Je ne pense pas que c'est vrai!
I have not read the article (will settle in with a tea first) but in general I have little use for "Swedish mothers are so much better than you ! Or Chinese or ……"
Do the best with what you know where you live.
Edited to add: read it - did not think much of it. So much has been well said by posters upthread. I do not live in the USA but I do visit regularly and I do not think your kids are poorly behaved - the premise of the article was wrong from the start, IMHO.
I also don't buy that french parents are superior because their children are better behaved in public (if indeed they are). Parenting is about way more than if your kids can behave in public. My goal as a parent is to produce happy adults who are self sustaining and capable of going after their goals - and the article does not even touch on those kind of issues. Sitting through dinner without throwing your peas is really superficial, IMHO.
Katie - Married to Mike 06/02/01, Mom to Sydney Anne born 11/21/09 and Alice Maeryn & Oliver Thomas born 04/24/13
Maybe somebody already posted a link--but this is pretty funny:
That is perfect...just perfect. Thanks for the link.
Lisa, lucky mama of Kelly (3/93) , Emma (5/03) , Evan (7/05) , & Jenna (6/09)
Loving my amazing dh, James & forever missing Aaron Ambrose (11/07)
Maybe somebody already posted a link--but this is pretty funny:
Someone moved my effing cheese.
I'm having a flashback. Last year I was on a plane ride from CA to MA. In the two rows behind me were a french family with four kids.They had two boys who were WILD. Because my son is the same way, I enjoyed their wildness (it wasn't tantrumy, rather playful, like my son) and they and my daughter (it was just the two of us) had a great time playing. But is that the kind of french child these books purport to say exists? Mais non. They were down right American in demeanor... in a good way.
I read the article and do think much of it was written to get attention.
I was raised by a German father and spent a great deal of time around German aunts, grandparents and cousins. I recognized every thing the author mentions in her article when she talks about French methods, it was the same in our house. (except we were German)
I don't know that it was better or worse practice when compared to my all-American friend's families back in the late 70s through the 80s but it was noticably different. My father could barely tolerate some of my friends, their manners and actions drove him bats. He spent a great deal of time educating them against their will.
I always LOL when I read this or someone tells me this. Everytime I have been to France, those rude people are always out of town. Believe me, I have looked for these rude people there and I have never met them! Why are they always gone when I go? Or maybe its just me.
Having traveled all over and lived quite a few places, I've found the French to be the overall rudest people.
So the idea that they raise polite children seems laughable to me.
Just not buying it -- not one little bit.
There's is a difference between following the appropriate social conventions some place like a restaurant, and actually being a polite humane being. To generalize about an entire group of people, the French tend to be good at the first, but not at the second.
And I think the second is more important.
I have managed to raise offspring who understand that other people have feelings, but at 4 they were fairly horrid in restaurants.
We are American and raise our children very American. Anywhere we go in the world, we are Americans to those receiving us. Although we did the whole AP thing as they were babies, we do a similar version as they grow. We value their input, we love having discussions and there is plenty of great food to eat at their disposal. We love raising our daughters but we do have rules. Yes, its 5pm and you cannot snack anymore, dinner is in an hour or so. We are all going to talk about our day, but no none of us are going to interupt who is talking or talk over anyone. If Daddy is speaking, let him finish and then ask your question. The same goes with the phonecalls, unless of course you are bleeding or the house is on fire. My kids behave in dining places and eat what is there. Then again, on the flipside, we make it easier. We dont wait until we are all starving to think about eating while everyone is crankly, hungry, low blood sugar etc. It makes a happier mealtime unlike friends of ours who for whatever reason have not figured out that each and everyday, the family is going to want to eat sometime between 5 and 7pm. At least 3 times a week mealtime is a nightmare for them but I am the crazy one for meal planning.
We used to take our kids out as tots, even with our first, she learned at a week old to go out for dinner. Of course I nursed her and she was passed out "milk drunk" as DH used to love to say before we left. but we would work around that and have a nice meal. Sometimes feeding her beforehand when we knew she would crash, we would eat while she slept on the booth seat next to us. But again, this is not american vs french parents but just an easy going tot. Taking a fussy baby out is not going to work at all. Sometimes just letting her run all over the place at a park while vacationing and THEN going for a meal worked out really well. I would agree, I know several families who the kids are ruling the day and the parents are on eggshells not to upset them. That is not AP, that is not GD, that is just they need to learn how to parent these kids. Some of the kids are tots, a lot of them are school aged or teens. DH and I always say how we feel for these parents future DILs and SILs because they are doing them a tremendous disservice to their future marriages.
I haven't read the Pamela Druckerman book but I have seen quite a bit of press about it. I don't believe that all American parents are as she presents them, for one. My own impression was that CIO was being advocated, even if she doesn't come out and say it.
Has anyone here read Perfect Madness by Judith Warner...it has some similar messages to this book, and makes motherhood sound like total drudgery. Warner also spent time in France.
What she says about sleep practices in the book is roughly as follows: if you get babies used to soothing themselves back to sleep when they are in light sleep phases in the first three months of life, they'll develop that habit and STTN thereafter. If not, then some CIO will probably be necessary. Going along with the idea that babies understand more than they think we do, the author and her husband did CIO with their daughter at 8 months, after learning the previously stated information, and she cried for something like 20 minutes the first night, then 10, then 5, and then not at all after that. They concluded that she was waking because they expected her to (ref. babies understanding more than we think). Not sure about that.
There is a soon to be released book by Karen Le Billon called French Kids Eat Everything. She has a blog and she seems to be fairly dismissive of parents on this side of the pond as compared to the French. She is Canadian.
Sorry, Amys1st, just saw this post and have to concur that I too have not experienced these so-called rude French. The French were actually the most accomodating and sincere people I came across in Europe. I think they appreciated that I at least tried to speak French (as bad as my French is) and they overlooked my disgraceful communication skills I think, in part, because I was at least trying. My experiences with the French, both in France and here, have been nothing but positive.