There’s no one way to parent and the way we do it here in the U.S. isn’t the same way moms and dads abroad do. There are lots of books out there on the child-rearing philosophies of other cultures and one of the latest is “Achtung Baby: An American Mom on the German Art of Raising Self-Reliant Children,” by Sara Zaske.
The freelance writer lived in Berlin for six years, where she saw firsthand the laid back approach German parents have, even letting kids as young as three use a real knife and fork to cut their food. She started questioning her parenting style of constantly correcting her kids and closely supervising them to keep them safe when she wanted to raise them to be “strong, independent, free individuals.”
Here are some other parenting advice imports that may have Americans wondering if we should be doing things differently with our little ones:
“Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother” - Yale Law School professor Amy Chua caused a stir with this one when she suggested that Western parents are too soft and that Chinese mothers expect perfection and that’s how they end up with such high-achieving kids.
“Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting” - American journalist Pamela Druckerman noticed something while living in Paris: a city full of toddlers who were well-behaved, listened to their parents, and sat quietly at restaurants. She says that’s because French parents are better at setting boundaries than American moms and dads and fostering independence and accountability in their kids.
“How Eskimos Keep Their Babies Warm and Other Adventures in Parenting (from Argentina to Tanzania and Everywhere in Between)” - While living in Argentina, American journalist and new mom Mei-ling Hopgood found that other moms didn’t worry about bedtimes and didn’t put their kiddos to sleep until after 10. She says it worked well and the kids were still well-rested but also felt included in family time.
“Parenting Without Borders: Surprising Lessons Parents Around the World Can Teach Us” - Journalist and Harvard Ph.D. Christine Gross-Loh was born in the U.S. to Korean immigrants, and later she moved to Japan with her husband and kids. While living there, she observed other moms didn’t care about monitoring screen time and when kids had playground conflicts, parents sat back and let them work it out independently.
Source: New York Post