2023 Author: Leah Sherlock | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-08-25 09:26
The name of the American journalist Pamela Druckerman became widely known after she shared in her books the secrets of parenting from Paris. One of the books became an instant bestseller and was translated into 28 languages, while the second was at the top of The New York Times list for three years in a row.
A little about the author
Pamela Druckerman (pictured above) was born in 1970 in New York. She studied philosophy at Colgate University and received her master's degree in international relations from Columbia University. She was a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and studied improvised comedy. She was a frequent guest on ABC's Good Morning America, NBC Today, National Public Radio, the BBC and elsewhere.
Pamela has collaborated with The Washington Post, Vanity Fair France, The Guardian, The Financial Times and many others. From 1997 to 2002, she worked as a reporter for The Wall Street Journal in Buenos Aires, São Paulo and New York, where she covered economics and politics. Visited as a journalistMoscow, Johannesburg, Tokyo and Jerusalem. In 2002, while on a business trip in Buenos Aires, she met her future husband Simon Cooper, a British journalist and writer.
Life in France
A few months after they met, she moved with Simon to Paris, where they still live. The idea to write a book about parenting came to her when she and her husband and their one and a half year old daughter came to a cafe. She noticed that French babies, unlike their child, did not throw food, did not run around the restaurant and ate a variety of food, and their parents sat quietly and talked. Pamela realized that the French approach parenting differently than the Americans.
Pamela grew up in Miami, Florida. His father worked in advertising, his mother was the owner of a fashion boutique. Pamela adores France and laughs at the thought of returning to the US. But there are things she misses. She misses the place where she grew up, where many people she knows are left, where her family lives. Pamela Druckerman's children, a daughter and twin sons, grew up in France, but Pamela still looks at everything through the eyes of an American.
The first book published was Lust in Translation. An entertaining book in which the author talks about his fascinating research - how infidelity is treated in different countries of the world. For example, Americans are less skilled in such matters and suffer greatly from it. Russian spouses do not consider a holiday romance a betrayal, and South Africans are sure that drunkenness can serve as an excuse forextramarital sex. Lust in Translation is a fun and fact-filled infidelity world tour that combines the author's literary prowess with a carefully crafted moral code.
For those over 40
Pamela Druckerman's latest book, There Are No Grown-ups, answers questions from middle-aged readers. The author talks about the transitional period, which many do not understand and do not accept. In the book, she not only talks about middle-aged people, the problems they face, but also gives practical recommendations. The author has the fact that he frankly talks about his family, husband and children. About how she faced a terrible diagnosis - cancer. How could not give up, and the family became a reliable support.
There Are No Grown-ups is part memoir, part very witty advice on how to live after 40. The book is written in easy language, in a playful way, but has a rich evidence base. Pamela says: before taking up this book, she studied a lot of literature on this topic.
I'm out of my comfort zone. But to write, you have to be honest. It won't work otherwise.
Thunder from a clear sky
Particularly difficult was the chapter in which Pamela Druckerman talked about how she was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, about subsequent chemotherapy and immunotherapy. "It's hard, but I couldn't let it go because it was so important." Pamela shareswith her experiences and says that she experienced a shock. She received the support of friends who once had he alth problems. However, she herself was surprised when she was able to share this part of her biography.
Pamela Druckerman says that this book was also inspired by going to a cafe, just like parenting books. Pamela noticed that the waiters called her “madame” and not “mademoiselle”. “It was like a storm coming,” recalls Pamela. “Like a bolt from the blue. There was a period when they called me “madame”, as if in a playful way, and winked at the same time. And then I suddenly became just “madam”. How imprinted to the chair with this word. The realization that I was really a madam came later.”
Secrets of Frenchwomen
Probably, many are wondering who is Pamela Druckerman to write a book about the experiences of “over 40”? She's not a psychologist, after all. This decision did not come immediately. At first, she shared her experiences with readers in a column for the New York Times, but did not think that this question was of interest to many. That almost all those over 40 are afraid of old age. They feel uncomfortable with the way they look. “I saw that this topic resonates with people, it’s nice that people read what I wrote, discuss, share their stories and advice.” Then Pamela began to look through the impressions and opinions of famous people - Dante, Schopenhauer, Aristotle and many others. Some write that this is the best time of life, a “reference point”, from which a person begins to change. Others say that you need to take everything as it is, andbe positive about the changes in your life.
Pamela Druckerman decided to write a book focusing on the physical and emotional changes people and herself go through at the age of forty. How they affect marriage, friendships, parenting, clothing choices, and other aspects of life. The author's research is intertwined with scientific facts, testimonies of acquaintances and friends. And of course, the main value of the book is that the author talks about French culture.
