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French Parenting Secrets

French Parenting SecretsPamela Druckerman, author of French Children Don't Throw Food, shares her tips on raising well-behaved children using Continental parenting techniques. Here's a sample of her tips*:
  • "Let them know who's boss." You'll often hear French parents telling their children: "C'est moi qui décide" (It's me who decides), and even: "C'est moi qui commande" (It's me who gives orders).
  • "Just say non." French parents don't believe their children should rule their lives, so they aren't afraid to say no (and mean it).
  • Establish a "look of admonishment' to silence your children. The French call it "les gros yeux" - the big eyes.
  • Teach your child to say hello to visiting adults, rather than just "skulk in under the umbrella of the parents' greeting".
  • Cut out the snacks. In France, children have one snack a day - goûter - when they get home from school. No wonder they're so well behaved in restaurants: they're hungry, so they concentrate on the food.
These are all things that I do with my own children, so I admit straight away that I'm biased. My parents brought me up with strict rules, but with an emphasis on being independent and being able to do things for myself. I had a wonderful, happy childhood with definite boundaries, and a faith in my own abilities to go out and try different things, so this is how my husband and I are bringing up our children. What's your thoughts? (Taken from The Week, 17-23 February 2012) Get the latest posts straight to your inbox every week!
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