Thumbs up for NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman. Psychology.
So me reading a book on child psychology is kind of like a lion reading a book on aeronautical engineering. (He may see an airplane now and then, but he hates flying….) But I do have a horrible weakness for pop psych books. This one, written so conversationally the pages fly by, was fascinating – especially the chapters on the problem of praise and the attitudes young kids take about race when their parents remain silent. I’d highly recommend it to anyone with kids or simply anyone who desires to understand humanity a bit better.
“One suburban New Jersey high school English teacher told me she can spot the kids who get overpraised at home. Their parents think they’re just being supportive, but the students sense their parents’ high expectations, and feel so much pressure they can’t concentrate on the subject, only the grade they will receive. ‘I had a mother say, “You are destroying my child’s self-esteem,” because I’d given her son a C. I told her, “Your child is capable of better work.” I’m not there to make them feel better. I’m there to make them do better.'”
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