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The Parenting Trap

- Abstract

In recent years, the credentialed experts on child-rearing—the psychologists, educators, and pediatricians who once presumed to dispense the bulk of American parenting advice—have been pretty much tossed to the sidelines and replaced by bestselling memoirists who offer ad hoc counsel to a public hungry for parenting tips. There is, for example, Pamela Druckerman, a Paris resident who found herself chagrined in French bistros by her boisterous and uncooperative American toddlers. Her determination to find out why French kids behave better than their American peers gave birth to last year’s very successful Bringing Up Bébé, devoured by parents who want their children to be more independent, more socially adept, more svelte. Presumably, moms have taken her advice to limit between-meal snacks, leave their children alone to play, and teach them that all pleasures come to those who wait. Whether they have followed her lead in arranging for a threesome with their husbands, as Druckerman did and then described for the readers of Marie Claire, is yet to be determined.

About the Author

Dana Mack is author of The Assault on Parenthood and co-editor of The Book of Marriage: The Wisest Answers to the Toughest Questions