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the French make better parents


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  • 3 Post By Quantum_Leap

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  #1  
February 7th, 2012, 10:11 PM
Quantum_Leap's Avatar frequent flier
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What do you think about these two articles?

Why French Parents Are Superior by Pamela Druckerman - WSJ.com

Debra Ollivier: French Parents: Vive La Difference?
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  #2  
February 7th, 2012, 11:09 PM
plan4fate's Avatar I may bend, but not break
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Well those were long but very interesting reads.

I wont go to say they are better parents. But it sounds like they might have better behaved children in many cases.

A lot of it rings true, I won't deny it. My husband and his ex are classic American parents, they give in to everything. They chase. They scold him 500 times with no luck.

I want to be a french parent, except I want to pick up my babies while they're helpless when they cry. There's a time for self soothing as they get bigger and I do believe that is something that should be learned early, but not before they're mobile, not every time, but some of the time. But I'd like kids who know boundaries, who know not to interrupt constantly, who don't "graze" all day, but rather sit and eat meals.
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  #3  
February 8th, 2012, 06:31 AM
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I've seen those floating around of facebook. There are some good points, but for the most part, they make me laugh. There was a similar article floating around a couple of years ago about how Chinese parents are superior and what we should do to be more like them. I think every culture has things to offer, and as long as you love your kids, they'll probably turn out ok.
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  #4  
February 8th, 2012, 06:42 AM
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I think there's some truth to the articles, but at the same time, I'm pretty freaking sick of constantly being told that everybody else in the rest of the world is a better parent than I am. (Like you said, last year the big hype was about how the Chinese are so much better, and now it's about the French.) For real, I am doing the best I can! So are most Americans. The last thing we need is more lecturing about how we're doing everything wrong, from someone whose only real motive is to sell us books.

Also, the bit about how the French are better parents because they don't feel as much "mommy guilt" as we do just makes me even more frustrated. I mean, I already feel guilty for a thousand things. Now I'm supposed to feel guilty for feeling to guilty? It never ends.

I also feel compelled to point out, that according to international surveys of hotel operators, French tourists are the rudest in the world: BBC NEWS | Europe | 'Rude' French are worst tourists So whatever lessons the French are supposedly teaching their kids about patience, delayed gratification, etc., somehow aren't carrying over into adulthood.
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  #5  
February 8th, 2012, 01:09 PM
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I'd say there is a little truth in the mix of opinions.

I've been to France. French kids have temper tantrums as well. I've seen French kids throw food on the floor, or *gasp* tell their parent "no", and so on. I forget which article it was, but one of them suggests that French parents don't bed-share/co-sleep. While many don't, many do. The last I checked they also had low BFing rates, and in many places harrass BFing moms who are doing it in public.

The parts that are true is that they do view their kids different then *some* Americans. And you'll see differences like that in all countries/cultures. In Italy you'll see kids everywhere. They are always around, and the Italians don't have a "kids should be seen not heard" view. Kids are well behaved, but they are also treated like kids. They don't try to make them be adults before they're ready. Do they produce better kids? I guess it depends on your opinion of what is better. Italian kids may be well behaved, but many of the adults, especially men have horrible road rage (my DH is one of those, so is my MIL). I have rarely seen an American kid throw food on the floor while out, and while I have seen plenty of temper tantrums, why is that a bad thing? It's a normal childhood behavior that happens for many reasons. I don't get why people want to pretend that it is some horrible thing that means your child is spoiled or evil. And maybe this child in the first article was throwing food on the floor was because they were trying to get this young kid to eat seafood, something she was probably not use to. But the French kids are, so that is probably why they were behaving better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quantum_Leap View Post
I think there's some truth to the articles, but at the same time, I'm pretty freaking sick of constantly being told that everybody else in the rest of the world is a better parent than I am. (Like you said, last year the big hype was about how the Chinese are so much better, and now it's about the French.) For real, I am doing the best I can! So are most Americans. The last thing we need is more lecturing about how we're doing everything wrong, from someone whose only real motive is to sell us books.

Also, the bit about how the French are better parents because they don't feel as much "mommy guilt" as we do just makes me even more frustrated. I mean, I already feel guilty for a thousand things. Now I'm supposed to feel guilty for feeling to guilty? It never ends.

I also feel compelled to point out, that according to international surveys of hotel operators, French tourists are the rudest in the world: BBC NEWS | Europe | 'Rude' French are worst tourists So whatever lessons the French are supposedly teaching their kids about patience, delayed gratification, etc., somehow aren't carrying over into adulthood.
The French really can be some rude people. It is probably because the parents never felt guilty by making them be adults instead of kids and not comforting when they need it
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  #6  
February 8th, 2012, 08:34 PM
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Eh, too many opinions. You can find truth in just about everything, if you really want to.

Why any parent would want to be "just like...", some other parent who might hold some similarities to them, and included in some great big bubble of special, is beyond me.
I don't want to be lumped into a steaming pile of "American parents". I think it's kind of stupid to do that anyway.
All French parents aren't alike, all American parents aren't alike, all(insert whatever), aren't alike. Why people can't accept that, is again, beyond me. Just because someone thinks something is "the norm" in one of those big bubbles o'special they've attached to some grouping, doesn't necessarily mean that norm is always a good thing.

I don't strive to be like anyone else. I don't strive to parent like anyone else. I don't strive to raise my kids the way someone else did. I am just doing what I feel is best for me and mine, and that's that. Sometimes I'm great(ok, usually ), and sometimes I suck. That's life. There are plenty of people who are better than me at something, just as there are plenty who are way worse at other things. Again, that's life. But that doesn't necessarily mean either one of us is always right, or will always do what's best.
Eh, whatever. People are way too wrapped up in needing special packaging and labels for everything. Life's simpler when you really just don't care, choose to live your life one day at a time, and do the best you can with you and yours. Life isn't some race to be the best at all things. Parents who feel the need to be the best, (or in this case, label someone as the best/better option) have way too much time on their hands and ought to find a hobby.
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