An American in Paris Looks at the French Way of Parenting; and Dr. Peter Breggin MD on the Overuse of PharmeceuticalsBringing Up Children02/27/12 Robert Lorei
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Good morning, welcome to Radioactivity. I’m Rob Lorei. Coming up today we’ll spend most of the hour talking about kids and parenting. We’ll meet a noted psychiatrist who says we are giving too many behavioral drugs to children….
And we’ll talk with an American reporter in Paris who says she is noticing surprising differences between the way the French parent their children and the American way of parenting. She says the French often have have better outcomes….
But first—four listener comments about last Friday’s show which featured the author of a new biography of President Eisenhower and an interview with the head of the American Humanists Association…..
Our first guest today is Wall Street Journal reporter Pamela Druckerman who lives in Paris. She’s written a new book called
BRINGING UP BÉBÉ, in which she explores the differences between American and French parenting. She discovers that one crucial difference is how mothers deal with guilt. American moms tend to embrace guilt as a kind of emotional tax they have to pay for going to work or plopping their kids in front of the television. French mothers believe it’s dangerous for mothers and children to spend all their time together . French parents encourage children to cultivate their inner lives, without constant interference from their parents. As Druckerman writes, while American mothers “typically demonstrate their commitment by worrying, and by showing how much we’re willing to sacrifice, even when pregnant, French women signal their commitment by projecting calm and flaunting the fact that they haven’t renounced pleasure.” I asked her about the French reputation for being relaxed—and whether this is demonstrated in the way they parent.
Our next guest is Peter Breggin, M.D. who is regarded by many as “the Conscience of Psychiatry” for his efforts to promote human potential and psychiatric reform. Dr. Breggin is a staunch advocate for psychosocial & educational approaches and against the over-diagnosis and overuse of psychiatric medications, the oppressive drugging of children, electroshock “therapy,” and what he terms fictitious biological theories promoting “chemical imbalances” in the brain. Dr. Breggin is a Harvard-trained, former full-time consultant at NIMH and the author of dozens of scientific articles and books, including Talking Back to Prozac, Toxic Psychiatry, and Medication Madness. As a medical expert, he has testified in landmark cases for patient rights and psychiatric reform. He'll be speaking this weekend at the Florida Adlerian Society annual conference in Safety Harbor.