At this age they feel very comfortable, they know how to “age beautifully”. In France, it is generally accepted that "women of any age are characterized by charm." French women have a special approach not only to the choice of clothes, but also a completely different approach to their bodies. In America, for example, it is customary to speak negatively about him, but in France, a woman, even knowing that she has imperfect proportions, understands and knows what exactly is attractive in her, knows how to focus on this and feels great.
The author of French Kids Don't Spit Food, a New Yorker, has had plenty of time to hang out with exhausted, sleep-deprived new moms. After the birth of the child, Pamela Druckerman herself experienced all these “charms” on herself. After moving to France, she seemed to find herself in a different world, where children, without waking up, slept all night, went to kindergarten from the age of nine months, ate a variety of foods and did not indulge in meals. Their mothers did not look tired, they lived their lives.
Journalistic veinaffected, and Pamela, a desperate mother at that moment, decided to reveal the secret of French education. She asked neighbors, acquaintances, colleagues, doctors and caregivers about their methods. Pamela concluded that they oscillated between "extremely strict" and "shockingly permissive." But the result was amazing! Parents did not raise their voices, the children grew up calm, patient and coped with disappointment on their own.
In contrast to her exhausting, sometimes stormy, "American" upbringing, the French seemed to be helped by some "invisible" force that turned upbringing into a light breeze. Pamela Druckerman conducted surveys and it turned out that mothers in Ohio or Princeton found parenthood many times more unpleasant than mothers in Rennes. During her trips to America, she interviewed experts, observed the behavior of children and parents.
Pamela decided to write a book about American and French parenting methods, their pros and cons. The result is a witty and informative guide to parenting. In no way is the author trying to “teach” her parents, she is simply presenting the facts and describing her experiences, pain and struggles. Pamela Druckerman lays out in an easy and accessible way two alternative methods: French - calm and pleasant, and "American" - intense and exhausting. And he invites his readers to make their own choice.
Secrets of French parenting
Drukerman was disappointed to find that the French moms she wanted to befriend weren't particularly friendly with other mothers. Atthey had more important things to do. This is the answer: the French know how to enjoy life. And it starts almost at birth.
When a baby cries at night, parents watch him for a few minutes. They know the two-hour phases of sleep, between which the baby wakes up and falls asleep. They give him the opportunity to calm down and fall asleep. If, jumping up to the cry of a child, the parents immediately take him in their arms, he will wake up. And it is his parents who teach him to wake up. Result? According to Pamela Druckerman, French babies are most likely to sleep soundly through the night from two months on.
French babies know how to wait - they are patient when the time between feedings increases; they do not ask for treats right at the supermarket checkout, but calmly wait while their mother is talking to someone. Even in restaurants, kids are sedately waiting for their portion. Isn't this a dream? But it is precisely this expectation that is the first lesson of independence. A child is able to learn and deal with disappointment, you just have to believe in it.
The French "titans of education" Rousseau, Piaget and Françoise Dolto claim that children are intelligent and "understand language from birth". They just need a "framework" that sets limits but "gives them complete freedom within those limits." This is a complex mixture, but the main thing is not to be afraid to suppress the “self-expression” of the child. The French believe that “children should learn to deal with disappointment” and the word “no” saves children “from the tyranny of their own desires.”
Druckerman was shocked to return to America for a while and seehow American mothers follow their little ones around the playground, loudly commenting on their every move. French mothers, on the other hand, sit on the edge of the playground, talking calmly with friends, leaving the little ones to get along with other children and get to know the playground on their own.
They are just as calm about pregnancy. They are not told about bad scenarios by the press or television. On the contrary, they are advised to remain calm. There are no warnings about unhe althy foods, sex, or the pursuit of a natural birth. 87% of French women give birth with anesthesia and don't seem to worry. France is many times superior to England and the United States in almost all indicators of maternal and child he alth. And even pregnant French women are losing weight: for them, food cravings are “a nuisance to be conquered,” not indulgence, because “the fetus wants a piece of cake.”
French people respect the teaching profession - work in kindergarten is considered an admirable career and requires a degree. The author tells in the book about everything he sees, about all the little things related to raising a child and shares his impressions with readers in a fascinating way. Journalist Pamela brings her irresistible combination of wit, humility, curiosity and insight to French Parents Don't Give Up.
As readers write in reviews, Pamela Druckerman here more compactly, in the form of 100 practical tips, talks about what she shared in the book "French children do not spit food." And as a bonus - an approximate weeklya menu with pretty cute recipes for the whole family.
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