Family Magazine

Parenting the French Way

By Newsanchormom

I love this article about raising kids. I think the tips are great! I really think I sometimes give in to my kids' demands too soon because I don't have time or energy to deal with the discipline. It's not every time, but it certainly happens with me. How do you handle discipline?

Teaching kids patience and self-control through delayed gratification: French parents teach their children to wait for what they want from an early age - for a few minutes, usually – instead of immediately giving into tots’ demands.“I’m now convinced that the secret of why French kids rarely whine or collapse into tantrums – or at least do so less than American kids – is that they’ve developed the internal resources to cope with frustration,” Druckerman writes.

Sleep training often begins at birth: In France, babies are expected to be sleeping through the night by the time they’re four months old. Parents don’t ignore their babies’ cries but they do pause before responding to them.“French parents believe it’s their job to gently teach babies to sleep well,” she writes. “They don’t view being up half the night with an eight-month-old as a sign of parental commitment. They view it as a sign that the child has a sleep problem and that his family is wildly out of balance.

Just one snack: French children typically have what’s known as gouter – a 4 p.m. snack – and that’s it. As a result, Druckerman says, they eat well-rounded meals because they’re “actually hungry.”

They don’t give in to guilt over spending time away from their kids: French women, Druckerman writes, have a conviction that “it’s unhealthy for mothers and children to spend all their time together. … Children – even babies and toddlers – get to cultivate their inner lives without a mother’s constant interference.”As for moms going back to work after giving birth: “French women work not just for financial security but also for status,” Druckerman writes. “Stay-at-home moms don’t have much in Paris. … They openly question the quality of life if they looked after children all day.”The book will be published Tuesday, Feb. 7.
-NewsAnchorMom Jen
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