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Act Natural: A Cultural History of Misadventures in Parenting
From a distinctive, inimitable voice, a wickedly funny and fascinating romp through the strange and often contradictory history of Western parentingWhy do we read our kids fairy tales about homicidal stepparents? How did helicopter parenting develop if it used to be perfectly socially acceptable to abandon your children? Why do we encourage our babies to crawl if crawling won’t help them learn to walk?These are just some of the questions that came to Jennifer Traig when—exhausted, frazzled, and at sea after the birth of her two children—she began to interrogate the traditional parenting advice she’d been conditioned to accept at face value. The result is Act Natural, hilarious and deft dissection of the history of Western parenting, written with the signature biting wit and deep insights Traig has become known for.Moving from ancient Rome to Puritan New England to the Dr. Spock craze of mid-century America, Traig cheerfully explores historic and present-day parenting techniques ranging from the misguided, to the nonsensical, to the truly horrifying. Be it childbirth, breastfeeding, or the ways in which we teach children how to sleep, walk, eat, and talk, she leaves no stone unturned in her quest for answers: Have our techniques actually evolved into something better? Or are we still just scrambling in the dark?
Ungovernable: The Victorian Parent's Guide to Raising Flawless Children
Feminist historian Therese Oneill is back, to educate you on what to expect when you're expecting...a Victorian baby! In Ungovernable, Oneill conducts an unforgettable tour through the backward, pseudoscientific, downright bizarre parenting fashions of the Victorians, advising us on:• How to be sure you're not too ugly, sickly, or stupid to breed• What positions and room decor will help you conceive a son• How much beer, wine, cyanide, and heroin to consume while pregnant• How to select the best peasant teat for your child• Which foods won't turn your children into sexual deviants• And so much moreEndlessly surprising, wickedly funny, and filled with juicy historical tidbits and images, Ungovernable provides much-needed perspective on - and comic relief from - the age-old struggle to bring up baby.
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