Bringing Up Bebe : One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting
by Pamela Druckerman
Editor: Penguin Putnam Inc
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The secret behind France is incredibly well-behaved childrenAt the time of the American journalist Pamela Druckerman has a baby in Paris, she does not aspire to become a “French parent”.”French parenting is not a known thing, such as French fashion or French cheese.Just as the French of parents themselves say that they do not do anything special.Yet, the French children Druckerman can sleep through the night, at two or three months, while those of his American friends take a year or more.French children eat well-rounded meals that are more likely to include braised leeks than chicken nuggets.And while his American friends spend their visits at the resolution of the gaiters between their children, his French friends sipping a cup of coffee while the children play.Maternity itself is a completely different experience in FranceThere is no role model, as in America, for the hurried new mommy without a life of her own.French mothers assume that even parents are not in the constant service of their children, and that there is no need to feel guilty about it.They have an easy, calm authority with their children that Druckerman can only envy him.Of course, French parenting wouldn’t be worth speaking if it produced robotics, without the joy of children.In fact, the French, the children are just as talkative, curious and creative as the Americans.They are just much better behaved and more in the control of themselvesWhile some Americans toddlers are better in Mandarin, tutors and preliteracy training, French children are by nature-the latter going around and discovering the world at their own pace.With a laptop hidden in his changing bag, Druckerman-a former journalist for the “Wall Street Journal”-games to learn the secrets to raise a society of good little sleepers, gastronomic eaters, and reasonably relaxed parentsShe discovers that French parents are very strict about some things, and surprisingly permissive about others.And she realizes that to be another kind of parent, you don’t just need a different kind of parenting philosophy.You need a very different vision of the
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