I was also lucky enough to win a giveaway over at Side Street Style recently. I won a book called ‘How Eskimos Keep Their Babies Warm: And Other Adventures in Parenting’. It’s part parenting memoir and part exploration of parenting practices in different cultures. The author, Mei-Ling Hopgood was adopted from Taiwan, raised in the US and brought up her first child in Argentina. She looks at differences in areas like sleep patterns, eating, the involvement of fathers and play. It was really interesting, and pretty reassuring really. There are so many different ways of raising happy, healthy children and this book wasn’t about looking at which ways are ‘better’, just about what fits within the culture.
In her conclusion, Hopgood writes:
“While no culture can claim to be the best at any one given aspect of parenting, each has its own gems of wisdom to add to the discussion…We may or may not adopt what another family in another culture or place does, but we can take comfort in knowing that there really is more than one good way to get a baby to sleep, transport her from place to place, and feed her…While there are some universal standards of how a child should be treated, there are many ways to be a good parent in the world.”