Readers Advisory: Book Review, “Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting” by Pamela Druckerman, Abby Craden

 bringingupbebeThe secret behind France’s astonishingly well-behaved children.

When American journalist Pamela Druckerman has a baby in Paris, she doesn’t aspire to become a “French parent.” French parenting isn’t a known thing, like French fashion or French cheese. Even French parents themselves insist they aren’t doing anything special.

With a notebook stashed in her diaper bag, Druckerman-a former reporter for The Wall Street Journal-sets out to learn the secrets to raising a society of good little sleepers, gourmet eaters, and reasonably relaxed parents. She discovers that French parents are extremely strict about some things and strikingly permissive about others. And she realizes that to be a different kind of parent, you don’t just need a different parenting philosophy. You need a very different view of what a child actually is.

While finding her own firm non, Druckerman discovers that children-including her own-are capable of feats she’d never imagined.


4 Stars

I enjoyed reading about a different cultures expectation’s about raising children, and how French culture permeates all aspects of life. A very different world than the US’s melting pot of parenting book sections.

She describes an interesting, statistically backed alternative style to parenting that I have never been exposed to. Much of it fits in with my own feelings about parenting (firm boundaries with freedom within those boundaries, and clear expectations) while other parts of it rub me the wrong way (such as not playing with your kids on the playground- I want another shot at the swings!).

It doesn’t seem to me that she endorses either type of parenting, but rather encourages the reader to look at a different point of view.

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