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My wife and I have been reading Nurture Shock: New Thinking About Children by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman.

One key premise of the book goes to the issue of whether we need a book like this in the first place. Don’t we have instincts as parents we can follow? The premise of the book is that many of our instincts as parents are just dead wrong.

According to Nurture Shock, the one instinct – that seems to have “evolved” even more in recent years – to praise your children in generalities does them more harm than good. How many parents tell their children they are smart? Before I read this book, I must have told my kids that at least 10 times a day. It feels good to praise your kids and you feel like you are being a 21st Century parent when you do it. But the research offered in the book is clear that it’s counterproductive.

There is a lot more to touch on about this book. But if you are a parent, you have to buy it. It is the most important book on parenting that I have ever read.

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