What’s So Bad About American Parents, Anyway? – the Washington Post
By Brigid Schulte, Published: March 2
It wasn’t that long ago that American parents were gripped with Tiger Mother anxiety. Did we overpraise our kids in the name of promoting self-esteem? Were we forfeiting an Ivy League future for them if we didn’t force them to practice endless hours of violin or rip up birthday cards that weren’t perfect? Were we, as Amy Chua said in her best-selling memoir, “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother,” raising children who were “soft” and “entitled?” ¶ Now, though, it’s the French who have it figured out. Just like Chua’s book, journalist Pamela Druckerman’s recently released “Bringing Up Bebe” — which lauds the “wisdom” of French parents, who love their children but don’t live for them the way American parents do — has hit the bestseller lists. Another new parenting-by-comparison book, “How Eskimos Keep Their Babies Warm,” extols the virtues of the Argentines, who keep Baby up late for special occasions, and the Japanese, who let their kids fight it out. ¶ Such frenzied fascination with foreign parenting raises a question: Are American parents really that bad?