As I am not yet a parent, I can only speculate as an outsider on the responsibility, joys and struggles that come along with the territory. I have no idea what kind of parent I might turn out to be (though if my raising Gatsby is any indicator, I have a lot of work to do on my ability to set boundaries and execute discipline).
I am, however, a total Francophile. I am under complete delusion that anything the French do or say is 100x better than the American way.
So when an article discussing the art of French parenting popped up on my screen this morning logging onto the Starbucks wifi, I was all ears (erm, eyes).
The article, titled "Why French Parents are Superior", discusses many cultural differences between the approach that American and French parents take with their children.
Some of the French parenting tactics included:
- Children should say hello, goodbye, thank you and please. It helps them to learn that they aren't the only ones with feelings and needs.
- When they misbehave, give them the "big eyes"—a stern look of admonishment.
- Allow only one snack a day. In France, it's at 4 or 4:30.
- Remind them (and yourself) who's the boss. French parents say, "It's me who decides."
- Don't be afraid to say "no." Kids have to learn how to cope with some frustration.
I was excited to see that this article is based on the author's upcoming book. I'm curious to learn more about this approach, especially as the idea of having a family of my own is slowly becoming less of "it's like an alien growing inside of you..." to "hmmmm, maaaybe that doesn't seem so bad."
At the very least, I'm getting a head start on homework and preparation for the motherhood journey, if I do ever find myself in that role.