Reading, reading

I went to the library this weekend with the family–interesting as always. The girls got a million picture books, Dylan got a handful, and I got a few to broaden my “parenting” horizon (oh, and a Korean cookbook, because who goes to a library and doesn’t try to expand their waistline culinary expertise too?).

Now I’m not a big parenting book type. In fact, I’m not much of a “parenter type,” which is a label that I made up solely to represent the fact that I don’t invest much into the “styling options” that are available to US American parents, nor do I care to listen to them much (I guess that could be considered a style?). Dylan and I rely more on common sense and what works for us as a family instead of trying to adhere to something, we tend to mix and blend different strategies together–maybe we’re the “real” *haha*giggle*snort* hipsters of parenthood.

I heard about “Bring Up Bebe” by Pamela Druckerman through some weird, latest news-type source…probably one of Sheila’s an anonymous source’s People magazines. I thought that the rest of the title “One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting” would make an entertaining read, be it good or bad (to be truthful, I was expecting most of it to be a bit bad, er, rather more ridiculous in nature). However, I was/am pleasantly surprised by what I’ve read! Druckerman touches on sleep education, the importance of waiting/patience, and the value of strict but permissible parenting. I know that all sounds like a bunch of blah, blah, to someone who hasn’t read the book but it touches on some things that I’ve been thinking about lately for Ada.

Let me start off by saying that my daughter, Ada, she is awesome. I have a kid who is creative, respectful, inquisitive, passionate, and sensitive. She lives her life with gusto and pulls her Daddy, sister, and I along for the ride. Ada is also four, almost five, and is a child. By child, I mean she still has tantrums, still is figuring out her place in the world, who she is, what things are, she still believes herself to be the princess of the universe, master of her domain–which she is–to an extent. This has lead to some epic attitude battles in the Casa de Dachtler house as of lately and is what has spurred me to begin thinking of some alternative choices for parenting for her.

I still haven’t finished the book but I’m sure it’s not too far off in the future seeing as how much I like it. Druckerman is honest and informative about the differences in her personal parenting compared to other Frenchwomen’s, she includes some facts but nothing that will bore you to death, and she also has some interviews with leading child psychologists/”child whisperers.” It’s nice to read a parenting book that while extolling some virtues that may be different from mine she has a way of recognizing this throughout her book. Druckerman is able to put the reader at ease in a way that does not claim she has the market cornered on parenting but rather that she’s learning as she goes along too and is simply inviting the reader into her chaotic world to learn from her failures and successes. I like that she even goes so far as to keep reminding the reader that in the US we focus too much on success and failure and that childhood/parenting is about enjoying each other and the present and educating for the future.

I know this is a bit vague of a post, a jumbling of thoughts about a book that you probably haven’t read, but I will get back to you as soon as I’ve finished. In fact, I pledge to blog about the top three things that I learned from the book/pot introspection about parenting in the near future if you’re interested. Otherwise, if you’re not, there will be Pumpkin Patch pictures in the next post.

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