image credit: wsj
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
I recently started reading Pamela Druckerman's Bringing Up Bebe and I love it! I had heard about the book and my initial thought was probably the same as everyone else...how could the French be better at this...hold some sort of special insight? But, much to my delight, the book is really insightful...and also much to my delight I have somewhat followed the parenting pattern of the French, albeit unbeknownst to me. A lot of the information is common sense but for whatever reason, we as Americans have far to much stimulus in our world and therefore find ourselves off track a lot! What I've gathered from the book so far is that French mothers, in general, don't go off track...they stand firm and teach their children how to play alone, how night-time is reserved for adult activities and if the child wants to be a part of that then they have to learn to adjust...not the adult. French mothers are attentive, loving mothers, but they don't jump for hand sanitizer at every speck of dirt or oblige every demand. We as Americans, on the other hand cater to our child's every wish. I'm guilty of this, after all, the toddler is my only child and I try to be the "fun mom" yet in doing so I know that I do things that establish a pattern of her getting her way...over and over again. I'm not a lover of parenting books, I feel like more often than not they provide a plan that you must strictly adhere to in order to have a happy child...again, not what should be the point. Yes, the child should be happy but the child will never be happy if the mother and the father aren't happy. You have to get off the collision course with appeasement and remember we can all live together in a place that's not overrun with toys and Nick jr. We all parent differently, what works for some doesn't work for others but I think the information in this book, Bringing Up Bebe, is valuable and it has a cute jacket too! If you're tired of cooking macaroni and cheese every night and watching Dora all day then you might want to see how the French are able to get brie in their little babes bellies, all the while maintaining calm, assertive control, and looking, well...very French!