Pamela Druckerman, author of French Children Don’t Throw Food, shares her tips on raising well-behaved children using Continental parenting techniques.
Here’s a sample of her tips*:
- “Let them know who’s boss.” You’ll often hear French parents telling their children: “C’est moi qui décide” (It’s me who decides), and even: “C’est moi qui commande” (It’s me who gives orders).
- “Just say non.” French parents don’t believe their children should rule their lives, so they aren’t afraid to say no (and mean it).
- Establish a “look of admonishment’ to silence your children. The French call it “les gros yeux” – the big eyes.
- Teach your child to say hello to visiting adults, rather than just “skulk in under the umbrella of the parents’ greeting”.
- Cut out the snacks. In France, children have one snack a day – goûter – when they get home from school. No wonder they’re so well behaved in restaurants: they’re hungry, so they concentrate on the food.
These are all things that I do with my own children, so I admit straight away that I’m biased.
My parents brought me up with strict rules, but with an emphasis on being independent and being able to do things for myself. I had a wonderful, happy childhood with definite boundaries, and a faith in my own abilities to go out and try different things, so this is how my husband and I are bringing up our children.
What’s your thoughts?
(Taken from The Week, 17-23 February 2012)
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