I’m a French woman, born and raised. I first got here to the U.S. once I was 21 to be an au pair. The very first thing I did once I arrived was attend a Three-day convention with a gaggle of au pairs from all around the world. The objective was to arrange us for the tradition shock we’d quickly be experiencing, and likewise to teach us in regards to the variations in parenting types amongst international locations.
After Three days of listening to about how People mother or father their children, I gathered that in America, kids had been typically handled like little kings and queens. Having grown up in France, all I knew was the French means. French mother and father are likely to have extra of a “kids want to sit down down and pay attention” sort of mindset. You don’t pay attention? You’re despatched to timeout or straight to mattress, even skipping dinner typically. You make a large number? You clear it up. You draw on the wall? You get a sponge and also you scrub. You fall? If there’s no blood, you stand up and cease whining about it. I’d say that French mother and father are likely to have a decrease tolerance for tantrums and children’ bossy behaviors. Briefly, they’re extra strict.
French kids are additionally taught manners from a really younger age. I keep in mind my mother instructing me the way to reply the cellphone for her: “Good day, my title is Eileen, with whom do I’ve the pleasure of talking with at this time?” There was an emphasis on “bonjour madame,” “s’il vous plait (please),” and “merci beaucoup.” I recall pondering that there was virtually an unofficial competitors between mother and father for which youngster was essentially the most well-behaved. And perhaps most significantly, any tactic to show a baby manners was fair-game.
Whereas in america, mother and father will typically attempt to perceive the trigger for his or her kids’s behaviors, in France if a child is misbehaving, there can be a direct consequence. My mother and father would shoot “Ça suffit!” (“That’s sufficient!”) at me if I used to be out of line. There was no calmly speaking to me. My mother and father weren’t the exception although. That is very French.
Now that I’m a mother myself residing in america, I don’t comply with the French parenting type. My oldest son is severely autistic and my parenting journey with him is completely different from every thing I’d imagined. He’s six and nonetheless doesn’t have a solution to talk, so instructing him manners is way down my record of issues. With my youthful son, I’m laid again and he appears to be growing independence and good manners anyway. I’m additionally extra in tune, I believe, with how he feels than French folks would are typically. French parenting is usually a bit inflexible and harsh.
I imagine there’s a stability to be discovered between the French and the American means. We need to elevate well mannered children however we additionally don’t need to suppress our children’ emotions. Whereas the French would undertake the strategy of “children have to hearken to their mother and father always as a result of they’re simply children,” I now assume it’s essential to let kids categorical their emotions, and provides them an opportunity to cease misbehaving earlier than leaping to punishment. Possibly I’m a “1, 2, Three” mother though I used to be raised to be a “Cease it now” mother. And typically, I need to admit, I like treating my infant as if he had been a king. Some days he deserves it!