Achtung Baby : An American Mom on the German Art of Raising Self-Reliant Children

A Book Review

“Many Americans believe freedom means we are free to raise our children as we see fit, a nice sentiment on the surface, but too often this attitude means depriving children of their freedom.”

– Sara Zaske, Achtung Baby : An American mom on the German art of raising self-reliant children

Author tidbit

Sara Zaske is an American author that lives in Berlin, Germany. Published on several new sites and magazines. In her book Achtung Baby, which can be translated to “be careful baby” the author showcases the distinct differences between American and German parenting techniques after living in one country and moving to the other. The book is a mix of a research report and a memoir. Similarity to Janet Lansbury’s Elevated Childcare, in this book Zaske encourages a parenting style that is more rational, and less restrictive to liberate both the child and the parent from the fear-led methods that frankly seem irrational when you look at the facts.

Who’s it written for?

Achtung Baby is written for any parent who believes that they have a “clingy child” or those that can’t relax around their high-needs children.

What it’s about?

How to successfully parent like a German, which, contrary to popular belief, is the opposite of ‘strict’ and ‘rigid’ to promote your child’s self-resiliency.

“Germans parents worry too, but they refuse to let fear drive their interactions with their kids.”

3 Takeaways

1. Helicopter parenting is sweeping the nation!

2. If there’s nothing medically wrong with them, then you are responsible for your child’s clinginess.

3. You can improve your parenting-style

1 Pro?

The author writes the Achtung Baby in a way in which the lessons seem like a no-brainer to the reader! Even the most rigid parent among us will find some eye-opening insights within these pages that will encourage them to consider of a change for the greater good of their child.

1 Con?

If you’re already a relaxed parent, many of the observations made about American parenting styles won’t apply to you. Will you still learn new things? Absolutely! But you will not be able to relate to the “American parent” she colorfully describes.

Cop it or drop it?

Cop it, and then gift it to a friend! You’ll laugh, and have marathon ‘Aha!’ Moments. Achtung Baby is more than a parenting book, it’s also a history book and a mental health book! I could feel myself visibly relaxing as I read all of the reasons why letting things go would liberate both me and my children from the irrational fear (read the book! You’ll see what I mean) that seems encouraged in American parenting culture.

“My experiences in Germany made me question whether the many things that pass today in American parenting as “truths” are cultural, not universal. If they are cultural that means that we have the power to change them”.

Sara Zaske – Achtung Baby: An american mom on the german art of raising self-reliant children

Thank you Sara Zaske, for teaching us what you’ve learned by bringing us on an interesting journey through Berlin. I’ve added it on my list of counties to visit and am looking forward to exploring the elusive “dangerous parks” that you speak of so fondly.


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