NutureShock Notes


NutureShock - New Thinking About Children is the tagline. Unfortunately, most of it doesn't seem to new so much as a validation of the Old Fashioned Parenting paradigm. It's interesting to see the Ancient Recieved Wisdom being trotted out again, but ultimately, unsatisfying. These things are pretty "duh" to those who haven't bought into the attachment parenting / permissive parenting view of the world. It is extensively sourced though, so that is rather nice.

Things now scientifically observed:

  • being told you're smart is worse than hardworking

  • sleep is important - more important than we used to think. This one is being put into Seattle P.S. policy.

  • Talking about race frankly is better than covering it up.

  • Lying is typical; but if the parents react in ways that increase conflict, it gets worse. Conflict avoidance is a key aspect of children.

  • Same for teens. Here consistent firm rules and honest discussion matter a great deal. Arguing and confrontation are better than not; again, honesty and authenticity plays a huge part.

  • Gifted kindergarters / early elementary school children is pointless; IQ fluctuates a great deal. The school, at a minimum, should ensure that the bar is maintained year over year, and should be ok with adding kids into the program that newly meet the bar.

  • Siblings fight as normative interaction. They largely learn this from their friends.

  • Structured play should be oriented towards long-focus tasks. See "Tools for the Mind" curriculum. Quote: "being disciplined is more important than being smart". 3x better in one study of children.

  • TV matters: one analysis observed some 96% of kids programming includes verbal insults and put downs (WAT).

  • Spanking's effects is mediated by the local culture: is it a normal part of childhood or is it something reserved for weird deviants. Guess which one is more problematic...

  • The general US social movement for teaching kids to be nice has backfired, badly.

  • Interacting with kids naturally is important; pay attention to sound and objects; don't plop them in front of a TV, even if it's educational. SHOCK.

  • Forcing adult mentalities on children doesn't work.