Saturday, October 24, 2009

Child Development Discussion Group

Right before school started I sent out an e-mail with a proposal (see end of post).

Fast forward to last Monday:
For a bit, it looked like I might have four or five people attending, but life and continuing education and spouse's work got in the way. Nevertheless, we stayed with the proposed date, and are eager to continue. We kicked off the book club with a small but earnest group--Kindergarten parent Erica Herman, 1st grade parent Andrew Draper, and Maria and Ian McGrath. It was an entertaining discussion, drawing not only from NurtureShock and recent buzz about "free-range kids," but from old chestnuts such as How to Talk So Kids Will Listen, discipline-based tomes like 1-2-3- Magic, and somewhat more obscure (to me) books such as Other People's Children.
We wondered whether PS 9 might be able to incorporate anything from the successful Tools of the Mind program that Bronson and Merryman talk about, and floated several choices for the next discussion. We would like to meet again, with a few more people, and we could either continue to discuss NurtureShock, or tackle a new book such as Carl Honore's Under Pressure or Rafe Esquith's new book, Lighting Their Fires.

Subject: New research on praise and lying - reading group?
Hi all,
Above is a link to an interview with Po Bronson, who wrote an article in
New York magazine a few years ago about why certain praise can be
detrimental to kids, especially in an academic setting. Now, since I've
become a parent, one of my favorite genres to read has been child
development, from How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids
Will Talk
to Einstein Never Used Flashcards,
to Nation of Wimps,
Packaging Girlhood,
The Trouble with Boys,
and even The Narcissism Epidemic.
I know I tend to try to pass on vignettes from these books, sometimes,
but what I'd really love is to hear others' opinions, too.

Anyway, just in case any of you all are as fascinated with this area as
I am, I wanted to offer to host a monthly (?) discussion of some
of the new literature, at my house, if there's any interest.
Tentatively, since September is so crazy, I'd say let's meet Monday
evening, October 19, to discuss Nurtureshock.

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