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 thought this book was easy to listen to and intriguing to get another cultures perspective. I was challenged by the idea of kids eating everything and no kid type foods. Also, by the way the french children sleep all night early on and stay on schedules. Though i think some of the ideas may not work with every child I think the heart of the book is that french parents expect more of their children and learn their children's rhythms which i think is important. Overall I liked the book and thought there were some really great things to try.
the story telling was nice and very attractive and not boring at all. but actually not all advises about kids are doable as not all kids are the same, and we can't apply it due to the difference between all countries and France ! :) and there is a culture difference too, but honesty speaking, there are so valuable information in the book that we can take the benefit of it
the french woman :)
no, it was the first time
yes, but it was too long to finish in one sitting, as I'm a working mother, it makes me feel that being a working mother is a good them, and reduce feeling guilty way more. and made me feel good about myself, made me that I have to focus on myself in order to be a good mother, and I shouldn't let my kid control my universe, and I should make my universe as I wanted to be. good tips about Adult time :)
I was listening to the book while driving to my work, or on my way back, or when I go to make padi/mani :) great book, I really recommend it
absolutely. most of it common sense, but it's nice to just hear it in book form.
it's personal. she gives lots of good examples.
the french. i would not have known how to pronounce "cresh"
i will end up listening to it again.
Great plot, great reader, new framework on an old situation and so rational I'd like to start all over- listening to the book and raising my kids.
I'm not a mother or mother to be but I'm interested in how people learn and thought this could be interesting to check out.
I didn't want to stop listening!
I feel like this would be insanely helpful for people with children.
This isn't an American bashing book which is so nice because usually its some kind of 'so and so is better and this is why.' This book isn't like that. It's just a comparison of various aspects of childcare and learning skills of Americans and the French.
This is also a great book for just looking at various cultures and what they view as important.
Very practical advice delivered in an interesting and Enjoyable way.
I loved this book! And i loved the narrator! If only i had this advice when my first child was born. I am definitely applying the French approach. Its hard, for me not the kids. They are more relaxed after only a few days.
Freedom from assumptions
I have heard every terror story about having a child from almost everyone around me. It is nice to know that at least one Mom has succeded in beating the odds.
I admire the Mom, she decided that the assumed fate of mothers everywhere would not be hers, and proceeded to figure out the reasons and details. She makes it seem perfectly reasonable and doable to have a well-mannered child that "does her nights" (sleeps through the night) early, doesn’t throw food, likes to learn, try new things, help, has manners all while still having a sense of self and not "cowed" into submission.
I couldn't say, I laughed through the whole thing. Only later did I realize how much I learned!
From the start the baby is its own self, don't rush to pick him/her up, watch them, and learn from your baby. They will tell you what they need. Wait to pick them up at night, they might be between dreams, watch & learn. Give them the responsibility and honor of BEING from day one. However at the same time as the age of reason sets in, they are as responsible for their actions as any adult. Again, watch learn and let them be a responsible member of society.
I only listened to the audio edition - I thought the reader was great.
I have made some significant paradigm shifts in my views on parenting following this book.
I highly recommend this book especially to working mothers. Much of the guilt of working and raising my son was relieved by this book. I highly recommend this book and only wished that I had read it sooner. My son is 2 1/2.
Yes, it's informational and sometimes it's nice to get a little refresher on different parenting techniques. I'm constantly referring to my baby sleep aid book and I imagine I will refer to a few chapters in this book as well.
All the Frenchies!
Refreshing, thought provoking, entertaining
My husband and I are expecting our first baby in about a month and I am so glad I listened to this book before he is born. My husband also loved the book and is the chef of the house so is excited to make a little gourmet out of our future offspring. In comparing french parenting styles to the over controlled, over worried, under 'educated' or disciplined American parenting was eye opening. It really made me relax a bit about our future and how we would parent. Some ideas I dont agree with and many I would love to incorporate into our future life. The story is told as that a story more than a 'how to' guide and that is what we love about it. Many points of view are discussed and lots of research is done but all in keeping to the story line and first hand accounts of an American living and raising children in Paris. I highly recommend it to anyone who has children or will in the future. So interesting and entertaining!
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