Nurture Shock: New Thinking About Children


It’s 7:15 on a Saturday morning and my youngest child has just gone off to take the SAT for the first time. The house is quiet and I’m wide awake so I decided to pick up the book Nurture Shock: New Thinking About Children that I started two weeks ago. I admit to buying it out of curiosity after hearing a couple of colleagues say they didn’t completely agree with the authors. I also admit that I’m a parenting book snob – I have my favorites which I tend to recommend over and over again. So for me to read a new book and possibly make room for that book in my sacred circle is a bit of a stretch!!

I read the first three chapters quickly, highlighting practically every page. I was so charged up about what I read I wanted to share my thoughts with someone else who had read it, but since I hadn’t read the whole book I thought I should wait. Then I had the idea to blog about each chapter – kind of like ‘Julie and Julia’. Each chapter stands alone and thus far each one has spoken to me both as a parent and as a Parent Coach.

I hope you will join me in this conversation. My children are now young adults – like many of our peers we read all the popular books, watched all the parenting videos, attended parenting classes and yet, we still questioned our parenting daily. This was the one job we were the least qualified for – all of our training was in real time on the job!! It was like getting on a roller coaster for the first time and having absolutely no idea where you’re going or how you’re going to get there!

There is no one perfect way to parent your child. Each one of us brings something unique to the process. The combination of nature, nurture and popular culture all contribute to who they will become. What’s fascinating to me is that in the process of raising this wonderful human being you find that you’ve changed as well. You’re not the same person you were when you started this parenting journey. Like it or not raising children changes us – I definitely wouldn’t have felt qualified to be a parent coach or an advocate for children who learn differently if I hadn’t had this experience. For all I know I might have gone into politics or taken up golf (neither interest me right now, but stay tuned, my life expectancy is 109!)

Like Julie in ‘Julie and Julia’ I suspect I will look at parenting differently after reading this book. I have already changed how I talk about praise with my clients and that’s just the first chapter! And like Julia I love to try new recipes so I thought I would also include a recipe with each chapter (may be an old favorite or a new one – depending on how I feel about the chapter!). To start us off I’ll share the delicious Life’s a Poodle Poodletini Recipe. Be warned they are strong (we also have a non-alcohol version) so please slurp responsibly!

My next entry will be my reaction/impressions to chapter one: The Inverse Power of Praise.

Till next time,

Sally