How to raise independent kids


Would you let your kid ride the subway alone? Walk home from school alone? Maybe ride a bike alone?

American mother and author Sara Zaske learned quickly that these are common place in Germany where “self-reliance” is taught to children at an early age.

The American author, who lived in Germany for six and a half years, wrote about the differences between German and American parenting practices in her book “Achtung Baby: An American Mom on the German Art of Raising Self-Reliant Children.”

When Zaske joined Salon’s Alli Joseph on “Salon Talks,” she explained how American parents carry too much guilt regarding their children’s independence, especially when it comes to childcare. “They [Germans] do not have that sense of guilt. At least in East Germany, childcare is seen as something good for the child. It’s good to be around other kids. It’s good to learn from other adults and have new experience,” Zaske said. “Children really need more than just two people, just their parents. They are growing up and exploring their world, which means they need to meet and interact with other people.”

Zaske applied these lessons to her own children and learned to embrace the German methods of parenting. And “Achtung Baby” is her way of sharing these methods with the world. Watch the full episode of “Salon Talks” with Sara Zaske to learn more about how the German education system is superior to America.

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