Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A great new read

I am reading a new, fascinating book called Parenting, Inc. It has been very insightful as we begin to embark on this journey of parenthood. From her website, www.pamelapaul.com, she summarizes the book as this:

A leading social critic goes inside the billion-dollar baby business to expose the marketing and the myths, helping parents determine what's worth their money-and what's a waste Parenting coaches, ergonomic strollers, music classes, sleep consultants, luxury diaper creams, a never-ending rotation of DVDs that will make a baby smarter, socially adept, and bilingual before age three. Time-strapped, anxious parents hoping to provide the best for their baby are the perfect mark for the 'parenting' industry.

In Parenting, Inc., Pamela Paul investigates the whirligig of marketing hype, peer pressure, and easy consumerism that spins parents into purchasing overpriced products and raising overprotected, overstimulated, and over-provided-for children. Paul shows how the parenting industry has persuaded parents that they cannot trust their children's health, happiness, and success to themselves. She offers a behind-the-scenes look at the baby business so that any parent can decode the claims-and discover shockingly unuseful products and surprisingly effective services. And she interviews educators, psychologists, and parents to reveal why the best thing for a baby is to break the cycle of self-recrimination and indulgence that feeds into overspending. Paul's book leads the way for every parent who wants to escape the spiral of fear, guilt, competition, and consumption that characterizes modern American parenthood.

For any of you other parents out there that feel inundated with advertisements and marketing ploys to guilt you in to thinking you're doing your children a disservice by not providing them the best of the best - this may be a good read for you. It has really boosted my confidence in my ability or lack thereof to be a good mom without feeling guilty.


ProudMamaBlogga said...

Ha! So true. Although there are definitely things that can help with baby, the baby market is ridiculous. Don't stress. Another good book is Our Babies, Ourselves by Meredith Small. It can also help you relax, although it's based on culturally accepted parent behavior rather than things.

vine street said...

I have heard of this book!! Sounds like it was good for your soul.

Not to oversimplify parenthood...but sometimes I think all a person needs is love and common sense. Yeah, I wont lie about how much I like disposable diapers...I give into advertising every time on that one. No cloth ones for me. ha.

You are going to do a great job; you will be amazing just as you are, with whatever you have and whatever people give you.

Jenny said...

Amen to that!
Hey! It was good to hear from you. We are doing great and yes we are moving to Texas. So that will be interesting...
I hope you are doing well with your pregnancy! Is your husband almost done with school? Hope you are loving Nebraska!

Much Ado About... said...

Hi Karen,

It is so fun to see pictures of your expanding family. I found your blog while on your parents page. My sisters and I were bummed that we didn't get to come up from Arizona to Utah before your parents left. Hopefully, we can have a huge family reunion when they get home. We haven't see you or many others for so long.

The book your reading is great. There are so many things available out there, but only 25%,maybe, are actually helpful and not worthless or just waisted money. However, after 3 babies it is live and learn.

Talk to you soon,

Jenny and Family

Mike and Ariane said...

Sister Lovell! I mean Karen! So good to hear from you! Glad you found our blog! And we found your's! Congrats on being prego! :-) Think of all the shopping you can do as you need new clothes and all the shopping for that little baby's wardrobe. Come up and we'll go to the outlets! :-)