Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers The Wisdom Of French Parenting

by Pamela Druckerman

Penguin Press (HC) | February 7, 2012 | Hardcover

Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers The Wisdom Of French Parenting is rated 3 out of 5 by 2.

The secret behind France''s astonishingly well-behaved children.

When American journalist Pamela Druckerman has a baby in Paris, she doesn''t aspire to become a "French parent." French parenting isn''t a known thing, like French fashion or French cheese. Even French parents themselves insist they aren''t doing anything special.

Yet, the French children Druckerman knows sleep through the night at two or three months old while those of her American friends take a year or more. French kids eat well-rounded meals that are more likely to include braised leeks than chicken nuggets. And while her American friends spend their visits resolving spats between their kids, her French friends sip coffee while the kids play.

Motherhood itself is a whole different experience in France. There''s no role model, as there is in America, for the harried new mom with no life of her own. French mothers assume that even good parents aren''t at the constant service of their children and that there''s no need to feel guilty about this. They have an easy, calm authority with their kids that Druckerman can only envy.

Of course, French parenting wouldn''t be worth talking about if it produced robotic, joyless children. In fact, French kids are just as boisterous, curious, and creative as Americans. They''re just far better behaved and more in command of themselves. While some American toddlers are getting Mandarin tutors and preliteracy training, French kids are- by design-toddling around and discovering the world at their own pace.

With a notebook stashed in her diaper bag, Druckerman-a former reporter for The Wall Street Journal-sets out to learn the secrets to raising a society of good little sleepers, gourmet eaters, and reasonably relaxed parents. She discovers that French parents are extremely strict about some things and strikingly permissive about others. And she realizes that to be a different kind of parent, you don''t just need a different parenting philosophy. You need a very different view of what a child actually is.

While finding her own firm non, Druckerman discovers that children-including her own-are capable of feats she''d never imagined.

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 304 pages, 9.26 × 6.32 × 1.01 in

Published: February 7, 2012

Publisher: Penguin Press (HC)

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1594203334

ISBN - 13: 9781594203336

Found in: Biography and Memoir

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Reviews

Rated 3 out of 5 by from Fascinating & perfect for discussions The Good Stuff Advice is practical and makes total sense Fabulous Index and Bibliography (We know these things are important to me & yes I am a geek thank you very much) Fascinating and would lead to some fabulous discussions at Girls Night Out with the Mom's or book clubs Extremely well researched Self deprecating, honest and funny - she really doesn't hold back on her "supposed" failings as an "American" parent Doesn't "really" judge (though at times it does come across this way) just gives you her thoughts and observations I definitely agree with many of her points and would like to make some changes with my own parenting style Fabulous story on page 33 - sorry no spoilers Liked the inclusion of a couple of unique recipes Thought provoking and makes you take a look at how you are raising your own children The Not So Good Stuff Though she really does try it still does come across as rather patronizing Would have liked her to have included some information/pointers-- um if your kids are older -- and um you would like to fix some of your parenting mistakes -- just sayin -- not that we are talking about me or anything She seems to have some issues with French people so why would she want to raise her children to perhaps turn out like them (really having a hard time trying to explain what I am trying to get across with this point) At times a tad repetitive and at times I was irritated by the constant generalizations -- not every American parent is over permissive and not every French parent is calm and perfect Also the advice is very similar to how I was raised as a child, in Canada, so I don't think this is necessarily a French parenting style I am also concerned that the schools, not the parents are doing the majority of the raising of French children and how does that affect their growth as human beings (again having a hard time with explaining this point -- must get coffee) Favorite Quotes/Passages "I hadn't thought I was supposed to admire French parenting. It isn't a thing, like French fashion or French cheese. No one visits Paris to soak up the local views on parental authority and guilt management. Quite the contrary: the American mothers I know in Paris are horrified that French mothers barely breast-feed, and their four-year-olds walk around with pacifiers." "But by the time a child is three, French birthday parties are drop-offs. We're supposed to trust that our kids will be okay without us. Parents are usually invited to come back at the end for a glass of champagne and some hobnobbing with the other moms and dads. Simon and I are thrilled whenever we get invitations: it's free babysitting, followed by a cocktail party." (FYI - I'm a Canadian and this is how we throw kids parties too) "It becomes clear how French our kids' eating habits have become when we visit America. My mom is excited to introduce Bean to that American classic, macaroni and cheese fro a box. But Bean won't eat more than a few bites. "that's not cheese," she says. I think I detect her first sneer." Who Should/Shouldn't Read Thinking American parents will often be offended on how poorly they are portrayed Fabulous for a book club - especially one with Moms Will be passing this on to a friend who could really benefit from some of the ideas (she is seriously stressed out and her toddler is ruling the roost - and no judging here, as we are struggling with our toddler as well) 3.5 Dewey's I purchased this from Indigo on recommendation of Jeremy Cammy (My go to guy for non-fiction)
Date published: 2012-05-15
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Interesting Read I found this book to be an interesting read and I'd really like to live in France if we ever have children. As the author explains, there are certain parts of bringing up bebe in France that may seem hard to North Americans, but the ideals make a lot of sense. The French know how to enjoy themselves and do not let their lives get caught up in all things children once a baby arrives. The author does a good job of explaining child rearing in France and comparing it to the very different methods used here in North America. It really was interesting to read. My one major complaint was that, in part, this book seemed to read like a collection of articles on the topic. Regardless of whether or not a person was introduced in a previous chapter, she gives a mini bio of them again, and again. This grew old by the end of the book. The book is definitely worth the read regardless of this little complaint.
Date published: 2012-04-19
Rated out of 5 by from This book is incredible. Not only is it well written and entertaining, it has boosted my confidence as a new mom. When I lived in Paris for six months I did notice that french children were very well behaved. I didn't really think about why until now. There is so much common sense in this book it's almost laughable that we live any other way. Since I've read about and begun to apply some of the ideas put forward, my 4 month old daughter is now sleeping in 6-6.5 hr stretches. I have the time to cook good meals, bake, spend time with my husband and feel like I'm finally out of the sleep deprived fog I've been since she was born. Children thrive on structure and routine and having a framework or "cadre" to live in not only helps them it helps parents too. Thinking about raising children as consistently and patiently educating them on how to sleep, how to eat and how to function as little adults in society is good for everyone. Treating your children as rational beings instead of little dependent blobs just makes sense. I can't rave enough about this book. After reading Dr. Sears, The Baby Whisperer, the Contented Baby Book AND Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child, I've come away from this one with a new sense of confidence, control and excitement about raising a smart, calm, creative and well behaved little girl... who eats her peas and doesn't throw them.
Date published: 2012-03-21
Rated out of 5 by from This book really brings the reader back down to earth when caught up in the North American parenting whirlwind of neurosis. While the North American mom is busying reading everything under the sun about parenting and choosing a different parenting style for each occasion, whether it is about discipline, eating, or sleeping, the French moms just go with their instinct and shape their children to be functional in an adult-majority society. French moms hold a very different view about what being a mother entails and understand that being a mom is not a free pass to give up the privileges of being a wife and a woman, thus maintaining their sanity. Though it is also discovered that the French society has certain infrastructure that allows mothers to hold such views and raise children the way they do. And it also helps that everyone in France has the same basic idea of how a child should be raised especially when it comes to meal times, sleeping through the night, manners, and limits, so there is some consistency for the children throughout. Druckerman also explored into the toxic habit of North American moms subconsciously one-upping each other in all aspects of being a parent and their children, while the French is all about theirs and the child's comfort. Bringing Up Bebe often sprinkles in French parenting wisdom that helps shape the child's temperament to better suit the real world. The book simply appeals to one's common sense when raising children. I have always been worried about having children in North America because of the extreme practices (helicopter parenting) that is very popular and socially accepted, which I do not agree with. After having read this, I am reassured that it is okay to raise my children without being totally neurotic about it (or give up my career).
Date published: 2012-03-19

