book does not pontificate, it's not verbose but yet it encourages further inquiry. Holes are poked in the delusion of good parenting and I think by reading this book with an open mind, you will have done more for your child than any tiny tot educational DVD could hope for.