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The Country That Raises the Most Well-Behaved Children?

The Country That Raises the Most Well-Behaved Children?

Are kids rather than parents ruling the roost in American families? And are we all worse off for it?

In her soon-to-be-published book, Bringing Up Bébé, American author Pamela Druckerman, who has lived in France for ten years, contends that French children are better-behaved than American children.

She explains it this way: the French generally don't subvert their identities to the lives of their children and they expect their kids to adapt to the grown-up world (and not the other way around). As a result, French moms don't suffer the same guilt most American moms do, they are more relaxed... and their kids are more independent.

Et voila! Read the whole story (Huffington Post)

Do you think American parents can learn anything from the French?

Image Source: Bringing Up Bébé

Join The Conversation
MarleneAkinsiku MarleneAkinsiku 5 years
Caribbean children are well trained to be respectfull to all others especially the seniors and parents.
MichelleMayes MichelleMayes 5 years
Studies like this are always interesting, but are of course one sided. There are good points - from an early age I've taken my daughter out to restaurants and the like and she knows what expected behavior is. It shocked me to go out with some of her friends and their parents are learn that it apparently wasn't the norm! She has some activities but I have some and yes, I discuss that sometimes she does something she doesn't like just because I want to do it. I work full time but still take a night a week to do something I want rather than rushing home. Some would tell me that makes me a bad parent. I would counter that not subjugating everything to her makes me a good one, it shows her you can still be you while being a parent.
ShanonPatterson ShanonPatterson 5 years
my only complaint is you are claiming the French raise the most well-behaved children, but have you lived and raised children in other countries besides American? I agree that we shouldn't turn our complete lives over the the children or be at their beckon-call for every whim and to be more consistent with our children, but to claim only France as the best irritated me. I have heard many stories from different countries, and each seems to have a different (and seemingly better) way of raising (in certain situations, etc), so I take offense for all the other countries that have been neglected in this research.
Nera2525 Nera2525 5 years
I was born in Croatia(part of former Yugoslavia) and was reised beliving that some respect is automaticaly given to a child, but the rest had to be erned. When it was play time I was treated as a child and the rest of the time as a person. I got spanked on my but few times a year, but got to admit in retrospect that I deserved it. We had a small self sustaining farm and chores were part of my life from age 5, if I made a mistake it was corrected usualy with help of my grandmother, when I did good it was recognised and revorded. My mom was a single parent and we lived with her mom, my grandmother and few other members of the family and that helped me to understand how discipline realy works. My mom let me get away with almost anything, where my grandmother was very strict disciplinarian and I actualy enjoyed her being like that but always questioned if my mom realy cared about me. What I am traying to say is that I experienced both Europian and American style of upbringing at the same time, my grandmothers Europian one wins hands down over my mothers. Grandma made me feel safe, loved, wanted, needed and apriciated all the time, but when it came to my mom I felt somewhat abondoned and unloved and it did not matter that she told me I Love You every day. I have very high self asteem thanks to my grandmother, giving me praise when praise was due and discipline when needed, she also told me that only sky was the limit no matter what. She could not read or write, but was still very smart and revered by many people and they looked to her for guidance. Most of the time she treated me as a person and I went every where with her all the time, even to city hall and court, and yes I sat there polite and quiet while she went about her buisnes. I live now in Canada and my girls were born and raised here the same way I was, people use to compliment me on what litle ladies a had, now i get compliments on my grandson what a nice (13) boy he is. Childrens self esteem is not built by praise but encuragment and discipline and most of all by making them realise why they make mistake and not belitleing them for it. You can encourage them to be best they can be without bribe but by apriciating them and teaching them to apricate everything in life. Life is a leason that is never finished or learned. We should also teach our children to treat others the same way they want to be treated.
NatalieFrisbie NatalieFrisbie 5 years
As far as I've seen, almost every country has more well-behaved children than we do in America. Not all are guilty, but the majority of American parents have sold out to the "high self esteem" issue, and forgotten all about the fact that high self esteem will get you nowhere if you don't also learn that you are not the only person on this earth. I've encouraged my children to take pride in what they've worked hard to accomplish, but I have also taught them about things like courtesy and helping others. Unfortunately, most don't, which is why we now have a nation of children and young adults who feel no one matters as much as they do.
TiffanySmith24769 TiffanySmith24769 5 years
This is how I have always raised my kids! I dont believe in dumbing down for my children, I believe if they want to survive in our dog eat dog culture and society, they are going to have to learn to adapt to things they may not always understand. I have always been told that my children are the most behaved kids that someone has met, because my children understand the adult world and understand manners!
TiffanyAmberStockton TiffanyAmberStockton 5 years
Oh, and I love the remark made here about adults being "shielded" from children in public. We take our children out to eat, to the salon, to the bank, to the store, etc. And we keep a tight rein on them. I don't apologize if my children are being children, and if I get nasty looks from other adults, I simply smile and say, "have a nice day!" :) This "separatist" stuff irks me. Completely destroys the concept of family...and that's one of the real problems these days.
TiffanyAmberStockton TiffanyAmberStockton 5 years
Some interesting findings and concepts, but I'm not sure I agree with generalizing an entire culture or country. Sure, there's a shift in America (at least according to the media) of kids ruling the roost and being raised with an entitlement attitude. However, that's due to the parents. And I know quite a few parents who don't allow their children to take charge. I agree with expecting children to adapt to the "adult" world, and I do it with my own 2. Sure, I've made changes in my life when it wasn't going to work to take my children with me, but my life didn't stop when my babies were born. "Growing Kids Gods Way" and "Parenting Isn't for Cowards" are both excellent books for raising children to be healthy, whole, and well-adapted adults when they're older. We need to discipline consistently and children need the boundaries.
LauraWilson55202 LauraWilson55202 5 years
Interesting, but while we can learn some from the parenting in other cultures, we can't forget that the influence of the culture in general. European cultures also have different expectations for education and labor. Paid maternal and paternal leaves are more common as are longer vacations and shorter work weeks are just a few examples. It all makes a difference.
SMiller77351 SMiller77351 5 years
Very interesting. This sounds exactly like Jean Liedloff's "The Continuum Concept" -- book that has dramatically changed the way I viewed my children. Liedloff spent 2 1/2 years living in the South American jungle living with Stone Age Indians who hadn't been influenced by modern society at all. Though the infants and young children were carried around 24/7 (while adults went about their daily chores), never placed in cribs/playpens, and not catered to or "baby talked" to, they were whole, confident, capable individuals from a very early age. In fact, they didn't even cry. She describes the one time they heard a crying infant and how the entire village stopped what they were doing to see what was wrong since it was such a shocking sound to them. Fascinating to think about how we've changed our view of seeing babies/children over the generations. I didn't agree 100% with all her conclusions, but the descriptions and experiences she shared were *very* helpful.
MistyColeman18003 MistyColeman18003 5 years
If their children are so well behaved then why are the adults so rude? The French are notoriously rude!
BeaWray BeaWray 5 years
Gary and Ann Ezzo provided the same great advice in "Growing Kids Gods Way" along with other Biblical truths that have guided families since the beginning of time
JamieLamberson JamieLamberson 5 years
European parents also have a tendency to include their children in more aspects of their lives, dinner at nice restaurants, etc. It's this expectation that we adults should be shielded from children in public, and vice versa that causes a problem. How are children supposed to learn to behave in public if they are only subjected to "child appropriate" activities?
KandiLingle KandiLingle 5 years
Honestly that's the way it should be. When we raise our children with the expectation that our lives revolve around them, things are askew.
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