My French Parenting Love Affair
My new vocabulary list from Bringing up Bebe:
bêtise (beh-teeze) – a small act of naughtiness
cadre (kah-druh) – frame, or framework. A visual image that describes the French parenting ideal: setting firm limits for children, but giving them tremendous freedom within those limits.
doucement (doo-ce-mahnt) – gently; carefully.
education ( eh-doo-cah-see-ohn) – upbringing. The way that French parents raise their kids.
enfant roi (an-fahnt rwa) – child king. An excessively demanding child who is constantly the center of his parents’ attention and who can’t cope with frustration.
non (noh) – no; absolutely not.
sage (sah-je) – wise and calm. This describes a child who is in control of himself or absorbed in an activity. Instead of saying “be good”, French parents say “Be sage.”
Ok, so I honestly don’t remember much from all of my French classes, I’ve never attempted to put my hair up in a french twist, and sadly the closest I’ve been to France is my undying love of french fries (which I am quite the connoisseur), but ever since I was young, I’ve had a love of all things French. It could be because it’s in my blood, great grand-père came straight from France, but the more likely reason is the exuberantly romantic way of life that the French portray throughout daily life. I can’t even say the word “French” without seeing a leggy brunette with a flowy sundress, completely polished and put together from head to toe, walking down the street with her adorable, well behaved child, so of course I jump at any book that promises to magically turn me into her!
I read Bringing up Bebe by Pamela Druckerman and, simply put, I loved it. I had so many “duh, that makes so much more sense” moments and a lot of it really stuck with me. I want to build a cadre for Skyler to know her boundaries, but still have freedom to explore. It just makes sense to me. The thing I loved most was that French parents don’t push their children to grow too quickly. Here in America, it is a battle to get your children into the fanciest preschools, the more advanced classes and the starting line-up for their sports team. I don’t think that much pressure can be good on a little kid. I love the idea of letting them grow and discover while they are still young. Let them be little.
I’ve just started reading my next book, French Kids Eat Everything by Karen Le Billon and am excited to get into it!
Anyway, if you haven’t heard of Bringing up Bebe, look into it. It was a great read and as a bonus, it got Sky to sleep twelve hours at night without any interruptions. Maybe it’s because she has French blood in her too ;).
Revoir tout le monde!
C’est la vie!