Parenting! The French Way

Pamela Druckerman, an American mom living in France with her British husband noticed that French parents had an easier time of it than American parents.

In the genes? She didn’t think so. After studying the situation quite extensively, she came up with a lot of very useful information. Two of her findings struck me as being extremely helpful.

1. The French say what they mean and mean what they say. Many of you may recognize the concept as “When French parents speak, children listen!” In addition, they even use their eyes to speak. It really works.

2. The French are not familiar with the word “discipline.” They use the concept “educate.” They spend day and night educating their children to follow directions and behave well. In our culture you may know this concept as “You are your child’s first and most important teacher.”


  1. Here’s another part of the concept that is just great! They use the word “frame.” Each day has pivotal parts to it around which everything else revolves. These are non-negotiable and serve to provide both structure and calmness to the day. Of course, everyone makes their own “frame”, but culturally they include wake-up routines, fixed mealtimes, and wind-down activities. Here’s a fun way to think about it… “The secret of the schedule!”

  2. This “frame” has extraordinary powers and serves to solve many problems even before they start. Obesity is a big one. Three meals a day and a scheduled snack around 4:30 pm work well to limit eating. By ensuring that children are hungry when mealtime rolls around, this routine makes it more likely that children will eat their planned and balanced meals. In addition, limiting the opportunity to be comforted by food on-demand also attacks overeating from a different angle.

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