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Bringing Up Bebe Audiobook

Bringing Up Bebe: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting

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Publisher's Summary

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

What Members Say

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  •  
    April Hattiesburg, MS 02-26-12
    April Hattiesburg, MS 02-26-12 Member Since 2010

    I'm a twenty-something lit nerd who enjoys Romance, Fantasy and YA Fiction. I like strong female heroes and entertaining readers.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Everyone is a better parent than you are"

    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.

    16 of 26 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Maureen Morris 06-28-17

    happy

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    "Love this book"

    The book itself is really spot on and the audible
    narration is just terrific. I have 4 kids who are happy and successful and I raised them in much of the same way she described (my parents are Dutch and raised me and my 3 siblings in the States). I'm very happy with our own raising as well as very happy to have raised wonderful, healthy, happy human beings who contribute positively to society! Looking forward to reading her other books and hearing this narrator again!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 06-25-17 Member Since 2016
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    6
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    "educational"

    I found this to be an accurate generalized comparison of French versus American culture and how it relates to parenting styles. The author is thorough and the narrator is entertaining. I found myself taking notes and feel that her tips were helpful. she includes the results of her research and does a good job explaining why French parents are successful. At first I found some of the backstory in the beginning of the book unnecessary but in the end I felt like it contributed to the overall picture of French culture and why they parent the way they do.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cami_Style 06-21-17
    Cami_Style 06-21-17 Member Since 2017
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    "Fun cultural exploration on parenting"

    I enjoyed this book because it gave perspective and told a story of parenting with cultural differences in mind. It was a great way to gain knowledge on the topic of parenting, cultural differences, perspective and of course a great way to start conversations (with select individuals). I highly recommend if you would like an alternative to american parenting books. Narration was didactic and enjoyable, I was immersed in the author's experience.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    06-04-17
    06-04-17 Member Since 2016
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    "Fun and informative"

    Enjoyed her storytelling. The book is funny and insightful regarding how different attitudes towards parenting are in the US and France.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    age 05-11-17
    age 05-11-17
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    "Don't waste your money"

    This is the most ridiculous book - there are no parenting tips just the narrator complaining on how her child is wild and it's due to "American" parenting vs the fact that she isn't disciplining her child properly. All it talks about is how the French do it better and American children are whiny brats. Last I checked it comes down to parenting not whether they are American or French. I was so annoyed throughout this book I couldn't even finish it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ashley 05-04-17
    Ashley 05-04-17
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    "Accents"

    The observations and research are helpful and overlap with The Danish Way of Parenting, although this was more thorough and helpful because it touched on all the practical concerns: eating, sleeping, daycare, etc.
    I don't know if anyone else found the narration somewhat offensive: why did the narrator need to switch to a bad faux french accent for the quoted parts?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kaustubh G. Jagtap College Park, MD USA 05-04-17
    Kaustubh G. Jagtap College Park, MD USA 05-04-17 Member Since 2017

    Kaustubh Jagtap Survivor

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    "amazing book"

    Amazing book with a sensitive but common sense topic. Common strategies that can be implemented to make the process of raising children less of a struggle.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Geneva De Groot 05-02-17
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    "Well illustrated concepts"

    I was a nanny for many years in Seattle, yearning for an explanation for picky eaters, ragged parents and helicopter parenting. I was perpetuating these things for lack of alternatives. My first baby is due in 6 months and I will be implementing most of this book!

    I love the balance of autonomy and structure Druckerson offers for children and parents. I think it's an excellent way to cultivate mutual respect for the whole family.

    I also love how candid she is when her lack of skill shows up. She illustrates how I can make the more difficult changes without judging myself.

    Abbey Craden is very easy to listen to. Her voices and accents are entertaining and clarify the content very well. A truly enjoyable experience.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nicole Wegner 04-23-17
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    "Loved it, so did my husband"

    This book changed my mind about having children. I went from ambivalent-anxious about becoming a mother to feeling confident that I did not have to parent in the American style I see so many friends and family following.

    Druckerman is relatable, funny, and offers solid advice shared through personable stories of her own family.

    I made my husband read the paper copy of the book and we both thought it was a great take on parenting.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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