|Photo Credit (less the expertly drawn berets): Ziem Photography|
Once I got over my immediate need to roll my eyes - "Sweet sandwiches, we need ANOTHER article telling us how we're terrible parents? First the French are better dressed than us, now they get to be better moms & dads too?" I sighed - I actually read the article and found myself nodding at much of it. Don't get me wrong - I'm not one of those Francophiles who thinks Paris is the center of the universe either, much as I've adored my tourist time there - but it struck me that there may be something to this.
I let my wee CEO have time to safely play independently -
never mind that some of that is motivated by my desire to make the occasional restroom trip unaccompanied, but . . . doesn't everyone, French or otherwise? How else will he learn to make decisions, to create and play, by himself?
I also believe that calm-but-firm & consistent limits are something parents and children want and benefit from - within reason, of course. I'm just trying to imagine implementing the example given in that article, where a French parent suggests not chasing a child around the playground but instead calmly giving orders from a comfortable bench perch, and the inevitable ER trip that would result. Maybe it's due to his young age, but when it comes to preventing Master P from making a leap off the nearest playscape, call me a helicopter parent. Again, though, isn't everyone on board with some limits, regardless of nationality?
What may prove most controversial is the idea that children are to form themselves around the adults' lives, versus the perceived American method of doing the reverse The author cites articles saying that, thanks to the American bending over backwards to suit our kids' whims, we're less satisfied with parenting - actually preferring housework (!) in many cases - than our French counterparts.
I'm not sure where I stand on this except to say - if at any point scrubbing toilets seems more enjoyable than raising my wee CEO, or anything at all, something has gone horribly, horribly wrong. That being said, why have the kids if you don't intend to change your lives, and happily so, a bit for them?
Though I'm highly skeptical of any claims that there is One Right Way to Parent - having liberated myself from those facist baby books, I've no inclination to indoctrinate myself again - I may check out the book this article is based on. A lot of this seems not exclusively French but mere common sense, and that's something in which even
especially this Smug Mummy can use a refresher course.
What do you think - is this article something that makes sense to you, or is it more of the same eye-rolling stuff designed to sell books & make parents feel bad? And how awesome do Master P & I look in those literally & figuratively sketchy berets?
Stay tuned for a supercalifashionista giveaway of much fab this Wednesday . . .