books Inspiration play

Multicultural Parenting Perspectives – The Danish Way of Parenting: What the Happiest People in the World Know About Raising Confident, Capable Kids


I need to be honest.  When I first heard about the new book The Danish Way of Parenting by Jessica Joelle Alexander and Iben Dissing Sandahl, my back went up.  Did I need to read yet another lecture about how a different culture parents better than mine does?  From The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mom to Bringing up Bébé, it seems that every year someone exposes the plethora of mistakes American moms and dads make daily and espouses a parenting philosophy from another country where parents are calmer and kinder and children are more obedient and creative, far smarter and practically picture perfect.  While both of the aforementioned books gave me much food for thought, I felt frustrated by their underlying critical tone.  As a professor of Romance Languages and Literatures, I deeply value learning about and from other cultures and people, but the mother in me who is doing her very best to bring up three children in an increasingly complicated world felt chastised.


Lottie Dolls: Cheers for the Anti-Barbie or Bratz Doll

Even as a budding feminist in my college days, I swore I would never let my future children play with Barbie dolls. Graduate school only cemented my belief that Barbie perpetuated a stereotype of “ideal” beauty that was unattainable and promoted a hyper-sexualized look completely out of line with her audience of young girls. I scoffed at Mattel’s attempts to get parents to “buy in” to Barbie by marketing her as an astronaut, surgeon and POTUS, all the while maintaining her unrealistic body standard (if she were alive, she’d be 5’9?, 110 pounds and desperately trying to stand up straight on those tiny, permanently arched feet – because Barbie always wears heels). This post doesn’t aim to crucify Barbie. You can find data on the Barbie Effect easily enough.

What this post IS about, and what I’m so very excited to share, is the ANTIDOTE to that very effect: The Lottie Doll!