Why French Parents Are Superior

Forget Tiger Moms! The secret to raising great, well-behaved kids is ... being French!

Pamela Druckerman explains why French parents are superior:

Why was it, for example, that in the hundreds of hours I'd clocked at French playgrounds, I'd never seen a child (except my own) throw a temper tantrum? Why didn't my French friends ever need to rush off the phone because their kids were demanding something? Why hadn't their living rooms been taken over by teepees and toy kitchens, the way ours had?

Soon it became clear to me that quietly and en masse, French parents were achieving outcomes that created a whole different atmosphere for family life. When American families visited our home, the parents usually spent much of the visit refereeing their kids' spats, helping their toddlers do laps around the kitchen island, or getting down on the floor to build Lego villages. When French friends visited, by contrast, the grownups had coffee and the children played happily by themselves.

By the end of our ruined beach holiday, I decided to figure out what French parents were doing differently. Why didn't French children throw food? And why weren't their parents shouting? Could I change my wiring and get the same results with my own offspring?

Driven partly by maternal desperation, I have spent the last several years investigating French parenting. And now, with Bean 6 years old and twins who are 3, I can tell you this: The French aren't perfect, but they have some parenting secrets that really do work.

If you've got kids that don't listen to you, this is the one post to read today: Link


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Agreed! The only loud or obnoxious children I've ever encountered in France were American (that goes for adults, too).
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I've rarely read an informational piece so wrought with prejudicial misinformation. I'm the product of a European-American marriage, as is my own son. I've spent over three months in Europe over the last three years and can tell you what I've witnessed in France was hardly different from what I've noticed in the US. When we vacationed in more affluent areas the kids were less unruly. When we vacationed in dive areas the kids were no different than when we visited less affluent areas of the states. The difference is probably based on the fact that people vacation in areas nicer than they live on a day to day basis.
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This isn't an article about why French parents are superior. This is an article about bad parenting. Unfortunately it doesn't tell the entire story.

First, you need to look at the differences in work culture. Americans live in a society of instant gratification and it's not just the kids that need to be told 'no'. You spend all day working for someone who demands everything "right now", constantly rushed around, being forced to respond immediately to cell phones and e-mails, get barely 15min in the middle of the day for lunch and the idea of having to wait for something gets drilled out of you.

Second, you need to realize that there exists this culture in America where you DO NOT under any circumstances criticize a parent. If you see someone watching while their little monster carves up the family cat with a letter opener and express the slightest bit of disapproval, the response is always "Well you're not a parent so you don't know"... even to another parent! The idea of "you can't judge me" has invaded every part of American culture, but this is perhaps where it does the most harm.
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