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About the Author

Po Bronson is the author of seven books, including What Should I Do with My Life?, a #1 New York Times bestseller with more than ten months on the list. Po has been on Oprah, on every national morning show, and on the cover of five magazines, including Wired and Fast Company. He is Strategy Director at IndieBio. He lives in San Francisco with his wife and two children. Ashley Merryman's journalism has appeared in Time, Newsweek, New York, the Washington Post, and many other venues. She lives in Los Angeles.


The central premise of this book by Bronson (What Should I Do with My Life?) and Merryman, a Washington Post journalist, is that many of modern society's most popular strategies for raising children are in fact backfiring because key points in the science of child development and behavior have been overlooked. Two errant assumptions are responsible for current distorted child-rearing habits, dysfunctional school programs and wrongheaded social policies: first, things work in children the same way they work in adults and, second, positive traits necessarily oppose and ward off negative behavior. These myths, and others, are addressed in 10 provocative chapters that cover such issues as the inverse power of praise (effort counts more than results); why insufficient sleep adversely affects kids' capacity to learn; why white parents don't talk about race; why kids lie; that evaluation methods for "giftedness" and accompanying programs don't work; why siblings really fight (to get closer). Grownups who trust in "old-fashioned" common-sense child-rearing-the definitely un-PC variety, with no negotiation or parent-child equality-will have less patience for this book than those who fear they lack innate parenting instincts. The chatty reportage and plentiful anecdotes belie the thorough research backing up numerous cited case studies, experts' findings and examination of successful progressive programs at work in schools. (Sept.) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

Why are kids today so fat? Too much TV and Internet surfing, right? Nope. What's better for kids-watching Power Rangers or Clifford the Big Red Dog? (It's not what you think.) Prepare to be slack-jawed as Bronson (What Should I Do With My Life?) and Merryman excavate astonishing research that reveals why our parenting strategies have backfired: why smart kids are underperforming, why Baby Einstein watchers speak fewer words than their peers, and why kindergarteners in the gifted program are no smarter than others. Chapters address sibling relations, self-control, sleep effects, and other relevant topics. The book presents a panoramic view of the latest research and is further distinguished by pragmatic prose that avoids alarmism and sanctimony. Verdict This tour de force is one of the best parenting psychology books in years and will likely be seismic in influence.-Julianne J. Smith, Ypsilanti Dist. Lib., MI Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

A highly readable Malcolm Gladwell-esque look at the social science of child rearing.
-- 'XX Factor, ' Slate.com
Adds insight to irresistible nonfiction subject matter... destined to turn up in conversations among working parents.
--Susan Dominus, New York Times
Astonishing... prepare to be slack-jawed... This tour de force is one of the best parenting psychology books in years and will likely be seismic in influence.
--Library Journal (Starred Review)
Blinding... Brilliant.
-- Washington Post
Compelling... Captivating... Explains cutting-edge research to the lay readership... It's riveting.
-- San Francisco Chronicle
Engaging.... revelatory... A funny, clever, sensible book. Every parent should read it.
--Financial Times
Irresistible... [NurtureShock] will make you a better mom or dad without you even knowing it.
Some of the most groundbreaking research on children conducted in years... will knock your socks off.
The least touchy-feely [parenting book] ever... hard to put down and easy to take seriously.
--"A.V. Club," The Onion
The most important book I've read this year... If you only read one thing I review, please make it this.
The Freakonomics of child rearing... a fantastic read... a wake-up call for parents.
--Good Morning America

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