(WSJ) Pamela Druckerman—Why French Parents Are Superior [to those of other countries]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The French, I found, seem to have a whole different framework for raising kids. When I asked French parents how they disciplined their children, it took them a few beats just to understand what I meant. "Ah, you mean how do we educate them?" they asked. "Discipline," I soon realized, is a narrow, seldom-used notion that deals with punishment. Whereas "educating" (which has nothing to do with school) is something they imagined themselves to be doing all the time.

One of the keys to this education is the simple act of learning how to wait. It is why the French babies I meet mostly sleep through the night from two or three months old. 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.)

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenMarriage & Family* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.EuropeFrance

6 Comments
Posted February 4, 2012 at 8:33 am

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1. Creedal Episcopalian wrote:

Why French Parents Are Superior?? Well, duh, it’s because the French are superior. Ask any Frenchman.

February 4, 3:11 pm | [comment link]
2. William S wrote:

So French children know how to eat and sleep.  Pace this article, they are not generally known for their angelic behaviour, though.

February 4, 5:38 pm | [comment link]
3. Terry Tee wrote:

William, the consensus here in the UK is that French children are much better behaved than ours.  Though come to think of it that may not be saying much ...

February 4, 5:58 pm | [comment link]
4. Formerly Marion R. wrote:

Superior to Brights and Manhattanites is about all I could get out of the article.  It’s as if they’ve never heard of Focus on the Family.  Well, actually, they probably haven’t.

February 4, 6:52 pm | [comment link]
5. KevinBabb wrote:

I have an in-law who married a Frenchman, and they are raising two toddlers in Paris. Both of ces enfants are, in fact, terrible—interrupting adults, bickering, micturating inside la maison, etc.  I see nothing in my experience to back up the theory that French children are anything to be particularly proud of.  Maybe that half-blood American taint is the problem…

February 4, 8:25 pm | [comment link]
6. JonReinert wrote:

KevinBapp, well there is your problem!  Marry a Frenchwoman, if you want disciplined children, and of course with the added benefit they don’t apparently get fat!  (mind you watching la Tour I’m not so sure about that!)

February 5, 8:33 pm | [comment link]


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