How to Raise Kids Who Aren't Assholes is a clear, actionable, sometimes humorous (but always science-based) guide for parents on how to shape their kids into honest, kind, generous, confident, independent, and resilient people...who just might save the world one day.
As an award-winning science journalist, Melinda Wenner Moyer was regularly asked to investigate and address all kinds of parenting questions: how to potty train, when and whether to get vaccines, and how to help kids sleep through the night. But as Melinda's children grew, she found that one huge area was ignored in the realm of parenting advice: how do we make sure our kids don't grow up to be assholes?
On social media, in the news, and from the highest levels of government, kids are increasingly getting the message that being selfish, obnoxious and cruel is okay. Hate crimes among children and teens are rising, while compassion among teens has been dropping. We know, of course, that young people have the capacity for great empathy, resilience, and action, and we all want to bring up kids who will help build a better tomorrow. But how do we actually do this? How do we raise children who are kind, considerate, and ethical inside and outside the home, who will grow into adults committed to making the world a better place?
How to Raise Kids Who Aren't Assholes is a deeply researched, evidence-based primer that provides a fresh, often surprising perspective on parenting issues, from toddlerhood through the teenage years. First, Melinda outlines the traits we want our children to possess—including honesty, generosity, and antiracism—and then she provides scientifically-based strategies that will help parents instill those characteristics in their kids. Learn how to raise the kind of kids you actually want to hang out with—and who just might save the world.
Journalist Wenner Moyer debuts with a winning strategy for cultivating kindness in kids and guiding them toward a "happy, successful life" from toddlerhood through adolescence. Parents are facing a "crisis of kindness," she writes: while a vast majority of parents wish to instill kindness in their children, the same majority thinks most children are disrespectful. As such, Wenner Meyer lays out a science-based approach to instilling empathy, helpfulness, and honesty in kids. She candidly translates psychological frameworks (for example, the theory of mind is "the ability to put oneself in someone else's shoes and understand their perspective") and shares plenty of advice that sounds like sheer good sense—she recommends authoritative parenting, for example, which combines nurturing with rules and limits. At the root of things is simple communication: "Sometimes," she writes, "we really do need to spell the obvious things out to our children." Blending an upbeat, humorous tone ("If all of this makes you want to throw up your hands and drown yourself in wine, I get it") with straightforward advice, Wenner Moyer crafts a winning guide for parents who wish to build a "better, fairer, stronger world." This delightful mix of strategy and humor shouldn't be missed.