If last year was the year of the tiger mums, this year would be that of the French mères. The book “Bringing Up Bébé” is so popular at the moment and, basically, offers a method opposite to the tiger mothers’ rigid one.
It’s written by Pamela Druckerman, an American transplanted in France with several of her kids. According to this journalist, her children’s French friends behave wonderfully: they don’t interrupt, they eat everything and in silence, they play alone and sleep in one stretch on their own beds since they are 3 months old.
She maintains that this is due to several rules that French woman strictly follow: they don’t obsess over their children, they don’t tolerate scenes, they decide without negotiating and they dominate a tone of voice, full of conviction, with which they say “No!” to their children, continuously.
Personally I believe that, when choosing a “method” for education, the question to be addressed should always be: what type of adult would I like my child to become?
If what we want is a conformist automaton, with an overwhelming intellectual and social uniformity, then we are probably doing well by limiting him/her constantly and answering NO to every move.
If, on the other hand, we understand that individuality is the vehicle to the creativity and innovation they need when they’re older – we should better listen to them. And ask ourselves what the adequate answer is each time, before assuming that it should always be no.
Between strict and absent parents and annulled omnipresent parents, there are those who are dedicated and collaborative.
Let’s not lose our sense of direction. Having children who don’t interrupt and learn how to entertain themselves alone is not French, American or Turkish. It’s called common sense. Let’s apply it and stop abiding by methods and other generalizing labels. If every child is a world of its own, imagine those of an entire nation.