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Nurture Shock New Thinking about Children


To critical readers, the fame and the popularity that this bookgained over a short period might qualify as overrated. On thecontrary, the book has apparent helpful sections that have beendescribed in details in throughout the chapters of the book.Imperatively, most of the information, though not entirely, have beenbacked by scientific evidence thus applicable in parenting.Disturbing questions have lingered the live of parents and thebaffling encounters that parents have to deal with as they play theparenting roles (Groskop, 2010). The levels of aggression and crueltyamong the modern kids have reached worrying levels and it is the hightime parents take the task to deal with the situation. The bookprovides detailed information that can be applied to nurture kids andinspire them to develop desirable behavior without the slightestcompromise. Nurture shock provides the way out to most parents withexplanations that erase the misconceptions that people have withregard to kids and parenting roles. Additionally, the authors discusschildhood crisis that shape children as they get into adulthood andthe role that parents play.

Nurture shock: new beginning about children commences by confrontingthe reasons why the peoples, especially parents, instincts concerningchildren can deviate off the truth with a huge margin. The book goesinto details of contrasting the distinctions about the actualinstincts of nurturing a child vs. the child raising beliefs that areembedded in the collective wisdom of the people (Bronson &ampMerryman, 2009). To some extent, the collective wisdom of the group(society) concerning the nurturing and upbringing of kids have beenfound to be wrong in some cases, as well as instinctual. For decades,research in the sphere of child development has been drifting awayfrom the social collective wisdom, which assert different ways andmethods of handling child rearing (Remmel, 2010). The authors of thebook, nurture shock: new thinking about children, explore tendifferent areas of child development and the issues that come intoplay during the entire process using the most understandablelanguage. The language accommodates both academic and non-academicaudiences with a balanced measure (Groskop, 2010).

The extent of the research that was conducted by the authors leftlots of factors that influence child behavior and development out ofthe context. In a way, the research was somehow staggering andinadequate thus failed to factor lots of child rearing anddevelopment issues (Bronson &amp Merryman, 2009). The realityqualifies the book to be one of the best sources of insights toperform further studies and research into the topic in question.Nonetheless, the authors went into details of explaining the reasonprevious notions and beliefs of child rearing were wrong and thisbuilds the foundation for the discussions in the book (Remmel, 2010).The counterargument for the previous notions and beliefs are backedby modern research, which is based on scientific experimentation andempirical evidence.

Most importantly, the book demonstrates how parents and caregiverscan adjust their conduct to embrace approaches of childrearing thatwould benefit their children. The book covers ten areas of childdevelopment and rearing, and these areas include: discussing race,self-control and focus, teen rebellion, language acquisition,kindergarten placement test, sleep deprivation, bullying, siblingconflict and praise (Bronson &amp Merryman, 2009).

Imperatively, the first chapter, on praise, is the strongest and mostinfluential chapter in the entire book as a consequence of New Yorkmagazine article concerning the best way to praise a kid. The chaptermakes it apparent that parents who take to praising their kids withregard to their natural abilities is detrimental (Bronson &ampMerryman, 2009). The praise for the normal things makes children shyaway from challenging tasks as they seek to regress to theactivities and tasks that they accomplish without difficulties. Onthe contrary, praise and congratulate their kids for their efforts indoing something motivates the kids to try new things and face biggerchallenges with courage (Remmel, 2010). Further, effort-based praiseimproves perseverance in kids as they wait with patience and craveto achieve different tasks with varying complexity and get praised.

The biggest part of the book is laden with similar revelations thatshow how wrong parents and caregivers have been for a long period, aswell as providing concise directions of how to rectify the previousmisconceptions (Remmel, 2010). For instance, the book reveals that acouple of assumptions with regard to child rearing confuse and steerparents off the ladder. The initial assumption is the good/baddichotomy fallacy. In a nutshell, the authors discredit theassumption that bad behavior in kids implies negative growth in thekids involved (Bronson &amp Merryman, 2009). On the same note,desirable behavior is taken to mean that the child is growingpositively. The book holds that human behavior, and so is childbehavior, is a consequence of the multiplicity of causes, whichinfluence behavior in different ways (Remmel, 2010). The aspect ofthe behavior imitation by children from adults should not be ignoredas kids can imitate desirable or bad behavior from their seniors.Notably, lying in kids is vital as it facilitates the development ofteenage identity, as well as child development (early). Furthermore,empathy among kids works in favor of the bullies who get clearavenues to exercise their atrocities.

