Thursday, April 11, 2013

Book Review: How Children Succeed by Paul Tough

Title: How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character
Author: Paul Tough
Enjoyment Rating: ***
Source: Audible
This book would be rated: PG

I picked up How Children Succeed because I hoped that it would teach me how to help my children develop grit, curiosity, and character. But although Tough starts writing the book in order to learn some of these things for himself as a parent, that's not what the book is about. Instead, Tough's work is journalistic-- he delves into schools and laboratories that show how the characteristics of grit, curiosity and character, in things as variant as lab rats and inner-city high school students, can help people succeed.

The stories are very interesting, and I found myself listening along quite avidly. However, Tough seems to come to some pretty weak conclusions as a parent-- love your kid, comfort them, and let them fail sometimes. I was hoping for things more along the lines of helping preteens who seem to need a refresher in grit and character despite being loved, comforted and given a long leash. Tough doesn't have a preteen yet, so I'm hoping that by the time he does, he can have more definitive parenting answers for me.

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