49 of 57 people found the following review helpful
Interesting, Well-Researched, Thoughtful,
This review is from: French Children Don't Throw Food (Hardcover)This is a well-researched, well thought-out book about the philosophical differences between the Anglophone and the French approach to raising children. I found it very thought-provoking, especially as a Mother of three small and boisterous boys.
Obviously the cultural structures (Creche/School/Food culture etc) that support the French approach to parenting aren't available here in Western Australia (!) But Pamela's discussion of the need for children to wait; the idea of the certainty of the cadre inside which children have freedom; the notion of trusting your children more; of respecting their rationality; of not beating oneself up about perceived failures of Mothering - these were all a-ha ! moments for me. She refers often to French experts on parenting who are quite simply unheard of in the Anglophone world (and unavailable in translation - like Francoise Dolto) and she also refers to the influence of Rousseau on the French approach to parenting.
I am about to re-read my Kindle version again, and take notes this time. I can't implement all of the ideas that she discusses - I don't have the level of support that she does; but I do like the idea of calmer, more confident children.
This book has a confiding, chatty tone that is extremely pleasant to read. I don't have a problem if she is rich (two writers ? I doubt it !) or if she lives in a certain area in Paris, or moves in certain circles - I'm a middle-class professional myself (or was, before I became a SAHM - and having read this book am now thinking quite hard about that as well). I don't think that the points that she makes are any less valid because of her perceived social status.
I think it is a little harsh to attack such a useful and thoughtful book on the basis that she has only covered the areas of French parenting that she is familiar with, and from the perspective that she is familiar with. She hasn't discussed the issues of raising a teenager in a working class suburb of Lyons because she has no experience of that and it seems pointless to me to attack her for only covering what she knows. She doesn't discuss teenagers much either - again because her children are only very young....
Don't be put off reading this book - it offers not only a thoughtful critique of the differences in approach to parenting, but also an analysis of how to implement those aspects of the French approach that you find appealing, in detail.