How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character by Paul Tough (Review)


Paul Tough writes an interesting book on teaching kids to succeed. How Children Succeed is based on the idea that character often determines how children cope with the world, and that there are ways adults can best teach children the character traits that will enable them to do well in the world. Tough focuses on the poorest and neediest children in his interviews, but he also talks about how wealthy kids face the same issues on a lesser scale. His thesis is that character traits are often more important than IQ, and that having the “character” to strive and work will often make a person successful

Deciding Not To Have Kids

Man, that Amy Chua article has lit the Asian American blogosphere on fire.  Amy Chua’s got the World on Fire.  No kidding.  I’ve been fielding e-mails, getting a decent number of comments, getting Facebooked all over.  What a trip.  I think this is the closest that I’ll ever get to being totally in sync with the mainstream.  🙂  Even if I disagree with Amy in some respects, I think it’s great that she’s opened dialogue on this issue.  And we’ve had some great dialogue, not just here, but all across the Asian American blogosphere.  I had no idea that parent-child issues were so widespread in the community.

Republicans Block Child Nutrition Bill

The Republicans blocked a bill yesterday that would provide thousands of school meals for hungry children and would make those meals healthier. Not only would the bill feed more children, but it would also cut back on high calorie sweets and soft drinks in vending machines. So why would they block this?

They don’t want government to, you know, teach kids healthy eating habits.

Republicans say the nutrition bill is too costly and an example of government overreach.

Single Black Women Adopting

Wendy Duren with her beautiful daughter Madison

Wendy Duren with her beautiful daughter Madison

I saw this beautiful, though somewhat sad, article on CNN today.  Black women are choosing to adopt without waiting for a man to come around.  These black women are successful, strong, and accomplished, but they have not found men who will marry them or treat them with respect.  Many have decided to go ahead and move forward with motherhood.  It’s beautiful because these women are empowered and not allowing society to hold them back, but it’s sad because these men are turning down something good.

Go home and procreate

There’s an interesting video on CNN about Canon Japan and its new program to get workers to go home early and “procreate.” See the article here. What a great company! I’m proud to own a Canon digital camera.

There were a number of questions/thoughts that popped into my head after watching/reading this.

1. How does the company benefit from sending its workers home early? Cutting overtime seems rather useless compared with the more common method of cutting workforce. Plus, if these people do have babies who scream through the night, they’re going to be tired and walking around like zombies, and they’ll be more or less useless to the company. (I’m speaking a bit from experience.)