Thursday, 8 May 2014
French Children Don't Throw Food
I read this amazing book by Pamela Druckerman last summer and it was definately one of those unputdownable books. An American woman married to an English man living in Paris and raising three children. She highlights the huge differences in anglophile and francophile parenting, asking questions such as "How come babies sleep through the night?" and "How can french mothers chat to their friends while their children play quietly?".
I could totally relate to nearly everything she said, yet not because I'm one of those mothers who frets that my child isn't in the best playgroup or the best preschool, but because I embraced the French style of parenting from the offset and mainly due to my partner, who is already a Dad and Tiana being my first child, I followed his lead. There's obviously a bit of African mixed in there too but on the whole, Tiana is raised in the French "let them live" mentality.
One of the things that does frustrate me in England is that we've become a nation of bringing up Les Enfants rois (child kings). In France, children have their place and adults have their place. Children are told by a simple "attend" if they interrupt an adult talking not "wait a second sweetheart mummy's talking". The French language does help, simple one word directives are very useful and I find that even though I speak mainly in English with Tiana, I mix these words in, such as "rammasse" for pick that up. They're quick to the point and easy to apply a don't give me any crap tone!
I highly recommend this book to mothers everywhere. Give yourselves a break and let the kids grow up without all the pressure and the Dr Spocks and Dr Never Had a Kid in His Life shoving nonsense down your throat!