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French Children Don't Throw Food [Kindle Edition]

Pamela Druckerman
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (188 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £7.99
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Book Description

The book everyone is talking about: how the French manage to raise well-behaved children, and have a life!
Who hasn’t noticed how well-behaved French children are, compared to our own?
*How come French babies sleep through the night?
*Why do French children happily eat what is put in front of them?
*How can French mothers chat to their friends while their children play quietly?
*Why are French mothers more likely to be seen in skinny jeans than tracksuit bottoms?

'Fascintating...gripping...extremely funny...I loved it. It made me want to move to Paris' - India Knight, Sunday Times
‘Her book should be dispensed on prescription’ -Spectator

Product Description


"Fascinating... gripping... extremely funny... A desperately needed corrective to received wisdom about child-rearing and what having children is supposed to do to a woman's sense of self. I loved it. It made me want to move to Paris" (India Knight The Sunday Times)

"Self-deprecating, witty, informative... But however much she admires "the easy, calm authority" French parents seem to posess, will Druckerman manage it herself? Her efforts to do so add a compelling narrative to this fascinating study of French parenting" (Michele Hanson Guardian)

"Observant, dryly entertaining... In recounting how her three children went native, Druckerman is engagingly self-deprecating... This book is worth its price for the crucial information it reveals about how to win the sleep wars" (Amanda Craig Daily Mail)

"Fascinating and enlightening... Druckerman's observations struck me as Eureka discoveries that could improve interaction between adults and children here" (The Lady)

"I couldn't put it down! Smart, funny, provocative, and genuinely eye-opening" (Amy Chua, Author Of "Battle Hymn Of The Tiger Mother")

Book Description

The number one Sunday Times bestseller, the book all parents are talking about.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 816 KB
  • Print Length: 372 pages
  • Publisher: Transworld Digital (19 Jan. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006TF6VBC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (188 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #10,082 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Pamela Druckerman is a journalist and the author of Bringing Up Bébé (The Penguin Press: 2012); the UK edition of the same book, called French Children Don't Throw Food (Doubleday UK: 2012); and Lust In Translation (The Penguin Press: 2007). She was a staff reporter at The Wall Street Journal and has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Observer, the Financial Times and Marie Claire. She has appeared as a commentator on the Today Show,, BBC Women's Hour, National Public Radio, Public Radio International, Al Jazeera International, France24 and CNBC. Her website is

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Makes you think 4 Aug. 2013
By KatyBee
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book - it was written with humour, but interesting observations on different approaches to child-rearing in Britain/America and France. I wish I had read the bit about ignoring wakeful spells in their sleeping when my children were young -and I might have managed a full night's sleep before my eldest was five years old and the youngest two and a half!
Lots of the ideas put forward as used by French parents were thought-provoking, like making them wait before responding to their demands, not 'pushing' them or expecting too much of them - but my children have grown up into successful, friendly, sociable adults and the writer seems to find many French adults distant and unfriendly and we know that the French have a reputation for disliking authority, so which way is right?
Most children grow into youngsters who eat a variety of foods and don't throw their food at the table so why worry?
A good read though.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Practical Advice for parents & caregivers 9 April 2012
By Yoshi
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I really like this book because it breaks down, in a very practical way, what it is that the French are doing to end up with children that don't need constant stimulation, and attention, don't constantly interrupt, eat well, etc. The book is basically telling us that the French (in general) have a more common-sense approach towards child rearing & haven't lost the plot or balance (as most in Anglophone countries have).
What I observe in English speaking countries is parents that don't feel comfortable in their authority. They allow their children to rule the roost, giving them way to much choice, power & control, wrongly believing that this is being 'nice' or 'good' to their child. The reality is that they're teaching the child that they should always be 'consulted' in every decision, always get their own way, and as a result they experience problems in school, with other children, etc. The book rightly asserts that parents need to be in charge, to say no, and very importantly, to delay gratification (i.e. teach them to wait & have patience).

