Sunday, August 30, 2009

Praise, Lying and other stuff

One of the benefits of traveling for my job (2 1/2 hours in the car, 2 days per week) is that I am now a fully certified, card-carrying, lover of NPR.

There is really only so much "morning DJ" one can listen to.

Now, I feel a lot more informed about a lot more things. I used to have time to read both Time and Newsweek every week, and now? Not so much.

So ... the latest ... I heard this interesting interview last week:
Parenting Tips: Praise Can Be Bad; Lying is Normal

The author, Po Bronson, wrote NurtureShock, the title of which refers (in a nutshell) to the shock a new parent receives when they realize that knowing how to raise a child isn't totally innate.

I rushed out to get a copy of the book and finished it this weekend. (As framework: I love to read and I have completed about 2 non-baby books since the Girl was born. Sad, but true).

I really recommend this book. The science geek in me found the research fascinating, but it is written very well - very readable and not too science-y. I am the first to acknowledge that authors can bend research studies to fit their point of view, but I thought the general themes of this book made a lot of practical sense. More that that, while it is based in science, there are definitely usable points scattered throughout.

I read tons of baby books before and immediately after Girly began living in our guest room. They focused on sleeping and eating and schedules primarily. Now that I feel we are more comfortable with this parenting thing (mind you, comfortable, not experts - far from it), the books are gathering dust.

I found that NurtureShock addressed some of the new fears of parenthood that are lurking on the horizon - discipline, language development, schooling, and raising a generally well-adjusted, happy and non-sociopathic member of society.

Give it a whirl.

I even got out my highlighter and everything.

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