Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Nurture Shock

I'm in the middle of Po Bronson & Ashley Merriman's Nurture Shock (thanks for the recommendation, Abbie!) and it is SO great. Fascinating. I'll have to type up my notes when I'm done, but for now I want to jot down this quote from the book:

Preschool and elementary school teachers proclaim tattling to be the bane of their existence. One of the largest teachers' training programs in the United States ranks children's tattling as one of the top five classroom concerns -- as disruptive as fighting or biting another classmate.

But tattling has received some scientific interest, and researchers have spent hours observing kids at play. They've learned that nine out of ten times a kid runs up to a parent to tell, that kid is being completely honest. And while it might seem to a parent that tattling is incessant, to a child that's not the case -- because for every one time a child seeks a parent for help, there were fourteen other instances when he was wronged and did not run to the parent for aid.

When the child - who's put up with as much as he can handle - finally comes to the tell the parent the honest truth, he hears, in effect, "Stop bringing me your problems!" According to one researcher's work, parents are ten times more likely to chastise a child for tattling than they are to chide a child who lied.

Food for thought, isn't it?


  1. Tiff said...
    Malia tattles a lot.

    And I always stifled it.... until, about 4 months ago, when I read that a child who feels stifled when tattling will eventually learn they can't go to their parent for things.

    I changed my ways immediately.

    And you want to hear something ironic? The moment I responded positively to her tattling, it started going away! As if she felt empowered by my empathy enough to start handling things on her own.
    Christy said...
    I so agree...I have a teenager who struggles with his younger brother. I always used to tell him that when they had troubles that before he got angry to just come and tell me but he informed me that when he does that I always tell him to work it out and he felt that he wasn't being heard. I've worked really hard to listen more since then.
    Lisa said...
    That definitely is interesting, and I (probably) agree. I don't have any kids who can currently tattle :p
    Qait said...
    I really like that, Abby! Thanks for sharing it. Sounds like a fascinating book.
    I'm glad to have that in mind at this stage since Ender's nearing the point of tattling (I know because I can see some "signs," not because I just expect it to hapen).

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