Monday, April 4, 2016

Review: Bringing Up Bébé by Pamela Druckerman

Title: Bringing Up Bébé
Author: Pamela Druckerman
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Penguin Press
Publish Date: February 7, 2012
Source: Library

What's the Story?:

From "The secret behind France's astonishingly well-behaved children. When American journalist Pamela Druckerman has a baby in Paris, she doesn't aspire to become a "French parent." French parenting isn't a known thing, like French fashion or French cheese. Even French parents themselves insist they aren't doing anything special.

Yet, the French children Druckerman knows sleep through the night at two or three months old while those of her American friends take a year or more. French kids eat well-rounded meals that are more likely to include braised leeks than chicken nuggets. And while her American friends spend their visits resolving spats between their kids, her French friends sip coffee while the kids play.

Motherhood itself is a whole different experience in France. There's no role model, as there is in America, for the harried new mom with no life of her own. French mothers assume that even good parents aren't at the constant service of their children and that there's no need to feel guilty about this. They have an easy, calm authority with their kids that Druckerman can only envy."

My Two Cents:

"Bringing Up Bebe" is a parenting memoir of sorts by a woman who goes to live in Paris with her family. As a first time mother, she witnesses the French parents doing things very differently than what she is used to in the United States. I picked up this book as I am always interested in how other cultures function and do things differently than our own.

Being a new mom myself (I read this book when my twin girls were about 5 months old), some of the info struck me and other information was like "no, duh." I've been told that I'm pretty laid back and calm for a first time mom. I have no idea if this is really the case but some of the things that the author mentions worrying about or thinking that she had to do based on what she saw other American parents do makes me think that perhaps I am more laid back than many. That being said, someone who fits more into the paradigm that the author discusses and comes from may get more out of this book.

I did like how the author explores the other culture. There are so many things that culture has an effect on when it comes to parenting. I had never thought about culture having such a great effect but it definitely does. Some things that are discussed in the book would probably not work as well in the United States because of the cultural norms that parents face. Overall, this is an interesting perspective that kept me engaged.



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