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#82: Melinda Wenner Moyer | Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Assholes

Mother and science writer Melinda Wenner Moyer has a word for it

A couple of months ago, one of our Super Nice Club members sent over a link to the book How To Raise Kids Who Aren’t Assholes Science-Based Strategies for Better Parenting—from Tots to Teens. Of course, the title intrigued us …as did the goal. So we took a look, and were immediately charmed by the writing chops of this week’s guest, Melinda Wenner Moyer. And, seriously, is there anything more impactful we can do than to make sure that our replacements are way nicer than us? 

Swear words are separate from morality and goodness and kindness.”

Melinda Wenner Moyert

Melinda is a contributing editor at Scientific American magazine and a regular contributor to The New York Times, Washington Post, and other national magazines and newspapers. She is a faculty member in the Science, Health & Environmental Reporting Program at NYU’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute. She was the recipient of the 2019 Bricker Award for Science Writing in Medicine, and her work was featured in the 2020 Best American Science and Nature Writing anthology. Moyer’s work has won first place prizes in the Awards for Excellence in Health Care Journalism, the Folio Eddie Awards and the Annual Writing Awards of the American Society of Journalists and Authors.

In other words, Melinda is the real deal. In our conversation, we discuss the items listed below and more.

> How to talk about race with your kids

> Academic success vs. emotional success

> The battle against The Screens

> The vast importance of Theory of Mind

> The bummer that is bullying (is your kid a secret bully?)

> Validating our kids’ feelings leads to kindness and generosity. Who knew?

> Building emotional literacy to build a nicer world

> Social Emotional Learning in schools

> What YOU CAN DO to promote emotional learning in your school

So take a listen and, if you don’t mind, will you share this podcast with just ONE person? We’re looking to topple Joe Rogan from the top of the podcast ranks with nicer guests, a wittier host and your help. 🙂

You could say a nicer world starts at home. It’s a version of what we’re fond of saying here, that a nicer world starts with you—but if you are a parent, well, hopefully, we can raise children who are better than we are. So if you are a parent this is one you are going to want to pay special attention to—hell, maybe even if you don’t have kids but you want to have solid scientific reasoning to tell your friends that their kids are assholes.

But we jump in with Melinda on how she lit out down the path of scientific study (and not the path of studying one protein in worms for a dozen years) and ultimately the writing of this book—which surprisingly is her first.


The book, How to Raise Kids Who Aren’t Assholes on Indiebound.
Melinda’s homepage for more of her writing and work
@melindamoyer on Instagram.
Social-Emotional Literacy on CASEL

Ever been afraid to follow your true passion? The guests of Nice Work! have all been there, and they've all taken the leap of faith...and stuck the landing. Host Tod Brilliant is the founder of the Super Nice Club, and his guests will hopefully give you the power to make your world 10% nicer.

10% Nicer, That’s All We Ask.

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