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How Eskimos Keep Their Babies Warm: And Other Adventures in Parenting (from Argentina to Tanzania and everywhere in between) Paperback – January 10, 2012
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"A pleasure to read . . . No doubt some details will be too enticing not to try, like recruiting the whole family for meal preparation and training young children to take responsibility for simple tasks. Ultimately, this absorbing assemblage of perspectives will help widen our own." —BookPage
"Throughout her carefully organized text, [Hopgood] shows enormous respect for everyone she speaks with and everything she learns... A best bet for new parents.”—Booklist starred review
"Hopgood’s text is a satisfying mix of research, observation, interview, and personal experience... Readers will laugh, marvel and muse over the many (frequently opposing) child-rearing methods that persist despite the growing globalization of parenthood.”—Publishers Weekly
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
She is famous in her own right. Born in Taiwan and adopted by an American family at an early age, the bittersweet story of her reunion with her Taiwanese family as an adult appears in her earlier book, Lucky Girl. For most of her early life, Mei-Ling was a typical American: She grew up as a smart, enthusiastic Midwest school kid and even got a spot on her high school pom pom squad. When she became a journalist, her award-winning work appeared in newspapers and magazines nationwide. Before moving with her husband and children to the Chicago area recently, they lived for years in Buenos Aires. Given her global wealth of family experiences, Mei-Ling was fascinated by the vast differences in parenting choices as she circled the planet.
She was completing her new book, How Eskimos Keep Their Babies Warm, while two other controversial best sellers in this niche were making headlines and burning up websites: Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother and Bringing Up Bebe: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting.Read more ›
I also travel a good deal, and I'm continually struck by cross-cultural differences in child rearing, the freedom (versus not) allocated to young children, and parent-child interactions. On my recent trips to Spain, for example, I saw very few kids or teens who were 'hooked up' to some kind of apararatus, be it an I-pod, hand-held game, or cellphone. The love and affection between children of both sexes and their fathers is also admirable; so sad that we see little of that here (especially between parents of school-age kids or teens).
In our own culture, a good number of parents get overly-invested in 'doing it right.' While this is a concern to parents universally, we have such little support for parents--societal and familial--that it's no wonder their anxiety is so high. Parents contact me all the time, asking for books/references on how best to raise their child, fearing that one woops will damage the kid for life. I usually tell them to read one book on attachment; one on basic child development; and then to forget about the books and get on with the task of parenting.
Though none of us are surprised to learn that there are cross-cultural differences in raising kids, this book helps to illuminate the notions in starking and sometimes surprising detail. What is a way of life in one culture, for example, might warrant a report to child protective services in our own.
In addition to the stories of different cultural perspectives on parenting, the book has a way of pulling the reader in, begging us to take a look at how we were raised, as well as how cultural influences in our past affected our grandparents and parents.Read more ›
I was looking for a book that would delve into, and tell me how to implement awesome practices other cultures might have. But this book just explores subjects that are pretty familiar to the average reading momma-to-be (at least, I assume so). i.e: if you've already looked into baby-wearing and E.C., you won't find anything more interesting here (although you will get some good research supporting why/how - for example, she went in depth into how 'early potty training' is completely discouraged by cultures that have disposable diaper industries, to the extent that now it is considered acceptable to keep your kids in diapers until 4 or even 5 years old). But we already knew that, didn't we? :)
Bottom line: I'm happy I got this from the library because while you may find it a breezy, interesting read in passing, it doesn't merit a place on your permanent shelf.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I love this book and have read it a couple of times before having a baby. Talks about different child raising practices around the world. Read morePublished 6 months ago by happy reader
Loved it! Great read for anyone and especially parents. It was a short and easy read. I can definitely say it has changed my views on parenting as a whole.Published 12 months ago by Laura
I read this book before I had children (I was pregnant with my first), and as I read I was intrigued to learn about how different cultures raise their children and even determined... Read morePublished 12 months ago by M. Arellano
Still in the process of reading... Very interesting to find out what goes on in another countries.Published 16 months ago by Nadya AdlerAsh
Truthfully, I'm finding it a little hard to get through her choppy style of writing. I like the idea of looking into other cultures ways of parenting, mostly for fun, but I'm tired... Read morePublished 16 months ago by pandabear
This is a fun, entertaining look at how various cultures around the world raise their children. In most cases, the author tries out the ideas on her own child. Read morePublished 18 months ago by A Reader
This is a fascinating read as the author takes us on a journey around the world to explore how various societies care for their young. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Orhedeia