The book also shows how most French parents handle guilt differently - Anglophone's tend to feel guilty for everything (working, going out, etc.) In contrast, the French culture believes(rightly) that parent's should work if they want or need to, and that they are entitled to time as a couple, and plenty of time away from the child/ren. They recognise that they will still be a couple after the child/ren leave/s home & they try not to neglect their relationship. It's all about balance & I think it's spot on! It's a must-read for all parents in Anglophone countries - & beyond!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By Cali
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Being myself French, I got this book offered by my British mother in law for my first pregnancy. It's the only book I've read (I wasn't intending to read any book at all before I got it) and I've found it very reassuring as it more or less summaries the way I was brought up and the way I want to bring up my children.
My husband (he is British) also read it so we were on the same page. We've clearly used the "pause" technique right from the beginning, and we were lucky that our daughter started sleeping through the night from the age of 5 weeks old (understanding from 00:00 until 6:00am and progressively increasing until 10-11 hours in a row at night). I am pregnant again, I am going to read his book again and I'll see if we are as lucky the second time.
I am living in UK, and I am amazed by the fact that it is expected for parents to be sleep depraved for years and years until their kids finally are able to sleep through the night.
Yes there are French stereotypes (I think there are also anglosaxon/american stereotypes as well), but it is overall a very nice, funny and easy book to read. Full of common sense and reassuring from my point of view.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By Isey
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The reviews I had read here almost put me off this book. Then the opening chapter made me think the author and I were polar opposites.. She loves ' best friends guide to pregnancy' and I hated it,, she didn't like ' what to expect when you're expecting' but I liked it.
I read this just before I (an Irish woman) moved from the UK to Luxembourg. I had a 20 month old with another on the way. It gave me a great insight to how the French regard upbringing their children... And the Luxembourgers aren't dissimilar. The crèches are run in the same way, with particular regard to mealtimes. I have adopted some of the advice such as little or no snacking between meals, and giving a course of vegetables before dinner while my daughter is hungry. My daughter now greets sales assistants, babysitters etc.. With bonjour, and says merci and au revoir after every interaction. Indeed as an adult, it has taught me to be more respectful and greet people in a courteous, polite manner. It's amazing the difference in experience.
I probably docked one star as its a little anecdotal, but still a good read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Practice 'The Big Eyes'! 19 May 2013
By Katharine Kirby TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
This review is from: French Children Don't Throw Food (Paperback)
A remarkable reality story, an experiment that worked well and has much to remind and teach us about parenting/child rearing. Thank you Pamela for sharing all this with us and for using your humble brand of self deprecating humour that strikes a chord with anyone involved with children day to day. I realise that the author only met a narrow circle of French parents but still their attitude was admirable, an antidote to more tiring, immersive messages on giving in to little children.

I was kindly lent this by another 'granny' friend and having roared through it I feel almost evangelical towards the 'cadre' and method by which better behaved, more socially aware, patient and calm children can be 'awakened'. The sections about mealtimes and diet were fascinating and instructive, there is something to be taken from this tale for everyone (apart from Mary Poppins).

Pass it on and there could be a collective 'shoulder dropping' mood of relaxation and enjoyment overtaking tiredness, tension, shouting, frustration and impossible servitude towards 'the child king'. I loved it and want everyone to know how good it is. Back to basics with bells on indeed. Be gentle, be calm, say Hallo, Goodbye, Please and Thank You, try the taste, acknowledge the humanity of others...
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Have a laugh whilst reading, note a few points but enjoy yourself and...
Overall, I enjoyed the read. It was fun, easy to read, and I couldn't put it down. It is not another parenting guide, it is different because it is written through an... Read more
Published 1 day ago by Tanuki
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed personal story plus insight into French parenting which rang...
Didn't want to put it down & about to reread. Enjoyed personal story plus insight into French parenting which rang true in many ways with my experience. Read more
Published 12 days ago by Z L Kyris
5.0 out of 5 stars More than just a cultural exchange
Brilliant book. It was well researched and referenced and really took a good step back and looked at our baby culture wars. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Brendan Partington
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Well written and highly entertaining.
Published 1 month ago by Nicky Turner
5.0 out of 5 stars I was recommended to read this book by a friend who's children ...
I was recommended to read this book by a friend who's children are so well behaved, so I thought I need to give it a go. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Christina von Celsing
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but repetitive and a bit of a tedious writing style
About half way through. May update later.

Interesting but repetitive and a bit of a tedious writing style.
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Junky!
5.0 out of 5 stars insightful and interesting
As an English father in Geneva expecting child number one I actually enjoyed this book. Much of it revolves around applying similar techniques that I have used to raise a very well... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Lilly
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Wish I'd ready this before having DD1
Published 2 months ago by breakwater100
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Funny and actually full of common sense!
Published 2 months ago by FelixDaCat
5.0 out of 5 stars a wounderful read.
a wounderful read. Read with pen in hand and im putting into practice some of the advice-such as letting her practice waiting and talking to her to explain whats happening
Published 3 months ago by Jade
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