In my quest for parenting knowledge, I came across an article that someone posted on Facebook (I've tried finding it again but can't) comparing American children to other cultures. My understanding of this article was that our kids are spoiled, disrespectful, self-absorbed, impulsive, and aren't capable of reacting appropriately to hearing "no," while children in many other coutries are well-behaved, responsible, and respectful. I don't necessarily agree with such broad generalizations and, as a teacher, I have known many kids that do not fit this American characterization...but I have to admit, I've also seen many who fit the description to a T (and I have a parlyzing fear that my child will turn into one of them). The article also made a reference to French parenting which resulted in googling which resulted in spending $25.95 on this book.
|After a little more research I found out I'm about six months behind (story of my life) and this book was "highly anticipated" earlier this year. So unless you're living under a rock like me, you've probably already heard of it.|
- Most French babies sleep through the night around 2 or 3 months old. Say what?!
- Children are taught how to wait for things. For example, their parents' attention or dinner at a restaurant.
- It is important for children to learn to play by themselves. The parents should not have to constantly provide entertainment.
- Kids eat what parents cook. No one will prepare you an extra meal of chicken nuggets and mac and cheese.
But reading this did raise a question for me about the overall attitude of the two different cultures when it comes to parenting. According to the book, the French seem to have a more laid-back yet firm approach that encourages children to be independent at a very young (most Americans would probably say too young) age but leaves no question as to what the child's boundaries are and who is in charge...and, shockingly, everything doesn't revolve around the child. Yet, it seems to me, many Americans are all about giving our children our undivided attention at all times and providing them with whatever they want when they want it...and then feeling guilty when we find that's impossible. Again, I'm speaking of my observations of the overall attitude...I know not everyone thinks this way. But my question is this: Are you viewed as a "selfish parent" if you don't subscribe to this type of American parenting? Or, do people raise their children this way because it is fulfilling some need to have another person be completely dependent on them? And isn't that, in a way, selfish also?
I am not saying one way is right and one is wrong...just very interesting contrasts. I think this probably confused me more than anything, but like I said, I couldn't put it down. I would love to know anyone else's opinion on this or thoughts on parenting in general. I'm sure for the first few months J and I will just be wingin' it!
Now, I'm off to read about breastfeeding...but don't worry...I'm not planning to post about it.