– More About This Product –

Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers The Wisdom Of French Parenting

by Pamela Druckerman

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 304 pages, 9.26 × 6.32 × 1.01 in

Published: February 7, 2012

Publisher: Penguin Press (HC)

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1594203334

ISBN - 13: 9781594203336

From the Publisher

The secret behind France''s astonishingly well-behaved children.

When American journalist Pamela Druckerman has a baby in Paris, she doesn''t aspire to become a "French parent." French parenting isn''t a known thing, like French fashion or French cheese. Even French parents themselves insist they aren''t doing anything special.

Yet, the French children Druckerman knows sleep through the night at two or three months old while those of her American friends take a year or more. French kids eat well-rounded meals that are more likely to include braised leeks than chicken nuggets. And while her American friends spend their visits resolving spats between their kids, her French friends sip coffee while the kids play.

Motherhood itself is a whole different experience in France. There''s no role model, as there is in America, for the harried new mom with no life of her own. French mothers assume that even good parents aren''t at the constant service of their children and that there''s no need to feel guilty about this. They have an easy, calm authority with their kids that Druckerman can only envy.

Of course, French parenting wouldn''t be worth talking about if it produced robotic, joyless children. In fact, French kids are just as boisterous, curious, and creative as Americans. They''re just far better behaved and more in command of themselves. While some American toddlers are getting Mandarin tutors and preliteracy training, French kids are- by design-toddling around and discovering the world at their own pace.

With a notebook stashed in her diaper bag, Druckerman-a former reporter for The Wall Street Journal-sets out to learn the secrets to raising a society of good little sleepers, gourmet eaters, and reasonably relaxed parents. She discovers that French parents are extremely strict about some things and strikingly permissive about others. And she realizes that to be a different kind of parent, you don''t just need a different parenting philosophy. You need a very different view of what a child actually is.

While finding her own firm non, Druckerman discovers that children-including her own-are capable of feats she''d never imagined.

About the Author

Pamela Druckerman is a former staff reporter for The Wall Street Journal, where she covered foreign affairs. She has also written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Marie Claire, and appeared on The Today Show and NPR''s Morning Edition. Her previous book, Lust in Translation, was translated into eight languages. She has a master''s degree in international affairs from Columbia. She lives in Paris.
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