Would you like to read a book that proves through research that many of the things you intuitively believe about parenting is wrong? Then Po Bronson’s Nurture Shock is for you. Not to discourage you at all because this is a really good book. You might as well find out if you have been doing something wrong. Depending on the age of your children, you can either apologize or correct your ways.

This book goes on my highly recommended list because it identifies very specific areas that parents can improve in with some research that demonstrates the benefit of doing so. Ever wonder why your teenager doesn’t want to go to bed until midnight? The author tells you why. And then tells you why it is an important problem. Through their research they identify how the amount of sleep your child gets will make a big difference in their life from everything to school grades through to potentially obesity.

Many of their conclusions are counterintuitive to the way parents think. For example, the more permissive you are as a parent the more your children lie to you. Why? Children interpret permissive parenting as non-caring parenting. So it is okay to have rules and boundaries. I find that really helpful and encouraging.

I appreciated the fact that the book never feels overwhelming.  It leaves you with enough concrete information that as you finish each chapter you feel motivated to make some changes to your parenting to improve based on what you have learned from your reading.

I also enjoyed the book because it analyzes behaviour without the need to make some extended connection to evolutionary development as seems so common today.

The book is not just for parents but anyone who finds research on human development of interest. If you are married, or manage people, or work with people, or have relatives, or have neighbours then this book is useful to you. If not you can skip it.

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Was there anything particularly helpful?