My sister (who does not even have children) read Pamela Druckerman’s Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting and could not stop talking about it. She implored me to read it, but I kept putting it off.
Finally, I received an email that a Nook book had been purchased for me: Bringing Up Bébé.
Okay, fine, I thought. I’ll read it.
I read it on vacation a few weeks ago and couldn’t put it down. Every new chapter had those “Aha!” moments that Oprah always talks about. All of these parenting struggles that Americans take for granted seemingly don’t exist in France.
Author Pamela Druckerman is an American mom living in Paris with her British husband and three children. Her observations about French children led her to do further investigation as to why they: sleep better, eat better, and behave better.
Here are ten trés intéressant (very interesting) things I learned from Bringing Up Bébé:
10. In Paris, daycare is favored over having a nanny. The French government-sponsored daycares, known as the crèche, are so popular they have wait lists.
9. French children are gourmands. They eat their meals in courses, and each meal will usually contain vegetables, fruit, cheese, and a baguette.
8. Babies in France sleep start sleeping through the night by about three or four months old.
7. There is no pressure to breastfeed in France.
6. It is considered rude if your child doesn’t say “Bonjour” to an adult who walks into the room.
5. There is distinct “adult time” that children must respect.
4. French children commonly use pacifiers until the age of four or five. Umm, I’m not sure I agree with this one, but it at least makes me feel better that my two-year-old is still a C.B.A. (Certified Binky Addict).
3. Pregnancy is not viewed as a time to eat whatever you want. As a result, French women gain less weight and lose the baby weight quicker.
2. French mothers believe it is better to let their children explore on their own. According to Druckerman, a Parisian playground will have all the mothers sitting on the outskirts having actual adult conversations while the children play with each other.
1. French healthcare pays for physiotherapy sessions designed to get a woman’s abdominal and vaginal muscles back in shape. No, I am not joking. (And yes, my husband now thinks we should move to France…kidding )
This book is an intriguing read if you’re looking to explore an alternate philosophy to the hyper-parenting we tend to do as Americans. If you decide to check it out, let me know what you think!