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Why French Children Don't Talk Back Paperback – 13 Sep 2012

15 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: John Murray (13 Sept. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848547129
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848547124
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 1.9 x 23.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 683,217 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

'Drawing on the example of her French friends, her book highlights the mad intensity of some Anglo/American child-rearing techniques, reveals some gems of French wisdom, and tries to tread a path between the two' (Mslexia)

'Wittily written and peppered with amusing anecdotes gleaned from her own social circle...it never dictates, but merely suggests, and provides a persuasive alternative to the increasingly child-centric British way of raising kids' (Press Association)

Compelling (Evening Standard)

Book Description

If there's no blood, don't get up.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. K. A. Smurthwaite on 23 Jan. 2013
Format: Paperback
I've never been much of a one for parenting books, but as a mother of an increasingly cheeky four-year-old boy (I swear, he was perfect before he went to nursery school!), I found myself intrigued by the title, and being something of a Francophile, I thought in for a cent, in for a Euro, as it were!

I was pleased to discover a very common sense approach presented on the pages! It really is all just straight forward advice on setting boundaries for your children in a way they will understand, while not driving yourself crazy and drinking yourself into oblivion every night after the bedtime battle lasts several hours (fortunately, the bedtime battle is one we've never had to fight, as our son has always had a very strict bedtime routine).

As it turns out, our parenting approach is particularly, well, French, I suppose! We already did quite a lot of the things mentioned in the book, such as insisting on proper manners and having good behaviour when we eat out, however I decided to try a little experiment in some other areas and to my surprise, after only a few days, they are already beginning to work! Suddenly our son no longer has an outburst when we tell him that no, he cannot watch a second film in one day or have the television on in the background! In fact, just yesterday he watched The Wizard of Oz then asked to watch Mary Poppins as soon as it was finished. When I replied that he had already watched one film and one was all he was allowed, he shrugged and said, "OK, Mummy. Can we have some music on instead please?" Another rule we've suddenly implemented is no sweets except at the weekend.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By EAF on 24 Mar. 2014
Format: Paperback
The tone of this book is kind of annoying - regardless of the lessons she's learned from the French, the author still comes across as a New-York-annoying style mom - with twee lessons that don't go enough into depth and/or don't have much sympathy for the child. I read it and was more mildly irritated at the end, rather than empowered.

Instead of this book, I'd strongly recommend French Children Don't Throw Food, by Pamela Druckerman (which I bought and then swapped with my friend's copy of this book). That book is much better researched and gives much better insight into the thinking and cultural reasons behind French parenting, and is written by a mom actually living in France.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mario Bianco on 27 Nov. 2013
Format: Paperback
French recipes usually come in cooking books, but this one is about children education and simplifies everything to the point where young parents will close it and think 'I get it, my children will never misbehave now that I know.' Good luck with that. Nothing is that simple and a few tips won't infuse you with the right attitude.
Overall yes: considering a child as someone you can talk to like you would with an adult and letting lots of liberty inside of the limits established since birth clearly makes them more mature than in countries where anything is granted immediately. Not over-protecting them makes everyone's life easier as well. But after 300 pages you are left with the impression that voila the cake is baked, end of story. Not so much substance after all.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Wayne Krenchicki on 13 Sept. 2012
Format: Paperback
Where oh where was this lovely, entertaining book when my kids were just born? It's rare that a reader can find real, valuable information in a book that reads as funny and fun as this one. If you are a parent, get it now. If not, get it for your friends with kids. It'll make their year.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read and loved 'Why French children don't throw food' so was curious to see if this added anything, which it does, since the first book is much more about French culture whereas this is very much more practical.

I have already implemented much of the advice with great results! It's just good to get rid of that nagging voice which says 'you're being mean to your child' and remind yourself that you are there to teach them to become reasonable adults by instilling a framework of discipline and polite effective communication rather than trying to make them happy in individual instances. Saying 'no' and meaning it makes for a much nicer experience when you're out and about when they ask for e.g. ice-cream and hour before lunch. If they know 'no means no' they give up immediatley which means no whining or tears.

Excellent!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Catherine Fraser on 9 Aug. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book provdies sound, logical advice on how the bring up your children. Some advice is not to my preference but like most things you take with a pinch of salt.

I like the book as a whole but not keen on the way she has decided to write it.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By girlmarlowe on 19 Sept. 2012
Format: Paperback
i fear isis missed the point of this super sharp book, which is very clearly not to idealize the french style of parenting (or demonize its american counterpart), but simply to make an insightful and entertaining comparison. crawford identifies the brilliant and ridiculous methods and tendencies on both sides, and she does it in an appealing, irreverent way that avoids the off-putting "aren't-children-a-beautiful-miracle!" preciousness of many parenting-type books. ultimately i was left feeling inspired to a) make an attempt at not taking the whole thing too seriously and b) to drink more wine, and who can argue with either of those as morals to a story?
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