Why French Parents Are Superior: This is a Wall Street Journal story based on a book by Pamela Druckerman, an American mother who lives in Paris. As of now, there are 571 comments on the WSJ story alone. The essence is that the French raise better behaved, more respectful children than Americans. She attributes this to more discipline and boundary setting.
Please. I might buy this on face value except that she pushes the “cry it out” method with babies. Huge red flag. So that got me thinking, and I read the comments, and I realize that Swedish kids are also more respectful and better behaved than the imaginary, spoiled American kids she talks about. And the Swedes co-sleep, stay at home with their kids longer, and value both mothers and fathers (umm, the French do not, well, not nearly as much). So what’s the explanation then? I have no idea. A northern European conformity? Just not being American?
Or maybe the book is just a good way to get the American chattering classes, well, chattering. Like with Tiger Mothers, and Wolf Fathers, and all that.
Writing with Children: A nice essay on one novelist – and mother – and her journey in her writing life as a new parent. I happen to have the opposite experience of the author – having children opened up my writing life and forced me to focus (and I was home as much as many Moms) – but that takes nothing away from it.
Welcome back, Yellow Wiggle: I sometimes ponder starting a blog about children’s TV shows: their mythic value, the songs, the pop references, the plot structure … the gossip. And here is some good gossip. The original Yellow Wiggle is back after years of absence due to illness. It’s like Blue’s Clues going back to Steve, after Joe. Except Steve would be old and bald.
I don’t know. I don’t like it. The new Yellow Wiggle, Sam, was just fine. And do the Wiggles really have magic to rekindle? What’s this about? Are there money woes in Wiggle land? Did Sam do something really, really awful to Henry the Octopus?
John Horgon on erasing war from the human condition: John Horgan just wrote a book called “The End of War,” and this is not the only book like this out there right now. This makes me happy. I used to work in post-war grassroots peace projects, and I always liked to think we could go this way as a species. It seems counterintuitive, what with Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, drone assassinations, the militarization of American life, but a good argument is made by both Horgan and the author of the other book, Steven Pinker, that an ever-more-connected and democratic humanity has the potential to move past violence, and, in fact, is already doing so (even if the results of the remaining violence are streamed ever more directly right onto all our various screens).