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Scientific Secrets for Raising Kids Who Thrive | [The Great Courses]

Scientific Secrets for Raising Kids Who Thrive

Parenting advice isn't hard to find. There are thousands of books on the subject, as well as a multitude of websites. Much has also been written on the science of child development. What's been lacking, however, are sources of reliable advice that bring together the scientific research and its real-world applications.
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Publisher's Summary

Parenting advice isn't hard to find. There are thousands of books on the subject, as well as a multitude of websites. Much has also been written on the science of child development. What's been lacking, however, are sources of reliable advice that bring together the scientific research and its real-world applications.

This course bridges the divide. In 24 engaging lectures, an expert in the cognitive development of early childhood presents what scientific research has revealed about the things parents can actively do to promote children’s long-term development right from birth. Professor Vishton delivers a wealth of practical tips to help children reach their full potential intellectually, emotionally, physically, and socially. And he supports it all with findings culled from the latest scientific literature.

You’ll touch on topics across all areas of childrearing, from sleep and nutrition to behavior and academics. And you’ll get answers to many of the most common parenting questions:

  • Should I sleep-train my baby by letting her “cry it out”?
  • Should I let my infant, toddler, or child watch TV-and if so, how much?
  • Should I allow my child to play video games?
  • Should I pressure my picky eater to finish her vegetables?
  • Should I spank my child when he misbehaves?

In addition to learning methods for laying an early foundation in subjects such as math and reading, you’ll gain information for boosting your children’s overall cognitive abilities-and even their IQ scores.

Disclaimer: Please note that this recording may include references to supplemental texts or print references that are not essential to the program and not supplied with your purchase.

©2014 The Great Courses; ©2014 The Teaching Company, LLC

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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Performance
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  •  
    Jacobus Johannesburg, South Africa 03-22-14
    Jacobus Johannesburg, South Africa 03-22-14 Member Since 2009

    When I drive, I read... uhm listen. I like SciFi, Fantasy, some Detective and Espionage novels and Religion. Now and then I will also listen to something else.

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    "A helpful and enlightning overview of parenting"

    Prof. Peter M. Vishton is an expert in Cognitive Psychology who gives tips on how to raise your children... what was unusual to me was that he didn't do it from a religious perspective, but his suggestions flows from a scientific basis. He actually brings together a huge range of scientific experiments and data by which he sifts the corn from the proverbial chaff. That is the strength and appeal of this course. There is something that any parent can take out of the course that can be applied almost immediately to your own children irrespective of their age and development.

    I especially liked Prof. Vishton's almost mantra-like caution that parents should not go overboard. He was also very careful not to give black and white answers how to be a parent. He suggested and supported certain things more than others like being a authoritative parent over and against and authoritarian, permissive or absent parent. I was surprised to discover that video games and even television programmes had a positive side to it, but also realised that children in the United States are in some ways very different from South African children - owning more than one video console - why? Why owning one at all? Be that as it may, this course is an excellent measuring rod by which you can measure your own parenting. It brings new ideas into your grasp, some of which I found had an immediate effect on my relationship with my eldest daughter - like over-explaining instead of just getting impatient and sometimes unnecessarily angry. I am also very glad to have been introduced to the Montessori hundred board.

    If there is one concern about the course, is that it is too broad. Divide it into two or three more detailed courses. I think for instance sibling rivalry and the function of pets, which Prof. Vishton mentions towards the end of the course, can really benefit parents. Furthermore it will help to gain a better grasp upon a child in early childhood development, versus a teen and ultimately an adolescent. I would have liked also to know a bit more about gender roles and grand parents. I think the net for this course is thrown a bit wide and a few fish got away.

    That said, it is an excellent course, very thought provoking, enlightening and very helpful to guide you in avoiding some of the pitfalls of parenting. I like Prof. Vishton's idea that parents should themselves become scientists when busy parenting their children. The course comes highly recommended (especially when you use an Audible credit to buy it... otherwise you might find it a bit pricey).

    21 of 21 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer San Jose 05-17-14
    Amazon Customer San Jose 05-17-14 Member Since 2014

    Lifelong Student/Seeker.

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    "Useful practical information"

    I found this series of lectures to be loaded with practical information and general guidance. I wouldn't characterize it as a "how to" manual, but more of a synopsis of what studies have to say about what works with children.

    There was a good amount of time spent on the Montessori methods, how they were developed and what science (very recently) has to say about what this brilliant lady came up with a long time ago. Also gives some general guidance on how to verify that a school really practices that way or if it just has the Montessori sign out front.

    It also does a good job balancing all of this concern for optimizing learning and development in children with the common sense observation (again, backed up by science, and again, only very recently) that kids need a certain amount of time for just plain old play.

    Lots of other tips that may seem small but could turn out to be significant and not the kind of thing I would have ever thought of. For example, when kids do well at something, it's apparently better to praise their efforts than to praise their smarts or other innate abilities (i.e., "you worked hard on that, it worked out great, and I'm proud of you" is apparently much better vs. "Look at how well you did on that - I'm so proud of what a smart fellow you are"). Lots of little tips like that caused me to make adjustments to my approach/style on certain things. Has to do with what they call attribution style. Interesting stuff.

    These are some of the elements that stood out in my mind. As a parent I'm glad I listened to it, and would recommend it to other parents.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J A Waters SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS, US 04-22-14
    J A Waters SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS, US 04-22-14 Member Since 2010
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    "Just perfect."
    Where does Scientific Secrets for Raising Kids Who Thrive rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Amoung the best


    What other book might you compare Scientific Secrets for Raising Kids Who Thrive to and why?

