Have you ever heard of a mother of a preschooler say they can’t finish a conversation without being interrupted by their child? Do you dream of your kindergartener eating something other than chicken nuggets and french fries or pasta with butter sauce while you and your husband eat a well balanced meal? It might just then be time to adopt some French parenting tips to help end what seems like a parent’s life revolving around that of their precious little offspring.
American born Pamela Druckerman, a former Wall Street Journal correspondent, currently lives in Paris and is the author of Bebe Day by Day: 100 Keys to French Parenting. Druckerman is also the author of Bringing Up Bebe: One American Mother Finds the Wisdom of French Parenting which has been praised by no-nonsense “Tiger Mom” Amy Chua. Druckerman shared five of the most important parenting tips during an interview yesterday (click here) on Fox News.
1) Don’t let your child interrupt you.
It’s not that French children won’t try and interrupt their parents, it’s just that French parents more often tell their children ‘Excuse me, honey, I’m in the middle of something; I will be with you in a minute.’”
2) You are in charge of the refrigerator.
French children eat one snack daily, typically in the afternoon, and tend to eat more balanced meals. Druckerman thinks this is why French children have lower childhood obesity rates than their American counterparts.
3) Punish less, but stand firm.
French parents tend to push their children less, but there are certain lines in the sand that their kids cannot cross. Children must say “please, thank you, hello and goodbye” without fail in France. This is nonnegotiable behavior.
4) Maintain a “mysterious adult realm” and privacy from your children
French children must see that their parents have a separate and independent life from simply childrearing, says Druckerman. Kids should know that their parents are entitled to privacy from them.
5) Let them eat cake.
Kids in France start baking at an early age. Since the cakes are then typically eaten as an afternoon snack, children learn patience and self-control while waiting for that slice.
Definitely some French food for American thought. These tips are definitely worth pondering.