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Do your children run your life? Learn something from the French…

Do you find yourself:

  1. Constantly obsessing over your children? (i.e. their activities, whereabouts, are you parenting well, are they learning, are they in the right school, are they involved in enough activities)
  2. Wondering if your discipline is effective?
  3. Pondering if your child or children could make it five minutes without you?
  4. Drained thinking you have to do it all or they may not amount to anything?

Many parents, including myself have pondered in some degree all of the above. But what if there was an easier way to parent, to create healthy and secure children and to… miraculously, have time and energy to spare!

I recently came across a fun article in the Wall Street journal by Pamela Druckerman titled “Why French Parents Are Superior”. I learned a few great values that the French adopt as a culture that could relieve much of the stress, pressure and responsibility we as American culture place on ourselves.

A few things the French do:

  • Teach and practice delayed gratification
  • Expect common respect for others and parents
  • Allow parent time, where children may be present but it is not all about them
  • Education rather than discipline
  • Set and enforce boundaries that are firm but delivered with love and deliberateness
  • Practiced patience
  • Create a presence as parents and leaders/authorities
  • Designate meal and snack times AND remain consistent
  • They are not afraid to say “no.”

The outcome, children are more likely to:

  • Be more independent
  • Demonstrate patience
  • Play and interact independently
  • Rely less on your constant attention and entertainment
  • Be more secure

Read more about how the French parent.

 

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