I have to say, typically I have no interest in highlighting hot topic parenting trends here on the blog, or in life in general for that matter. To each their own, and so on. But with all the hype this new article is getting, I thought it might be fun to review. Especially seeing that I tend to agree with most everything Pamela Druckerman notes in regard to French parenting in excerpts from her book Bringing up Bebe, a literal delve into reasons French children appear more well adjusted, and less self involved than the mass of American babes we are raising. An article I was pleased to read simply because with all the new-age cycles of parental systems that fall in and out of popularity - some of which feel downright divisive by nature - I have always felt outside of, or slightly ashamed by our stripped down "old school" approach to raising kids. An unnamed philosophy we fell into after Arlo was born, where we sought to ensure our kids learn to inhabit a life environment we've created, and not vice versa. A mantra that does not seem all too popular among our current age group. Except, it seems, in France, where they apparently still openly defend the notion that all things "Adult" remain sacred in light of being a parent. That we make the rules, not our children, that we invest conscience effort to keep adult relationships flowing, personal hobbies flourishing, routines and interest in tact and a house that is not brimming from corner to corner with toys at every turn, to respect personal sleep rituals for both parents and children, and to draw significance in our roles as individuals as well as paternal guides.
Others examples I was mighty fond of include:
French Mama's are not afraid of a simple, stern NO in place of long drawn out negotiations between parent and child anytime a confrontation arises. Eating rituals involve three (table meals) and far less snacking in between. Children are given more freedom and autonomy from the start (I am a huge believer in this, instead of going out of your mind trying to baby proof your life, provide boundaries and trust your children will eventually adhere to them) Not allowing interruptions (when adults are talking, you wait your turn. Yes, I believe in this one too!) And lastly, teaching babies, from a young age, to find comfort in their personal sleep space. One of the best gifts I've given myself as a mother is training my boys, from infancy, to put themselves to sleep in their crib or bed during naps and bedtime. A ritual that not only helps keep our sleep solid, but hopefully teaches them to cope with being alone. Singing, or talking in a room by themselves where you might argue that imagination and overall autonomy is allowed to fully blossom. Or at least that's what I believe when I hear them counting sweetly or talking to shadows in the room.
Anyway, that is the very gist of a great article. Well worth the read if you have the time.
And if you are further interested, a fun Q & A with French mother's regarding the article here
In other news, it's raining today. Yay. Finally a taste of winter weather for us dropless Californians!
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