The NYC Dads Group and HRP Mamas hosted NurtureShock author, Ashley Merryman, at the 92Y in Tribeca this week and by all accounts, the event was a huge success. The event was even tweeted live by Babble!
I really enjoyed this event because you could almost hear the gears in people’s brains turning as Ashley uncovered the science behind such topics as thoughtfully praising your children, teaching your children self-control, and the importance of talking about race with your children. Ashley, and co-author Po Bronson, are helping parents to access scientific thought that usually doesn’t make it to the mainstream, and parents are using this information not as a how-to, but as a basis for thinking about the practice of parenting, something that we forget to do as we deal with life’s day-to-day struggles.
I’m not going to rehash the whole discussion, but I do want to point out some additional reading and interesting resources.
- Ashley mentioned Alfie Kohn’s article, “Parental Love with Strings Attached,” New York Times, September 15, 2009. Kohn cites studies that counter the oft-recommended practice of withholding or giving love to induce a child to behave in a certain way.
- Ashley also mentioned Jonah Lehrer’s article, “DON’T! The Secret of Self-Control,” New Yorker, May 18, 2009. Lehrer talks about the Mischel marshmallow studies and its findings regarding child and adult self-control.
Ashley suggested several games to play with children of various ages to develop self-control, self-regulation, and executive function:
- Blink Card Game
- Chocolate Fix
- Rush Hour
- Azada (online game)
- Brick Buster (online game)
And certainly, the best resource of all regarding Ashley and Po’s work is the book itself. In case you haven’t noticed, I enjoyed it thoroughly.