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Bringing Up Baby

No two countries do it alike. The French have their own rules. We’ll look at bringing up baby around the world.

Two children are pulled on a sledge in a park, in Ghent, Belgium, Sunday Feb. 5, 2012.  (AP)

Two children are pulled on a sledge in a park, in Ghent, Belgium, Sunday Feb. 5, 2012. (AP)

Bringing up baby is always a challenge.  Raising kids.  Child-rearing.  There are a million ways to do it.  Americans seem to wonder endlessly if they’re on the right path.  Permissive parent.  Tiger Mom.  Different cultures, different ways.  No two countries do it alike.

We’re going to look at bringing up baby around the world today.  We’ll start in France, where my guest says they have a way that’s much easier on parents.  And then we’ll just keep going.  China.  Colombia.  Kenya.  Jordan. Thailand.

This hour, On Point:  Bringing up baby, around the world.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Pamela Druckerman, journalist and author of Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting. You can find an excerpt from the book here (PDF).

Jennifer Lansford, developmental psychologist and professor in the Center for Child and Family Policy at Duke University. She is the lead investigator on the Parenting Across Cultures project, which is a study of mothers, fathers, and children in 9 countries.

From Tom’s Reading List

The Daily Beast “Every year, the American media elite takes a big spin on the Wheel o’ Ethnic Insecurity and determines which foreign culture we’re all supposed to emulate and fear. Last year it was the Chinese. Maybe in 2013 everyone will finally come to appreciate Denmark.”

Philadelphia Inquirer “French parents don’t fuss apparently, running to comfort a child’s every fall. Babies are expected to “self-soothe,” cry until they fall asleep. Consequently, French mothers get more rest and look more fetching – and being French, they already have a head start. Gallic parents aren’t overly protective or indulgent. They’re strict without being harsh: “They aren’t trying to prod them into becoming prodigies.”

New York Magazine “French people are much more relaxed about being parents. You’re not, like, breeding a racehorse. In France, you don’t always talk about your kids. You don’t spend your weekends bringing them to sports things. ”

Playlist

“Alouette” by Lucienne Vernay and Les Quatre Barbus
“Working Is the Most Honorable” by China Broadcast Children’s Choir

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