Current Reads

Raise Your Children Well

Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman address the current state of child rearing.

Book Cover Po Bronson first came to my attention with his 1995 lampoon of the insular world of bond-trading, Bombardiers. My next awareness of him came in a conversation with novelist and Iowa Writers' Workshop mentor Ethan Canin, who spoke highly of Bronson and, if memory serves well, suggested Bronson was an impressive polymath--which seems to be borne out by Bronson's subsequent CV.

A founder of the San Francisco Writers' Grotto, a children's soccer coach, and having written the bestselling What Should I Do With My Life? (and three other books) and until 2006, served on the board of directors of Consortium Book Sales & Distribution, he has turned his considerable acumen--in collaboration with Ashley Merryman, who runs a church-based tutoring program for inner-city children in Los Angeles--to a supremely important topic examined in NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children (Twelve).

Essentially, the argument--exposing fascinating anomalies such as cross-racial friendships decrease in schools that are more integrated--and assembled evidence asserts that "many of modern society's strategies for nurturing children are in fact backfiring." Mostly because we ignore the science that updates our knowledge of childhood development and such.

Unlike the junk science and pretentious claptrap found in the parenting/self-help section of bookstores, NurtureShock is an exploration, not a manual--one that continues in the ongoing discussions at its web site and other forums. Its a subject, whether or not one is a parent, it would do well to ponder.
blog comments powered by Disqus