I told myself I wasn’t going to do it, but I can’t help myself. I’m not very good at keeping my thoughts to myself. Clearly. So, here I go.
Mayim Bialik is the latest celebrity to write a parenting book. Some of you might know her from the show, The Big Bang Theory. Not me. I’ve never watched the show. But, I do know who she is. She’s Blossom! I watched her in the nineties when she wore big hats and had flowers on her head. She had a fast talking best friend and a goofy brother. Anyway, it appears she has just joined the ranks of celebrity parenting experts with her book, Beyond the Sling: A Real Life Guide to Raising Confident, Loving Children the Attachment Parenting Way.
Her book is an attachment parenting guide. I won’t get into the whole Attachment Parenting debate. It would be way too long. I’d probably end up writing a book by the time I was finished. And ultimately, I don’t really care what philosophy people use in parenting their children as long as it works for them and their children are cared for. I’m all about doing what works. But, I do want to comment about a few things that bother me about the book.
If you read the articles and media surrounding the promotion of her book, there’s a focus on her degree and its contribution to the material in her book. She has a doctorate in neuroscience. Everything I’ve read mentions it. And I have to say I’m impressed. Earning a Ph.D. in neuroscience is not a small feat. Neuroscience is tough. I took a few classes during my graduate career and it was one of the times people actually cried openly during a final exam. There’s no doubt she is an extremely intelligent woman.
Here’s where I have a problem: A degree in neuroscience is not related to parenting. Parenting is relational and neuroscience simply is not. Neuroscience is focused primarily on the brain. It looks at how the brain functions and how the brain is organized. Most students majoring in neuroscience spend their time in labs or examining rats, other primates, and dolphins. The focus is not on relationships. Relationships aren’t measured in a lab.
Mayim Bialik asserting that her Ph.D in neuroscience has contributed to her research on attachment parenting is like me asserting my Ph.D in clinical psychology has provided me with the tools to be an expert on neuroscience. It just seems like false advertising. Am I the only one who gets bothered by these kind of things?
Second, I rarely read celebrity accounts of parenting. I am the least star struck person on the planet, but it’s more than that. I just can’t relate. They live in an entirely different world than I do. I don’t know of any celebrities who don’t have nannies, housecleaners, gardeners, and a wealth of resources at their disposal that I just don’t have access to. I always find myself getting angry and irritated when they complain about how hard they have it so I avoid the unnecessary aggravation. And she admits that her husband is the stay-at-home parent, which means I would probably relate more to him than her.
So, the verdict is in for me. I won’t be reading Mayim Bialik’s new book. How about you? Will you be adding it to your reading list?