    How Childern Succeed; Grit, Curiosity and the Hidden power of character- This is the book I actually started with but got bored with the long winded stories and lack of practical tips


    Have you listened to any of Professor Peter M. Vishton’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Lecture 3 over developing food tastes. He explains that spitting out food when trying it for the first time is was and evolutionary advantageous behavior in hunter gather times and didn't imply toddlers didn't like a new food. Sure enough, we watched our toddler over the next few days and reintroduced foods we thought she didn't like and were thrilled to see her developing tastes for them.


    Any additional comments?

    These lectures are the perfect example of a great audio book. I get bored by more long winded books where the chapters aren't so neatly divided into shorter chunks. I can listen to a full lecture in 2 work commutes. He explains background theory, experimental evidence, and evolutionary roles in developing behaviors. This was just such an enjoyable listen.
    It prompted me to buy other great courses books, which weren't as good.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 10-07-14 Member Since 2011
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    "Immediately Usable Information"
    Would you listen to Scientific Secrets for Raising Kids Who Thrive again? Why?

    Yes. In fact I am. It has amazing information, insights, and scientifically proven tactics.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Scientific Secrets for Raising Kids Who Thrive?

    Don't have just one. Every chapter hit me with quite a memorable epiphanic moment.


    Have you listened to any of Professor Peter M. Vishton’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I have not.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Absolutely - I could easily listen to this book in one sitting if I had the time.


    Any additional comments?

    Every parent should know this. The only addition I would throw in there is to learn how to be a better individual - of which I mean - parents should find time to meditate and understand themselves, otherwise much of the information given here would be very difficult to incorporate into daily life if they aren't already mentally malleable and willing to try some radically different approaches. Personal progress and development is just as necessary as the course content when it comes to actually making this stuff work.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Adriana 06-27-14
    Adriana 06-27-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Great Evidence Based recommendation"
    Any additional comments?

    This was an engaging series that provided real world solutions for common parenting questions & concerns. He's a professional in behavioral sciences and delivers his message methodically. I wish I could gift this book to every soon-to-be parent.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
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    Ben K Hultquist 10-25-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Science!"
    If you could sum up Scientific Secrets for Raising Kids Who Thrive in three words, what would they be?

    Scientifically proven techniques


    Any additional comments?

    With all the information and advice on parenting out there, it was nice to find a compilation of scientifically studied techniques. Not mere anecdotes or unsupported ideas, he lays out what is shown to work and what is shown to not work at giving your child the best advantage to succeed.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wade 10-31-14
    Wade 10-31-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Get excited about playing with your kids"
    What did you love best about Scientific Secrets for Raising Kids Who Thrive?

    I love how practical this course is. My only wish is I listened to this before I had my two boys.


    What did you like best about this story?

    24 bite sized chunks of 30min lectures.


    Have you listened to any of Professor Peter M. Vishton’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No - He speaks very clearly and holds attention very well.


    What did you learn from Scientific Secrets for Raising Kids Who Thrive that you would use in your daily life?

    Sharing and empathy - these are innate skills that kids have. Rewarding this type of behaviour may have negative effects.


    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathleen 11-25-14
    Kathleen 11-25-14 Member Since 2009
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    "Refreshing - Advice I can rely on"
    What made the experience of listening to Scientific Secrets for Raising Kids Who Thrive the most enjoyable?

    Even though I am mother of six children and a grandmother of twelve, I learned quite a bit from these lectures and, as an attorney, this advice has enough scientific evidence for me to confidently pass it on to my children and grandchildren.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Quality Freak 11-22-14 Member Since 2004
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    "Enlightening Book for Any Parent."
    Where does Scientific Secrets for Raising Kids Who Thrive rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It's in my top 5 for raising kids for sure.


    Have you listened to any of Professor Peter M. Vishton’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No


    What’s an idea from the book that you will remember?

    Scientifically validated methods for raising kids. Takes a lot of the guess work out of things.


    Any additional comments?

    I didn't like the chapter about becoming your own scientist for anecdotal evidence. In fact, I find it highly risky. There should have been a HUGE caution before and after this section. I believe there was some bits of warning, but it should have been clear, given the humans natural tendency to want to believe their own findings.

    Overall, this is a very practical audio book. You will already know many of the things he is going to say, but its equally as nice to hear studies that back up you're belief.

    I found the section regarding video games highly enlightening. Additionally, the vaccine section was informative enough to encourage further research.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anca 10-08-14
    Anca 10-08-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Useful"
    What did you love best about Scientific Secrets for Raising Kids Who Thrive?

    The fact that he backed up every theory with scientific studies and arguments. Parenting is a very complex job and many times you don't know which of the existing theories are the best to apply, each comes with different solution sets that seem valuable and valid. Knowing that science is behind a certain advise makes it more reliable, so easier to decide, as a parent, if you should apply it without fearing that it will affect your child in a negative way.


    What’s an idea from the book that you will remember?

    Team sports, volunteering, how to support kids on homeworks


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
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  • S. Hodge
    UK
    7/11/14
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    "Interesting, insightful, well delivered"
    What did you like most about Scientific Secrets for Raising Kids Who Thrive?

    The lecturer.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It was very interesting and well structured. It was packed with useful information and tips and the information was balanced and well put together.


    What about Professor Peter M. Vishton’s performance did you like?

    The presenter was very well spoken and was enjoyable to listen to - the best of the Great Courses lecturers I've listened to so far. He was very knowledgeable and someone I'm sure I would enjoy talking to in person.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, but it was a bit long for that!


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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