The second assumption is that children are similar to adults(miniature adults). It is believed that kids can survive long hourswithout sleep. On the contrary, kids spend most of their timesleeping, and they should not be denied a chance to enjoy adequatesleep (Remmel, 2010). Lack of sufficient sleep in kids can bedetrimental, unlike adults who can power through sleepless nights.Furthermore, adults engage in games for the purpose of relaxing, and,therefore, playing in kids is ignored as not being important (Bronson&amp Merryman, 2009). Scientific research has proved that kids lostmiss valuable brain and cognitive development when they are deniedadequate time for sleeping and resting. On the same note, kids learnlots of significant life skills during playtime that can be appliedto resolve conflicting situations while interacting with their peers(Remmel, 2010). Although parents and caregivers feel that it might beinstinctual to steer kids in the direction that they avoid negativebehaviors, influences and emotions, the book gives shocking evidenceand results to people who are open to new ideas.

On the other side of the review, there are various mistakes that theauthors of the book, Bronson and Merryman, made as they compiled theresearch and findings in the entire text. On one side of the flaws,the book kicks off as a series of ten different articles, which failto connect well with the information in the book (Bronson &ampMerryman, 2009). It is imperative to note that, the book is differentfrom articles as the volume hold ideas and concepts that areconnected and relevant to each other. In the event that the differenttopics in the book do not relate properly, the book loses the flowand touch that motivates the reader to proceed to the other chaptersand perhaps grasp the gist of the central point of the book (Groskop,2010).

Further, the assertion that everything that parents and caregiversknow concerning child rearing is wrong seems a bit conclusive, anddismissal of the knowledge and beliefs that hold to be true (Remmel,2010). This premise is completely wrong as parents cannot throw awayeverything they believe in to adopt some theoretical ideas compiledin a book. In fact, lots of people do not read book and they employthe instinctual approach to child rearing with remarkable results(Groskop, 2010). It is not right to trash the things that people knowwith the assumption that they will believe everything you say asabsolute truth.

On the same note, the title of the book suggests that the informationcontained and discussed in the book will automatically shock theaudience and readers. On the contrary, the ideas contained in thevolume of the book is very familiar to people who read the papers andarticles (Groskop, 2010). For instance, the idea that kids requirelying to fit in their peer groups is not shocking at all, but commonknowledge. Similarly, showing kids how to resolve conflicts is vitalthus making sure that parental quarrels are not misinterpreted, bythe kids (Remmel, 2010). To mention the least, it does not surpriseshocking to learn that there is nothing wrong when kids fight andquarrel. This is something that happens when kids disagree on a fewissues and fighting might even be part of kids being socialized intoa new peer group. This information is not surprising nor is ituseful. Any test that is carried out to support such ideas qualifiesas a complete waste of time (Bronson &amp Merryman, 2009).

On the same note, determining the IQ of toddlers does not justifysome of the claims made by the authors. It does not make theslightest sense that parents should let kids play in every way theywish even when the kids direct acts of aggression and cruelty toother kids. Such a situation would breed a bunch of heartless kidswho would grow to become bullies and thugs (Remmel, 2010). Kidsshould be disciplined and kept under control from considerablesupervision from an adult. The book assumes premises that isidealistic and would be compromised if one spent a couple of hourswith a five year kid, regardless of the temperament of the kids.

In the same line of argument, the book qualifies as a vital windowthat portrays the cultural attitude, which majority of Americans dealwith in their entire parenting period. The book sends strong feelingsof pity to the parents that are discussed in the text (Bronson &ampMerryman, 2009). The parents seem to develop stress or worry simplybecause their children engage in games where shouting is involved.The book tends to open the eyes of the naïve parents to realize thatoccasionally kid might reject meals and tell lies different fromtheir expectations.

