NurtureShock: New Thinking about Children

The social-scientist in me was intrigued by this one, not that I have rug-rats of my own (or ankle-biters— I like these slightly derogatory terms). Essentially, everything we “know” about raising kids should be thrown out the window.
* Don’t tell a kid he’s smart, praise him for his effort. Give constructive praise, “I like how you went after the ball” instead of “great soccer game!”
* Let them get sleep. Use the “slush hour” before bed to wind down with them, don’t overschedule their activities.
* Racism: talk openly about the different skin colors– kids aren’t color blind and by not speaking about differences, they implicitly understand that other is taboo.
* Teaching self-control through the Tools program– defining kids’ objectives over the next hour, then letting them play and guiding them through their play plan if they get off track. Helps them develop more complex play situations if they have a long time to be focused on it.
* Baby Einstein DVDs are ineffective. Babies hearing sounds without correspondingly seeing the lips of characters move does not help them learn to speak. Talk back to your babies and let them see you sounding the words out and they’ll be chattering away in no time.