Katherine Parker's Reviews > Our Babies, Ourselves: How Biology and Culture Shape the Way We Parent

Our Babies, Ourselves by Meredith Small
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Sep 19, 08

bookshelves: breeder-books
Recommended to Katherine Parker by: Tilden
Recommended for: people with babies/small children
Read in September, 2008, read count: 1

This was a quick read. It provides some interesting insights about how we parent, how unconscious a lot of our parenting strategies are, and how we unconsciously transmit our culture's values through our interactions with children. In particular, I had never thought about whether or not other cultures talk to their children a lot and value language acquisition as much as Americans value it. She also laid bare for me the understanding that, as many aspects of American culture as I reject (materialism, competitiveness, winners are the BEST!), I still have a lot of ideas about the importance of independence, self-sufficiency, and individualism ingrained in me and in my ideas about what characteristics I should strive to foster in my child. We co-sleep, I breastfeed, we wear the baby a lot, but all the AP stuff is still overlaid with American ideals that manifest in little things like trying NOT to help when he is feeding himself, stacking blocks, prying a lid off a cookie tin full of utensils, or telling him, "Oh, you're okay," when he falls down and is obviously not hurt. In another culture, the mom would automatically go over to scoop baby up, no delayed reaction.
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