Monday, August 31, 2009

Po Bronson argues that when it comes to raising children, we've mistaken good intentions for good ideas. Nurtureshock: New Thinking about Children, written with Ashley Merryman, describes why that many of modern society's methods for nurturing children aren’t working.

Events: Po Bronson will be speaking and signing books

Tuesday, September 1st, at 12:00 pm
Wilton Library
137 Old Ridgefield Road
Wilton, CT

Tuesday, September 1st, at 7:00 pm
RJ Julia Bookstore
768 Boston Post Road
Madison, CT

Wednesday, September 2nd, at 7:00 pm
Barnes & Noble Union Square
33 East 17th Street


Po Bronson

Comments [6]

Janet Sherman from Bronx NY

As I listened to Mr. Bronson I wondered how he missed all the books I read about childrearing. Rudolf Dreikers (in the 70's) and his "interpreter" Jane Nelson (in the 90's and beyond) advocated encouragement which they differentiated from praise. They explained how praise could create problems and described methods for teaching children to evaluate their own behaviors.

Its a matter of being an authoratative parent rather than choosing between permissive and autocratic parenting.

Ogeola McCarty, in Simple Wisdom for Rich Living, summed up the issue of self esteem quite simply: It seems pretty basic to me. If you want to feel proud of yourself, you've got to do things you can be proud of.

There were many many more books and articles that wrote about respectful ways of raising responsible, respectful children. And they worked. My children knew what was expected of them and they lived up to those expectations. And they have told me they want me around to consult when it comes time for them to rear children. My granddaughter is, at 18 months, already able to understand that picking up toys is part of the routine in preparation for an outing or a meal.

What he pity he missed the books I read.

Janet Sherman

Aug. 31 2009 03:42 PM
Anthony J. RAIOLA from Convent Station, NJ

I admired Bronson's penetraing analysis into an area in which we all tend to go with our guts and rest on our long-held assumptions. As a father of four and grandfather of eight I've witnessed firsthand how my own child- rearing instincts and proclivities have played out. And as a grandfather I've closely observed how praising too much and too often - which has become the sine qua non of acceptable parenting today can backfire.

Loving Grandpa


Aug. 31 2009 03:04 PM
cb_nyc from UWS

As a kid, I often felt condescended to when a parent praised my "high intelligence," especially if it was in response to an accomplishment which didn't challenge me. Also, because parents (and sometimes teachers) often praised my intelligence, I shrank from risk, as Mr. Bronson suggests. That I was "not working to my potential" became an increasingly self-fulfilling diagnosis.

For myself, I valued my B's -- sometimes C's -- in difficult subjects much more than I valued my A's in easy ones, but the lower marks didn't earn approval from my authority figures, didn't feed my motivation.

So I strongly agree that praise, inappropriately granted, can be counterproductive.

If I say that I love your show, I hope I'm not pushing the wrong buttons. ;-)

Aug. 31 2009 01:56 PM
Becky from Manhattan

Po Bronson is a wonderful writer and a great guest! His article in NY Mag about "How not to talk to your kids" was fascinating, and I look forward to reading his new book.

Thanks Leonard, for hosting Po and hope you have him back again.

Aug. 31 2009 01:51 PM

Any cross-culture comparative studies? Parenting is something that has been done for mellenia and everywhere, no?

Aug. 31 2009 01:45 PM
Calls'em As I Sees'em from Langley, VA

OMG -- a guest who actually questions the last twenty years of liberal knuckleheaded raising and praising kids without any regard to reality. It created a legion of zombies that are effeminate, illiterate, unmotivated and who don't know how to compete or succeed. They run in packs, thinking they are unique, yet they are merely brain-washed slaves to group think about the "environment," clothes, music, politics, etc. The perfect drones for a new communist state. All hail the new "mall-world" order.

Aug. 31 2009 01:41 PM

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