Monday, April 16, 2012

Some Monday Morning Reading On Parenting

In the wake of the book 'Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother', cross-cultural parenting analysis has become suddenly fashionable, and the culture du jour has become the French. Pamela Druckerman's 'Bringing Up Bébé' brought praise and criticism from both sides of the Atlantic, with some arguing that French parents ought to be role models for our overwhelmed, confused American parents, and others pointing out that French disciplinary behaviors stifle creativity and self-expression. Not being a parent myself, I can't argue one way or another, but in this debate, I've been most interested in the eating habits that French parents apparently instill in their children - eschewing sugar, simple carbs, and snacking, French parents encourage vegetables, and even fish. Without discussing how this is achieved, the results are impressive - American children are three times more likely to be overweight than French children, a statistic that ought to inspire both terror and adulation in the minds of epidemiologists. Needless to say, there's already been a book written on the topic, 'French Kids Eat Everything'. It's Monday, and if you're feeling a bit Continental, peruse these articles and get interested.