July 22, 2013

French Children Don’t Throw Food

Category: Being Parents

After being at my wits end in trying to cope with Spud’s volatile moods and trying so hard not to feel like I’m such a royal failure just because I cannot adhere, let alone keep up with the practices of “Gentle” Parenting (aka bordering on permissive style of parenting) , I decided to give myself a time-out.

I didn’t go back to the office after an early afternoon meeting one day. Instead, I spent the rest of the afternoon walking around aimlessly in a shopping mall to “think things through”.  I then decided to walk in to a book store and scour through shelves after shelves of parenting books and found myself gravitating to this one:

Under any other circumstances, I don’t think I would even bother picking up the book based on the title (I have always thought the French are a snobbish and insufferable bunch based on several personal experience in another lifetime – the title alone was enough to repel me); but at that particular moment, the title intrigued me (having a couple of close and cool French moms in my mommy-friends circle in the recent years loosened me up a little).  I was thinking: what is it that the French parents are doing that that works? I mean we are talking about kids eating up everything they are served without a fuss here! I need to KNOW these things!

The book was entertaining and easy to read. There were moments when I could just not stop chuckling as I was reading it. I like that it was not text-book style, but rather more of a down-to-earth parenting challenges and anecdotal stories based on  the author’s experiences (she is an American) in raising a family in Paris who has plunged herself into researching and analysing the French parenting style and comparing it to British/American styles.

I feel that I can relate better to the French way of parenting. While I am nowhere near being a “Tiger-Mum”, I will unashamedly admit that I subscribe to the “know your boundaries” parenting style; much like the cadre (framework) as described in the book, rather than the “gentle” parenting style.

In no uncertain terms that the content of the book will serve as a bible for my parenting style, but for me, it was a good reference to have. I did think that some bits of French parenting are a little bit on a stricter side, but nonetheless, I  truly enjoyed every aspect of the books.

This book was an amusing read. I would give her other books a go as well. 

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