As something of a research grump, I refuse to take the phrase: "...research shows..." at face value. Instead I ask, "What qualifies this author on this topic?" I look critically at the nature and rigor of the research, the author's real world direct experience, and cultural perspective(s).
Christine Gross-Loh exceeded all expectations with her book because she is a parent of 4 children and has lived in several countries. She has interviewed parents from around the world and included some of their narratives and anecdotes as examples. She also cites several pages of solid child-rearing research and has woven it smoothly into her writing.
In the introduction she identifies the common challenge frequently heard from parents and teachers. "There are so many books written about parenting, many with contradictory recommendations, how can we decide what's right?" That's the wrong question because values and beliefs don't have a single right answer. The more helpful question is, "How well does this parenting approach line up with my core values and with how I want my child to turn out?"
Parents in countries and cultures around the world have vastly different core values and beliefs about what's best for children. But wait, what about the jungle of information dilemma? This book provides an easy guide to navigate through the information tangle by comparing these main categories: Care & Feeding, Raising, Teaching, and Character of Children.
I've found myself referring to things I learned from the book at least a few times each week in the months since I read it. As an added bonus - reading this book grew my cross-cultural competency and appreciation for differing parenting approaches, all without a passport or travel expenses. It's no wonder I recommend it to all parents and teachers.
During your next playground, or play date, or co-op classroom visit, notice the range of parenting styles and what this tells you about the resiliency of children. As the book's full title accurately invites: Parenting Without Borders, Surprising Lessons Parents Around the World Can Teach Us. What could it teach you?
The PAC Newsletter is produced by parents working in the PAC Communication Committee. The aim of the newsletter is to help co-ops communicate among themselves, inform families about important dates, ideas, related classes and seminars, Cooperative Preschool solutions and techniques from other preschools. It also advertises teacher openings, and fundraising activities.
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