I am a mother of a toddler, and as such have read a few books and articles about how I should be doing my job. I first read an article about Druckerman which led me to download the whole book. It's written by an American talking about French parenting, and as an English mother, I found it really interesting to be able to read it from a third perspective and have no personal issues with either style of parenting. I can imagine that some people may be defensive of either culture's ways, but I was pleased to simply listen to the evidence and take what I think is useful and relevant from it.
Regarding evidence, Druckerman has done a lot of research, I was concerned this would just be an anecdotal opinion piece, and was pleased to find that there was actually a lot of scientific and historical research quoted to back up the observations she was making.
Overall I thought this was a really interesting book, with some definite - if not sometimes obvious and common sense - methods which could be put into practise. But as I've found so far in parenthood - indeed in life, sometimes you do need the obvious to be stated in order to simply recognise and consciously decide to act on it. However I do agree with the previous reviewer, the narrator's French accent is terrible sometimes, and I accept the fact that not everyone can do accents, but perhaps they should have found a fluent French speaker to read the book, as there are quite a lot of French phrases used throughout and it did rather undermine what was being said.
This title was as much a comment on parenting techniques as it was about attitudes to devices. Early in the book I thought it shared some themes with 'Bringing Up Bebe' by Pamela Druckerman (also available on Audible): an American author living in another country, trying her best to bring up her children to be decent members of society. Admittedly, Maushart's children are plugged-in teenagers rather than impatient toddlers, but the level of attention paid to their mother was about the same.
As a parent bringing up children in this digital age, I have worried about how we will balance our kids needs to plug in with my somewhat rose-tinted view that they should be outside making mud-pies. Maushart's conclusions didn't really have give any surprises: you turn off the TV, you talk more. But, as with 'Bringing Up Bebe', I was compelled to hear what the family's response and results were, and whilst many of the ideas are common sense, often it helps to have someone state the obvious to remind you that these things matter. Many of Maushart's thoroughly researched statistics made for sobering listening, and I have been left with some pointers that I have agreed with my (super-techy) husband, that they should be incorporated into family life.
The irony that I was often checking facebook and my email while listening to the audiobook was not lost on me either - it may be some time before I can change my own habits...
Excellent listening. A deep analysis of psychological functions related to symptoms of ADD. I would recommended to all the parents struggeling with behaviours of their child which in some way might be related to the syndrom described in this book.