Bringing Up Bebe: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting by Pamela Druckerman (2014, Penguin Books; 432 pages)
Fatherly magazine calls this a book in which the author
“recounts her experiences raising a child in Paris, where she found French kids to be way more well behaved, polite, autonomous, and willing to eat food that isn't beige and shaped like dinosaurs than their American counterparts. If that's not enough to pique your curiosity, consider this: According to Druckerman, French parents have social lives and do things like sleep and have sex.”
The book is a great read. I am childless and I enjoyed it tremendously. The author, an American journalist, describes with honesty how she discovered “the secret behind France's astonishingly well-behaved children.” The book is funny, honest, smart, insightful and provocative, one of those readings that you can't put down. The writer engages the reader with her prose and her premise about how parents of all cultures should be able to learn from one another. The fact that she is an American in France brings us a fantastic bicultural point of view.
From the book:
"When I talk to American parents about sleep, science rarely comes up. Faced with so many different and seemingly valid sleep philosophies, the one they ultimately choose seems like a matter of taste. But once I get French parents talking, they mention sleep cycles, circadian rhythms, and sommeil paradoxal. (…) When French parents pause, they do it consistently and confidently. They're making informed decisions based on their understanding of how babies sleep. Behind this is an important philosophical difference. French parents believe it's their job to gently teach babies how to sleep well (…). They don't view being up half the night with an eight month old as a sign of parental commitment.(...) The French believe, as we do, that their children are beautiful and special. But they also realize that some things about them are just biological. Before we assume that our own children sleep like no others, we should probably think about science.”
I recommend this book to both parents and non parents. It is a joyful reading and also a great way to learn about parenting in different cultures.
Find this title in our catalog: Bringing Up Bebe
Recommended by: Maite