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
There was more about Paris culture, women and mother habits in Paris. Very less to take from the book and give it to my American kids.
I don't really have enough time to listen or read books more than once, but otherwise I would.
I loved so many parts: the explanation of how the daughter got the nickname "Bean". I even made one of the recipes in the story (gateau a yaourt) with my eldest child and it came our GREAT!
She was excellent. So pleasant to listen to, did the voices in such an authentic, yet dramatized way. I had to keep reminding myself that this voice did not belong to the author, as she read it so convincingly.
Yes, I often chuckled aloud :)
This was my first audio book and it made a great impression on me. I still think it's a bit strange having someone else read for me, as if I'm not literate. I had this book on vacation, so I would find a comfy spot in nature and watch something while I listened. It worked great like this.
I fully enjoyed listening to this book. As a mother to be, I love to insightful approach to parenting that this book portrays. Although I would not call this a personal parenting bible, I did grasp onto some very interesting ideas that I will definitely use when raising my own children. I especially appreciate the approach that "French Parenting" takes towards patience and food.
Going into this read, I thought that my children were too old for this advice to be valuable. I was wrong. This book opened my eyes to several simple changes I could make with regards to raising my girls with the ideas I had always hoped to.
My only regret is that I didn't read this book 8 years ago.
It was very intriguing and informative. I loved the insight into the French culture. I was seeking out help with raising my 19 month old, and this really hit the spot. It touches on teaching kids to behave themselves in restaurants, helping them build their independence, increasing your adult time, and why French babies sleep through the night. Exactly what I needed!
I loved this book and found so much practical knowledge within it's pages! So many parents these days are giving into their kids and allowing them to behave badly and become selfish without any consequences! Please read this book...it will change your perspective!
I got hooked on audiobooks when I used to work in a public library. I like that they are much more immersive than physical books or ebooks.
Enjoyable, entertaining & thought-provoking.
Mix of research & anecdotes.
Better French pronunciation than me.
Her description of narrated play in an American playground was one of the moments when I thought "I do this. Why do I do it? For me? To prove I am an attentive mother? Or for her language growth & physical confidence?"
As an expat (in Bangkok) it made me think about parenting differences in different cultures. I would be interested in reading more books like this.
Why three words audible? One word, I can do. Two words is easy. Three is impossible for me.
Other sleeping books or books about raising your kids in other countries.
Good french and english.
I think this is the best book for how to make sure you baby sleeps through the night. This book talks about the "pause", which I think is smart, normal, and maybe obvious. Other sleeping baby books have crazy regiments that can be unhealthy for the baby. My son is 2 months old and sleeps close to 5 hours every night now. Then he wakes up and eats and sleeps for another 3 to 4 hours. I think in another month he will be sleeping a full 8.
Interesting with a humoristic twist, while giving a lot to think about. However, towards the end tends to repeat itself.
All in all, a good listen
Artist, Baker, Intropersonal skills expert, Mom.
Yes, I've told every pregnant friend I have. Be humble enough to question your parenting, willing to improve and grow. So why not learn from other cultures.
French parenting and food. Oh and their take on pregnancy! Hmm most everything.
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