Books about Children and Parenting

    Our Babies, Ourselves  by Meredith F Small

 Dr. Small, a Cornell anthropologist, reviews child-rearing practices across the world revealing a great variety of practices and attitudes. "Japanese babies and older children sleep between their parents to symbolize their position as a river between two banks, a being that is intimately connected to each parent as a river is to its riverbed." She points out that American parents are nearly alone in the world when they have their babies sleep apart from them. Many cultures view this as child abuse. All parents in all cultures use cultural norms as they parent in an uncritical almost subconscious manner. Some parenting practices in some cultures are surprising.. even shocking as ours are to them. "The chief, overriding parental goal of American culture, whether stated overtly or not, is independence. We seek advice in reverse order to what is common worldwide. "After pediatricians, American parents turn for advice to child-care books, then friends, and only occasionally to family. She fights, with affection, for the child as she explores parenting worldwide. She reports research wherein mother and child were videotaped as they slept. The pair move together, ascend through sleep cycles together and face each other nearly all night . "When sleeping together, mothers and babies are extraordinarily in sync."

     

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