Nurture Shock: Chapter 9 – Plays Well With Others

Welcome to chapter 9 – don’t forget to scroll down for This Week’s Recipe: “Grate” Zucchini Bread. This chapter jumps around a lot but there are some interesting tidbits especially around aggression. If I were to ask parents, “What causes children’s aggression?” most would likely respond, “Violent TV and video games.”¬† Surprise, surprise – researchers have found that the more educational media preschool¬† children watched, the more relationally aggressive they were i.e. more bossy, controlling and manipulative. In fact, the effect was stronger than the connection between violent media and physical aggression.

I haven’t watched kid’s TV shows recently, but apparently there is a huge amount of relational and verbal aggression in kid’s television. According the authors, 96% of all children’s programming includes verbal insults and put-downs, averaging 7.7 put-downs per half-hour. And rarely are these insults and put-downs dealt with on screen – 84% of the time there was either only laughter or no response at all. It may be called educational media, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it is responsible media!

Other research cited by the authors points to the value of having an argument and resolving the argument in front of the children. I grew up in a home where I hardly never saw my parents argue or resolve an argument, so conflict resolution was not a skill I came by naturally. Witnessing conflict resolution, according to the research, helps kids learn how to compromise and reconcile.

There’s some interesting information about aggression, but generally I thought this section was very weak – anyone else have trouble with this chapter? The authors tell us that we have totally changed the peer dynamic by orchestrating play dates and after school activities – to the point that now our children are learning their aggressive socialization from their peers instead of adults.

They end the chapter essentially bashing Progressive Dads – those Dads who are more adept at parenting than the so-called Traditional Dads and Disengaged Dads. I think all Dads, progressive or not, need way more support in our society, not criticism. Parenting is tough even on good day. I was sorry the authors ended the chapter by railing on the guys who are trying to participate and co-parent their children.

This Week’s Recipe: “Grate” Zucchini Bread

Source: Jane Brody’s Good Food Book

3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
3/4 cup unbleached flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt, if desired
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 egg white
1 whole egg
3/8 cup (6 tablespoons) vegetable oil
1 1/4 cups (about 1 medium) zucchini, packed, finely grated and unpeeled
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup nuts, finely chopped, optional
1/3 cup raisins, optional
In a large bowl, combine the whole-wheat and white flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.

In a medium bowl, mix together the egg white, whole egg, oil, zucchini, and vanilla. Add this mixture to the flour mixture, stirring the ingredients to combine them well. Stir in the nuts and/or raisins, if desired.

Pour the batter into a greased 9x5x3-inch loaf pan. Bake the bread in a preheated 350-degree oven for about 50 to 60 minutes or until a pick inserted in the center of the bread comes out clean.

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