The cases that are discussed in the text are perceived as ordinaryand average. To some extent, some of the cases described areextremely scary as some parents are said to enroll their 12 monthskids to nurseries, which require the toddlers to take and passentrance tests. Some parents complain of competitive neighborhoodswhere most kids are bright for the point that even the less brightkids are compelled by circumstances to follow suit (Bronson &ampMerryman, 2009). The parents seem not to understand that stressfultasks that leave kids with no time to rest can result to losing ofsleep.

With regard to overambitious kids, the authors fail to address theissues of relentless aspiration and achievement. It is expected thatthe authors would handle these issues in an informed manner. On thecontrary, the authors ignored such assumptions in favor of ideas thatare taken to be scientifically sound (Bronson &amp Merryman, 2009).Failure to address the issues of relentless achievement andaspiration makes the book lose the sense of humor in dealing withvital elements of childhood.

Imperatively, the negative review of the book should not be taken toimply that there is nothing good in the book. An objective readershould be able to get a substantial grip of the ideas presented inthe book, as well as apply the ideas in real life child rearing.Understanding the psychology of kids is key to making the bestdecisions that facilitate kids grow to responsible adults (Remmel,2010). Imperatively, kids should be taught people skills that promotepeaceful coexistence with other kids, irrespective of race or color.Although the idea of racial discrimination might not make sense tokids, failure of the parents to address the issues of racism leaveskids to make their judgments concerning the issue (Groskop, 2010).The outcomes of such ignorance are shocking as they improve theracial divide. Kids should be nurtured to understand that all humansbelong to one human family, and this should be the basic principle ofcoexistence with minimal compromises.

According to Mintz (48), the upbringing of a child is a social andcultural factor. Children are brought up as social people and theyare thus shaped by their surroundings. The social and culturalsurroundings of a child influence the adult that the child becomes.For example, racism is a social problem that affects the Americansociety. Children naturally do not understand racism, but they becomeracists through social and cultural interactions with the society.The society instills culture in the child and the social environmentinfluences who the child becomes in the future.

In conclusion, Disturbing questions have lingered the live of parentsand the baffling encounters that parents have to deal with as theyplay the parenting roles. The book provides detailed information thatcan be applied to nurture kids and inspire them to develop desirablebehavior without the slightest compromise. Unlike most of the pastliterary works, nurture shock has reached out for disabled kids withthe objective approach to their challenges and how to address theissues, without making the entire situation problematic. Thecollective wisdom of the group (society) concerning the nurturing andupbringing of kids have been found to be wrong in some cases, as wellas instinctual. The research was somehow staggering and inadequatethus failed to factor lots of child rearing and development issues.The book demonstrates how parents and caregivers can adjust theirconduct to embrace approaches of childrearing that would benefittheir children. The first chapter, on praise, is the strongest andmost influential chapter in the entire book as a consequence of NewYork magazine article concerning the best way to praise a kid. Thebook holds that human behavior, and so is child behavior, is aconsequence of the multiplicity of causes, which influence behaviorin different ways. Lack of sufficient sleep in kids can bedetrimental, unlike adults who can power through sleepless nights.Although parents and caregivers feel that it might be instinctual tosteer kids in the direction that they avoid negative behaviors,influences and emotions, the book gives shocking evidence and resultsto people who are open to new ideas. The negative review of the bookshould not be taken to imply that there is nothing good in the book.Kids should be nurtured to understand that all humans belong to onehuman family, and this should be the basic principle of coexistencewith minimal compromises.


Bronson, P., &amp Merryman, A. (2009).&nbspNurtureShock: Newthinking about children. New York: Wiley.

Groskop, V. (2010). Nurtureshock by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman.Book review.

Remmel, E. (2010). Nurtureshock: New Thinking about Children by&nbspPoBronson and Ashley Merryman. New York: The Science of Parenting.