Saturday, May 18, 2013

Reading Lately...

-Bringing Up Bebe by Pamela Druckerman. A book about an American journalist who becomes a parent while living in France. She realizes that, among other things, French babies sleep through the night earlier and that French children are better eaters and more well-behaved than American children. She also notices that French moms lose the baby weight more quickly and are generally happier and more relaxed. This book is her assessment of what they do differently and why it works. It definitely made me think differently about what children are capable of and how I want to raise Noah. I would never try some of the things French parents do (it's apparently normal for five-year-olds to go on a week-long trip with their classmates, no parents, just a teacher and one or two other adults to supervise), but it was still interesting to read about parenting in another culture.

-The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. This book is chalked full of research on how habits are formed an how to use that information to your advantage. A few interesting things I learned:
  • 40% of our daily activities are based on habit.
  • A habit cannot be permanently eliminated unless it is replaced with a new habit.
  • All habits involve 3 things: a cue, an action, and a reward. If you can identify the cue and reward, you can use that information to help change/replace the habit (the action).
  • Case studies of people who have made huge life changes (think overweight, divorced, unemployed smoker to marathon-running, happily married, non-smoker with a stellar career) have found that the key to changing your life is setting and achieving very small, manageable goals. Accomplishing these small goals gives you a boost of confidence, which encourages you to set and achieve more small goals. Eventually, all of these little things add up to big changes.
-Crazy Sexy Diet by Kris Carr. This book covers the basics of a plant-based diet and also includes information on juicing, dry brushing, detoxing, probiotics, why the pH of the foods you eat is so important and so much more. She also shares her favorite vegan and raw food recipes. It's interesting, informative, and easy to read.


  1. Oh dear. I'm an American living in France and work with kids. I can promise you that French parents aren't getting anymore sleep. I talked to my French sister-in-law who has two kids and she just laughed. The mothers I talk to are constantly stressing about not being perfect parents. They're as clueless as we are. Except, they have a lot less access to psychological help, especially for children.

    The real reason that French women lose the weight is because people are commenting on their weight all the time. Seriously, people make comments to your face all the time and often behind your back. Other people's weight is a popular topic of discussion. All of these 'French women know better' books are usually completely inaccurate - but well marketed. I used to watch these little French children who were absolute monsters. I've seen some of the most missed behaved children ever here. The method might be a little different, but the results the same. In France and America, ever couple parents completely differently and their childrens' behavior is all over the charts.

    Sorry for the little rant. I remember being disappointed when I came to France and found out that all those books about the French woman's lifestyle were complete frauds.

    Excellent post. I'm just not a fan of the book - because almost none of it's true!

    1. It's interesting to hear the perspective of someone who actually LIVES there! I wonder if it's her perception, the fact that she associates with a higher income/education demographic, or the fact that she just wanted a book deal and needed to make French parenting sound like the answer in order to get it? It did seem a little too good to be true. Like, as a mom of a six month old I find it hard to believe that all of the babies there sleep through the night at 2 months! Have you read any books about French culture that are accurate?

  2. I just bought the power of habit and I seriously can not wait to read it! I figured I'd learn a little more about my husband who is a complete creature of habit haha.

    I found you via the hop and I'm a new follower:) excited to be following along!


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