OVERRIDE

Public Affairs
Hardcover $25.99
Do Parents Matter?
Why Japanese Babies Sleep Soundly, Mexican Siblings Don’t Fight, and American Families Should Just Relax

Summary

When it comes to parenting, more isn't always better-but it is always more tiring

In Japan, a boy sleeps in his parents' bed until age ten, but still shows independence in all other areas of his life. In rural India, toilet training begins one month after infants are born and is accomplished with little fanfare. In Paris, parents limit the amount of agency they give their toddlers. In America, parents grant them ever more choices, independence, and attention.

Given our approach to parenting, is it any surprise that American parents are too frequently exhausted?

Over the course of nearly fifty years, Robert and Sarah LeVine have conducted a groundbreaking, worldwide study of how families work. They have consistently found that children can be happy and healthy in a wide variety of conditions, not just the effort-intensive, cautious environment so many American parents drive themselves crazy trying to create. While there is always another news article or scientific fad proclaiming the importance of some factor or other, it's easy to miss the bigger picture: that children are smarter, more resilient, and more independent than we give them credit for.

Do Parents Matter? is an eye-opening look at the world of human nurture, one with profound lessons for the way we think about our families.

about Robert A. LeVine, Sarah LeVine

  • Robert A. LeVine and Sarah LeVine have collaborated for forty-seven years and have written two previous books, Child Care and Culture and Literacy and Mothering. Robert is the Roy E. Larsen Professor of Education and Human Development, Emeritus, at Harvard University. Sarah is an anthropologist who has conducted research on four continents and coordinated the fieldwork of the Project on Maternal Schooling. Her books include Dolor y Alegria, Mothers and Wives, and The Saint of Kathmandu.

reviews

"Fascinating...The authors' global perspective finds that human experience is varied and kids are resilient."—Laura Vanderkam, Wall Street Journal

"It took two accomplished (and married) anthropologists, Robert A. LeVine and Sarah LeVine, to synthesize years of research spanning the globe, then ask the basic question in the title of their new book: 'Do Parents Matter?'...a well-informed argument."—Dan Saltzstein, New York Times Book Review

"I love this advice ... Do Parents Matter? pushes the conversation in the same provocative and essential way [as Pamela Druckerman's Bringing Up Bébé]. Because of course parents matter. But they're more effective when they tear their eyes away from all the conflicting advice and focus on the messy, complicated, contradictory kid in front of them."—Anna Davies, New York Post

"The LeVines have created a valuable book for parents. By exposing them to the practices and goals of parents and cultures around the world, they offer parents in the United States ideas for their own goals, and for how to react as pressures on parents increase in our country. It is particularly important for parents to rethink their roles, rather than continue the present hovering, to one that may produce children who learn from the first how to face the inevitable stresses of development with more self-confidence."—T. Berry Brazelton

"Parenting experts beware: the anthropologists are coming! Robert A. and Sarah Levine discover fascinating lessons on child-rearing, from the Japanese to the Gusii."—Pamela Druckerman, author of Bringing Up Bébé

"From birth onward, humans distinguish themselves as Earth's most adaptable mammal. Robert A. and Sarah LeVine combine decades of observation with absorbing storytelling to reveal the near-infinite variation of paths to a healthy adulthood. Do Parents Matter? is a must-read for students of human development and concerned parents alike."—Sam Wang, professor of neuroscience, Princeton University, and coauthor, Welcome to Your Child's Brain

"An intriguing assessment of the effectiveness of a variety of global parenting customs."—Kirkus Reviews

other editions

  • Hardcover | ISBN 9781610397230
    Pub date: 09/06/2016 | Price: $25.99 / 33.99 Canada
    Publisher: PublicAffairs
    5.750 x 8.625 | 272 Pages
    FAMILY & RELATIONSHIPS / Parenting / General
    SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / Cultural
  • Paperback | ISBN 9781610398220
    Pub date: 09/19/2017 | Price: $16.99 / 22.49 Canada
    Publisher: PublicAffairs
    272 Pages
    FAMILY & RELATIONSHIPS / Parenting / General
    SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / Cultural
  • eBook | ISBN 9781610397247
    Pub date: 09/06/2016 | Price: $17.99 / 22.99 Canada
    Publisher: PublicAffairs
    272 Pages
    FAMILY & RELATIONSHIPS / Parenting / General
    SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / Cultural