Before I bought this book, I read some of its negative reviews on Amazon. I particularly enjoyed the review titled “Not worth the money if you actually want to learn something”. This reviewer informed me that this book is “laid out as part memoir part light (very light) cultural anthropology.”
Very light cultural anthropology was exactly what I was in the market for, so I ordered the book and I was not disappointed. It was an enjoyable read. It did not contain a bunch of concrete parenting tips (perhaps what the Amazon critic was looking for) but it was pleasant armchair travel and helpful for me to get more of a sense that some of my difficulties with North American-style parenting are not necessarily because I’m a failure, but perhaps because different cultures have different strengths (and weaknesses!) that we can learn from in order to make this whole parenting thing a little more… fun? Smooth? Survivable?
I appreciated that Mei-Ling Hopgood talked about experimenting on her own child with some of these parenting practices, especially hearing about the times when it didn’t go well. Not that I took pleasure in hearing about her struggle, but rather it just made the book very relatable for me.
I would recommend this book to a friend.