Finally a book that doesn't tell you how to parent but merely states observations on what seems to work. Every child is different or it's just a phase or he/she can't understand or he/she doesn't like this or that are notions that are drastically put to the challenge through Druckerman's observations.
Druckerman tells a story rather than what to do and that is what I found most compelling. It makes me want to try new and better ways of parenting because I don't think I know best at all times. I have to admit that I own several what to expect books but I never found what I was looking for in them.
My son is 2 years old and I'm expecting our second. I wish this book was available before I gave birth to my son but I will certainly make sure to start the French parenting philosophy when my second one arrives. My 2 year old son is benefiting from it now and we bake every Friday teaching him patience and it is surprising how little of a mess he is making. I think I underestimated him in many ways. Education is key and I'm actually surprised by how little guiding I have to give to make him understand now when I explain rather than say no or just don't do that.
The section bringing up guilt and the way the French look at a child's life becoming part of yours, rather than you now becoming part of theirs is fantastic. It's a philosophy I've always wanted for the sanity of not becoming something I call a martyr mom. I don't think the child benefits from such a role model that does whatever the child wants at the moment they want it and in these acts looses track of what she needs to be fulfilled.
I struggled with guilt all through my son's first year, mainly because of going back to work but he was at a great daycare with my husband upstairs (an in company daycare). Looking back, I spent so much time fretting not staying home when I was just waisting energy since I loved my job and was quite content with the situation.
With societal pressures, being Swedish and the norm there that you stay home for AT LEAST 1 year (mainly because you receive full salary) has been part of this guilt. My own mother cried when I said I was going back to work when my son was 4.5 months. The United States with so many cultures and endless possibilites can be as much of a heaven as it can be a hell when it comes to these pressures of guilt. I guess not listening to what everyone else judges on what makes a good parent makes for a pretty good start in addition to applying the French way of parenting.
Thank you Pamela Druckerman for writing this inspirational book and for sharing your family story in the process.
I felt this book was awesome! I loved the narrator and the author's inside thoughts she gave to parenting the french way. Almost mirrored my style of parenting, perhaps that's why I loved this book.
Mom, Science Teacher, Kid at Heart. My 52 mile drive to work gives me time to finally stretch my brain. Audible has been a wonderful treat! Thanks Bob!
Really, my friends, we are being SO duped by our kids at the dinner table. American kids can eat mushrooms and even have a taste for feta! At our table, we now compare the taste of the new food to a secure food. We talk about texture and flavor, and try everything once. Believe it or not this little bit of French coaching has helped. -Thanks for opening my eyes Pamela.
This book was a wonderful story about parenting (the author has a daughter and twin boys) and an interesting look at French culture and their early-education systems. The narrator was so talented at switching between French and English, that I was happy to have listened to this book on audio.
I knew I had to write a review when I realized that this is the parenting book that has most influenced me as a mother this year. Enjoy!
interesting book to compare parenting styles for someone who is relatively confident in the lessons that are being taught to their own children. I appreciate differing opinions, however it caution the listener to not feel negatively towards all american mommies. everyone has their own style and each one lends itself to a child who is loved and cared for in just the right way for them. read with composure and confidence and just appreciate how other women do it different! ;-)
good time filler in my long commute
Yes, anyone having a baby needs to read this if you are from the US.
We are conditioned to think that having a baby means what we see around us. I work in psychology and so many people write about the subject of how to raise a kid, and it has not made this new generation of children any better. Instead, it seems as if we as parents have become more scared of our children and loosing the power of what it means to raise a child.
I wasn't very impressed with this book mainly because the author's own neuroses about raising her children became more and more annoying as the book went on. She wouldn't let her children go to see their father play a soccer game because they might get hit with the ball. Really? Come on!
Anyway, the narrator does a good job in my opinion. She does well with her French pronounciation. And I did enjoy learning about some Fench customs and expectations. It will come in handy when I visit France!
I found this book interesting. I am a first time parent with a 2 yr old and took some notes to apply to my parenting like 4 magic words- please, thank you, hello and goodbye is one example. Now i dont have a bad kid, hes actually the best kid ive known mother favortism aside, but some of the "french ways" seem highly impossible and that the french kids were glorified and perfect.There was a few contradictions within the book. I wont be following this exactly but it did give some good advice, some that will need to be adapted to fit my american life- like "husband first child 2nd" (how bout more on even ground), and then there are the ones that will absolutely not work in america. Like mandatory 8 day "field trips" in the 1st grade to establish "independence". No way.
I was hesitant to get this title at first, didn't know what to expect. I'm so glad I got it. It's a big departure from the normal parenting guides.
It starts out the the author's story, how she went from US to France. At first I thought it wasn't relevant... ok at times there's some filler stuff that isn't related to parenting. But when she gets to the parenting stuff it's eye-opening.
It seems simple on the outset. Instead of going through a list of 10 or 20 things to do, the author picks up a handful of very helpful, yet essential parenting techniques and focuses on why they work... why the french believe in them so much, and at times brings up stats and research to support such claims.
I picked up 2 major tips and agreed with my wife to start to apply them with our 9-month old son. Actually, I wish I got this book earlier cuz it seems to answer things I doubted when my kid was like 3 or 4 months old.
I'm halfway through the program and can't wait to finish it.
I love audio books and this one was no different. I really enjoyed the french accent used by the reader throughout the book it helped you really feel the difference in the French perspective of child rearing.
Aside from being a beautifully executed performance this book was also written really well. It wasn't just a lot of opinions and outside observations. The writter, who is a journalist really approached the topic of why are French children and American children along with their parent so different from a lets investigate and really try to understand the fundamental differences perspective.
I love every French women mentioned in the book.
Lovely book and a great listen, well done! I am not a parent, I heard about this book on NPR and was intrigued. I have a lovely 3 year old neice and baby nephew and for some reason I am find the way of American child rearing mystifying, scary, confusing and a bit daunting. This book even helped me learn more about children in general. Loved it!
Yes. The book is well researched and the author mentions many interesting facts and statistics.
The cultural difference in the way French parents approach parenting is fascinating, and it is interesting that they are so effective in dealing with young children. What concerns me, however, is that the author did not pay attention to the mental and emotional well-being of French adults - seeing that the inevitable outcome of childhood is, in fact, adulthood. If their parenting techniques are superior, I would like to see that portrayed in happier, more well-adjusted adults and not just well-behaved children. This does not seem to be the case.
Reminding children to greet people - something which is easily overlooked.
I like the self-effacing style of writing, the humor and personal experience throughout the book.