Each parent has his own method of instilling values, setting limits and disciplining his children. Cultural sensibilities, of course, have their respective influence on parenting in different countries, and each raises a certain amount of skepticism or praise. Tiger moms, for example, make their kids go through rigorous training in order to bring out their fullest potential. On the other hand, France, has puzzled many because for some reason, the French phrase “savoir faire” (the innate ability to just know how to deal with any instance) seems to also apply to their parenting style.
American author Pamela Druckerman, who wrote a book entitled “Bringing Up Bebe” on French parenting, shares how French moms seem to have such a calm air about them when raising their children. Instead of stressing over her child wandering off in a park or making a mess while eating in a restaurant, a French mother knows her child will happily wait for his food to be served and even contentedly eat his vegetables.
The disparity struck her so that Druckerman led a study with economists from Princeton University in order to compare the parenting styles of moms in Columbus, Ohio, versus those in Rennes, France. The study revealed that American moms found looking after their children twice as unpleasant as French moms do.
Druckerman describes the French to consider conversation with their children important, as well as taking the time to expose them to literature, the arts and sports, all but with a certain degree of finesse. French parents make sure to care for their kids but not to the point of depriving themselves of much needed quality “adult time”.
Druckerman goes further to communicate the extent to which overparenting has seemed to consume American parents and other parents across the globe. You’ve probably already heard of “helicopter parenting”, which refers to how certain parents hover over their kids and being too controlling over their activities.
Another point that Druckerman raises is how Americans seem to be too giving and liberal with their children that they simply have a hard time saying “no” to their kids. And when they do, rather than being followed, it encourages an attitude of rebellion or disobedience.