Catherine's Reviews > Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting

Bringing Up Bébé by Pamela Druckerman
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's review
Jan 05, 2015

liked it
bookshelves: biography-and-memoir, international
Read in May, 2012

The author and her husband move to Paris as newlyweds. As they begin a family, she researches and compares parenting styles in France v. the U.S. According to the author, most French parents focus on a few things that really matter – e.g., food, sleep, good manners, and especially delayed gratification – and are more relaxed about other things. Simplistically, it comes down to this: For the most part, in France, the parents are in charge, and teach their children the skills to make good decisions; whereas in the U.S. the trend is toward children dominating their parents’ lives, often driving their social lives and family decisions. It was interesting to read the ways that the author tried to incorporate changes into her own parenting style, which I’m sure is easier to do when the culture supports that.

Some of the chapters were a bit long-winded, but the book did not cover one topic I consider significant: how parenting styles in both countries have evolved over, say, the past 100 years.

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