Sunday, October 10, 2010

Nurture Shock... by Pro Bonson and Ashely Merryman

This is Book 43 and it is non-fiction and I would rate it a must read for parents and also teenagers (might help them understand themselves a little better). It's a book about parenting and growing up. Both Other Half and I belong to the generation of supposedly enlightened parents.. read that as supposedly Involved Parents. And it's funny to read that all this psychoanalysis thing my gen has been trying to incorporate into parenting yet not succeeding very much in producing kids any enlightened than ourselves... in fact sometimes I feel they're worse off than us.

The book draws studies picked from empirical researches in the field, not your usual sampling in the labs. What's so funny is I find that many of the studies actually prove that our parents (and not us) generation were right in many ways. Many parents today want to be their children's friends... One of the studies indicate that kids need discipline in their lives. Now if we're their friends, hard to discipline, huh??? Permissive parenting does not result in better kids. In fact permissive parenting leads to more problems. So much for new ways are better than old ones.

We are natural liars! You don't need to the environment to turn you into a liar. You lie as a method of self preservation or to get what you want. This is contrary to the some belief that Man is intrinsically pure but blemished by his environment. Studies discovered that kids as young as 4 (and they come from homes where parents do all they can to make sure their kids are straight) begin to lie to get what they want without being prompted! Fallen nature we are! LOL!

The importance of play... this is where we've all got it all skewed. Kids learn best through play. Our policy makers continue dawdle to decide whether to change our existing crazy exam-oriented system and parents drag their children in the ever rising stream that drowns their children in the chase of excellence. Children need to play more. Having a childhood actually makes our kids smarter, not putting them through hours of long extra boring classes after school. We tire them and stunt their brain growth. In the long run, we are actually dumbing them down. That makes us all kinda stupid, right? It's all this kiasu-ness in us that's causing all this too.

Teenagers.... letting them drive without supervision is also stupid. We learned it the hard way. Teenagers themselves may feel they are ready to drive... they are not. They cannot make good decisions yet... not because they are not trustworthy but simply because their brains are not quite ready yet. They don't make good Executive Decisions because their brains just simply cannot quite handle it yet!

I had an interesting conversation with a young adult recently... he tells me that most of his college mates drink like fish. That seems to be the norm now... we've caught up with the Western societies. Young people go out... they party, booze, go into extremes of gaming (MPOG), get into orgies... etc.. Many kids do things that their parents have no inkling whatsoever. These young people led very regimented life. By the time they leave, they've not quite gotten it that freedom to make their own decision is something that comes naturally with the passage of time. Most of them find the freedom they have when they go to college quite giddying. And many succumb to the 'wild' life...

We protect our kids from the real world because we deem them not ready and this has sorely backfired. And when we let them loose into the world... they literally become loose cannons. We keep them in school because education is supposed to be their tickets to a better life. Look at our unemployable graduates!!! I think for many, it might have been better to enter the job market earlier and pick up some skills. And that's still the 'educable' ones. In schools we have many students who are just 'marking time'. They have no hope of passing. They are not cut out for the academia.... yet they come day after day... turning us teachers into baby sitters and getting bored and becoming disruptive. By the time they leave, many think the world owes it to them their existence.

Nurture Shock..... this is a nice non-fiction book. Enjoy this read! Good for parents and kids to read! Many gems of wisdom.

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