The secret behind France's astonishingly well-behaved children is here.
When American journalist Pamela Druckerman has a baby in Paris, she doesn't aspire to become a "French parent". French parenting isn't a known thing, like French fashion or French cheese. Even French parents themselves insist they aren't doing anything special.
Yet the French children Druckerman knows sleep through the night at two or three months old while those of her American friends take a year or more. French kids eat well-rounded meals that are more likely to include braised leeks than chicken nuggets. And while her American friends spend their visits resolving spats between their kids, her French friends sip coffee while the kids play.
Motherhood itself is a whole different experience in France. There's no role model, as there is in America, for the harried new mom with no life of her own. French mothers assume that even good parents aren't at the constant service of their children and that there's no need to feel guilty about this. They have an easy, calm authority with their kids that Druckerman can only envy.
Of course, French parenting wouldn't be worth talking about if it produced robotic, joyless children. In fact, French kids are just as boisterous, curious, and creative as Americans. They're just far better behaved and more in command of themselves. While some American toddlers are getting Mandarin tutors and preliteracy training, French kids are - by design - toddling around and discovering the world at their own pace.
With a notebook stashed in her diaper bag, Druckerman, a former reporter for The Wall Street Journal, sets out to learn the secrets to raising a society of good little sleepers, gourmet eaters, and reasonably relaxed parents. She discovers that French parents are extremely strict about some things and strikingly permissive about others. And she realizes that to be a different kind of parent, you don't just need a different parenting philosophy. You need a very different view of what a child actually is.
While finding her own firm non, Druckerman discovers that children - including her own - are capable of feats she'd never imagined.
©2012 Pamela Druckerman (P)2012 Random House
I'm a twenty-something lit nerd who enjoys Romance, Fantasy and YA Fiction. I like strong female heroes and entertaining readers.
Pamela Druckerman lived in France. She saw French parents doing a better job than she was and wrote a book about it.
According to Druckerman, French babies are treated like little adults and that is what makes the French wiser and better parents.
I have no children. I did full time nanny work for about two years and lived with and cared for children, but I feel like it's important to point out that I myself am not a parent.
This is an attractive book because it portrays a sort of secret code to getting your child to sleep through the night, eat their food and not to be hellions to other people.
Yet, really, its the culture and the social programs in place that seem to make the biggest difference. Americans are never going to take up the ideas of French parenting because culturally we are so different. In short? It seems to me like the whole book is a kind of utopian fairytale. Great for France, but not so applicable to America.
By eliminating the Ms. Craden's use of ridiculous British & French accents throughout the book.
Definitely anger! I was hoping to learn the author's view of cultural differences of raising children (I am an American living in France, like her). Instead, the person reading the text, Ms. Craden, felt compelled to demonstrate her incompetent pronunciation of both British and French accents. This made it impossible to concentrate on WHAT was being said, and forced me to suffer through HOW it was being said! When I reached chapter 3, I called it quits and stopped listening -- and promised myself never to buy another audiobook where the reader wants to show off his/her poor acting talents. Tell the readers, especially Ms. Craden, to just read the texts in a normal, native American accent, and stop showing off.
Really enjoyed listening to this audiobook. As a first time mom (of a now four month old), I wondered about parenting an independent, loved little human. The ideas in this book definitely hit a note.
I found this audiobook fascinating. It resonates a lot with my husband's and mine parenting style. Being Brazilians, I see we have a bit more French than American parenting philosophy. Think the book is very valuable to get plain knowledge and some precious insights to work on with our son. Kudos to the narrator as well, very vivid and fun.
If you've ever wondered why you can't go to a restaurant or store or anywhere in public with your child, this book will explain it. Brilliant.
I liked the book well enough, but dear Lord, was it not possible to find a narrator who has at least a rudimentary understanding of French pronounciation?
The narrator butchers every French word and name and what's worse, she insists on reading every quote (which in the written book just written in plain English) in terrible overdone accents - I don't know if her attempt at a French accent (sounds like a drunk person with a Slavic accent) or British accent (has she ever even MET a British person???). If she would have just skipped the awful accents I could have lived with the the butchered French names but altogether it's just too much.
Hope this gets re-recorded with a different narrator!!
I think the actual information in this book is great and useful... but the story is bland and I do not like the writers personality. I opted for the audio version and it was a mistake. The reader uses a different voice for every gender/ethnicity/age and all except her natural voice is unbearable. It makes this book even more pretntious and annoying than originally intended.
So happy I found this book. Helps to keep a perspective in a preggo driven crazy world. Well written, funny, down to earth attitude and practical advice for pregnant and young parents. Recommending it to all I know. Cheers!
Overall I enjoyed the content and found it helpful and interesting.
Tips on how to raise a baby with good sleeping habits, and have an easier and more enjoyable life with a baby both for the parents and the child.
Her imitating a French accent was incredibly annoying, distracting, unnecessary.
I can't stop talking to people about this book. I wish I would have read it when my boys were babies, but it is never to late to calm down as a parent. I am already seeing an improvement in my young kids and the way they are eating...so simple!
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