In the tradition of French Children Don't Throw Food and Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, a clarion call and practical guide for a return to rational parenting, following the Germans' common sense approach
When Sara Zaske moved from Oregon to Berlin with her husband and toddler, she was surprised to discover that German parents give their children a great deal of freedom. In Berlin, kids walk to school by themselves, ride the subway alone, cut food with sharp knives and even play with fire. German parents did not share her parental fears and their children were thriving. Was she doing the opposite of what she intended, which was to raise capable children?
Through her own family's often funny experiences as well as interviews with other parents, teachers, and experts, Zaske shares the many unexpected parenting lessons she learned from living in Germany. Achtung Baby reveals that today's Germans know something that other parents don't (or have perhaps forgotten) about raising kids with 'selbstandigkeit' (self-reliance), and provides many new and practical ideas parents everywhere can use to give their own children the freedom they need to grow into responsible, independent adults.
Sara Zaske is an American writer who lived in Berlin for six and half years. Her articles on her family's experiences in Germany have appeared on Time.com, The Times, and Germany's largest Sunday paper, Bild am Sontag. She now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and two children.