Posted by: nelinor | May 23, 2012

Raising kids the French way!


I found an interesting blog post from one of my favorites, Cup of Jo, about how French parents raise their children, and is their parenting better than ours?  I loved some of points that were made, mostly because I remember my mother following some these very same guidelines.  The original article, from the Wall Stree Journal, goes more in-depth about the book by author Pamela Druckerman – “Bringing Up Bebe: An American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting” and includes some personal accounts of parenting in France.  I found it all very interesting, and I’m wondering what other mother’s opinions are about this style of parenting.  So, all Americana moms out there, what are your thoughts?

1. You can have a grown-up life, even if you have kids. Pamela writes: “The French have managed to be involved with their families without becoming obsessive. They assume that even good parents aren’t at the constant service of their children, and that there is no need to feel guilty about this. ‘For me, the evenings are for the parents,’ one Parisian mother told me. ‘My daughter can be with us if she wants, but it’s adult time.’ ”

2. You can teach your child the act of learning to wait. Pamela writes: “It is why the French babies I meet mostly sleep through the night…Their parents don’t pick them up the second they start crying, allowing the babies to learn how to fall back asleep. It is also why French toddlers will sit happily at a restaurant. Rather than snacking all day like American children, they mostly have to wait until mealtime to eat. (French kids consistently have three meals a day and one snack around 4 p.m.) A [French mother] Delphine said that she sometimes bought her daughter Pauline candy. (Bonbons are on display in most bakeries.) But Pauline wasn’t allowed to eat the candy until that day’s snack, even if it meant waiting many hours.”

3. Kids can spend time playing by themselves, and that’s a good thing. Pamela writes: “French parents want their kids to be stimulated, but not all the time…French kids are—by design—toddling around by themselves….’The most important thing is that he learns to be happy by himself,’ [a French mother] said of her son….In a 2004 study…the American moms said that encouraging one’s child to play alone was of average importance. But the French moms said it was very important.”

4. Believe it when you tell your child “No.” Pamela writes: “Authority is one of the most impressive parts of French parenting—and perhaps the toughest one to master. Many French parents I meet have an easy, calm authority with their children that I can only envy. When Pauline [a French toddler] tried to interrupt our conversation, Delphine [her French mother] said, “Just wait two minutes, my little one. I’m in the middle of talking.” It was both very polite and very firm. I was struck both by how sweetly Delphine said it and by how certain she seemed that Pauline would obey her…I gradually felt my “nos” coming from a more convincing place. They weren’t louder, but they were more self-assured.”

soruce: Cup of Jo, Wall Street Journal
image: Wall Street Journal



  1. So interesting 🙂

    • thanks for stopping by!! I am just growing so please keep watch

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