Super Maman or Monster Mom??

January 30, 2008

Since living in Paris I have become very aware of the different ways (most) French children behave, even at toddler age, compared to kids in the Anglo World. French kids as young as 2 get taken to nice, expensive restaurants and are expected to sit quietly through a four to five course meal and they do! Their mothers are also a site to behold. Parisian Moms are more then often fabulously turned out (I have never seen a pair of sweatpants or a sweatshirt anywhere near the playground) and their children are mostly all little clones of their mothers! How do these woman achieve this?
I found this article, “Is Maman mean or magnifique” in the UK Telegraph, written by American journalist Janine Giovanni who lives in Paris. She writes about French moms, their kids and the cultural differences of parenting.

I’m interested to hear what you girls think! There must be a compromise…



Comments (6)

January 30, 2008

There is definitely a compromise. I think the French discipline mixed with Dr. Spock-style love and affection is a healthy mix!

January 30, 2008

I agree. I also believe that there could be an in between. But I have to admit, I lean more towards the French way than the American way: no Seth on my grown-up dinner table please – I too value l’heure de l’adulte! (However he’s very welcome for lunch!)
But I don’t agree with being cruel like the mum on St. Barts with the nanny – in my opinion, one can be strict without being cruel!!!
And I also don’t believe that enforced manners will kill any creative drive!

January 30, 2008

There MUST be a compromise. But I also tend to lean towards the “good manners approach”… at least I’d love to ..most of the times. I have to admit that I cannot stand these “young dictators” who have been led to think that the world revolves around them.
But I’m trying to educate my son without slapping or raising my voice, because I really believe that if you grow up in a “screaming” environment then you’ll tend to scream once your an adult.
It just needs soooo much patience, which sometimes I do not have.

oh…and I also think that l’heure de l’adulte is essential for the sanity of the parents!

January 31, 2008

I have to admit that my patience runs out every now and then, and I SCREAM! I do admire you for trying not to raise your voice – to me it seems that I am nowadays constantly speaking with a raised voice…!

January 31, 2008

Gosh, me too!
Lately, either the baby is crying because the 2-year-old is torturing him, or the 2-year-old is crying because he’s in a time-out, or I’m screaming at the 2-year-old for being bad.
There is no calm moment in this house right now.
And this can NOT be good for anyone. 🙂

October 29, 2008

I lived in Lyon now – I tend to see these French moms in expensive restaurants… My son’s 2.5 years old, he goes to these restaurants, eats nicely, then he’s allowed to run around. I love the way the other kids and the other moms look at him – pure envy!

I believe in a good mix – I love going out with my kid to nice places, but I won’t expect him to act more than his age.

PS: I do not use sweatpants in park either though! Ha Ha!

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