Sunday, June 16, 2013

Repost: Are the French better parents?

I've contributed to the Orlando Sentinel's Moms at Work blog since 2010. The blog is changing content management systems and my old posts will no longer be available to the public, so I'm reposting them here, in the order that they were originally posted.

Feb. 1, 2012 Have you heard the latest? Apparently Americans are bad parents.

But, wait! Just as they did when they helpfully showed us how not to get fat (despite France's own rising obesity rate), the French apparently have just the right ideas to save us and our children from the silly notions we have about how to live our lives.

The Gallic gallantry comes in the form of Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting, by Pamela Druckerman.

How do the French do it differently, according to Druckerman's 304-page book?

Hold on to your seats. It's mostly by...not spoiling their kids.

Tell me more, French parents!

Seriously, though, parenting is not something that can be taught by manual. It's both more and less complicated than that. Surely what works for one French kid won't work for another, just as what works for one American child or Chinese child or Senegalese child or Canadian child or Peruvian child won't necessarily work for other children in those countries.

Moms and dads, we're on our own. We have to figure out what works for us and our families by trial and error -- and no $17 book can really help us with that process.

[h/t Philadelphia Inquirer]

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