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Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting Hardcover – Feb 7 2012


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Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting + Bébé Day by Day: 100 Keys to French Parenting + French Kids Eat Everything (And Yours Can, Too)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Press HC, The; 1 edition (Feb. 7 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781594203336
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594203336
  • ASIN: 1594203334
  • Product Dimensions: 16.1 x 2.6 x 23.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 499 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #6,676 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

“Marvelous . . . Like Julia Child, who translated the secrets of French cuisine, Druckerman has investigated and distilled the essentials of French child-rearing. . . . Druckerman provides fascinating details about French sleep training, feeding schedules and family rituals. But her book's real pleasures spring from her funny, self-deprecating stories. Like the principles she examines, Druckerman isn't doctrinaire.”
(NPR)

Bringing Up Bébé is a must-read for parents who would like their children to eat more than white pasta and chicken fingers.”

(Fox News)

“On questions of how to live, the French never disappoint. . . . Maybe it all starts with childhood. That is the conclusion that readers may draw from Bringing Up Bébé.”

(The Wall Street Journal)

“French women don't have little bags of emergency Cheerios spilling all over their Louis Vuitton handbags. They also, Druckerman notes, wear skinny jeans instead of sweatpants.The world arguably needs more kids who don't throw food.”

(Chicago Tribune)

“I’ve been a parent now for more than eight years, and—confession—I’ve never actually made it all the way through a parenting book. But I found Bringing Up Bébé to be irresistible."

(Slate) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Pamela Druckerman is a former staff reporter for The Wall Street Journal, where she covered foreign affairs. She has also written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Marie Claire, and appeared on The Today Show and NPR's Morning Edition. Her previous book, Lust in Translation, was translated into eight languages. She has a master's degree in international affairs from Columbia. She lives in Paris.

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35 of 38 people found the following review helpful By A. Volk #1 REVIEWER#1 HALL OF FAME on Feb. 10 2012
Format: Hardcover
This book is about comparing French to American parenting, but Canadians are similar enough to the latter for it to still work for us. The book is more of a biography than it is a serious or scientific exploration of cross-cultural parenting. Druckerman does introduce evidence here and there, but for the most part it's all anecdotes about how the French parent, and why it's superior to American parenting. As another reviewer wrote, it's like she was wearing beer goggles for French parenting as virtually everything she describes is new and amazing- to her.

Because much of what the French do is ambivalent, familiar, or undesirable. For example, not getting involved with their children on the playground. Yes, it's nice to talk to other parents, and most Canadian parents do, but it's also fun to get involved with your kids and play. Soon enough they won't want to be anywhere near you, so I figure it's good to get the in fun while you can. I can understand wanting and taking a break, but I don't understand never getting involved either. Familiar in that parents should impose limits, like introducing vegetables and fruits first in snacks or meals so children face them when they are most hungry. Or that schedules can help children run more smoothly. That's all pretty familiar, and certainly not uniquely French. Some of it may be undesirable as in training children to sleep alone by 10 weeks (what if you like co-sleeping? and it sounds a lot like Ferberizing) or stopping breast feeding by 10 weeks. While I appreciate it's not for everyone, I think the medical science is unanimous that breastfeeding longer than that is advisable if you can do it.

There are some good things to learn, such as teaching children to be more restrained and polite, particularly in public.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mark Nenadov TOP 1000 REVIEWER on Jan. 25 2013
Format: Hardcover
Parents wanting to raise their kids thoughtfully and learn from different cultures will likely find this book helpful and entertaining. It's a memoir by an American expatriate mother living in France, documenting her investigation of French parenting.

It's not that I necessarily agree with everything here. I don't think that's the point. The idea isn't that the French do parenting perfectly or that everyone should thoughtlessly copy them. Rather, the point is that while some French parenting practices may seem foreign to Americans, many of them really make sense and are very helpful and amazingly successful. And there is some clear evidence of better results.

Unlike many parenting books and memoirs, this book is actually written in a skillful, fun and fresh way. It is intimate and emotional but not overly sentimental either. Even though it describes a mom's perspective, dads can enjoy it too! In fact, even if you never have had, and never will have, any children, it's unlikely you'll find this dull!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By cr on April 11 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a father to be that has lived in Paris recently, I've loved this read! Almost every observation about french life is in line with my (and my partner's) experience living there. I did see a bit more drama and emotion from women than as described in the book, but the almost mystical relationships that mothers have with their children (easily observable on the metro) is wonderful. I appreciated seeing children so well behaved and lovely in public places, and marvelled at how mothers and children would speak inches away from each other's faces for an entire train ride. This seemed both intimate and a good way to allow a child to speak about the day, with control and quiet even in a noisy environment. Druckerman fills the pages with observations like these, and unravels some of the mysteries behind french parenting. There are so many things that are just expected that people know in everyday life, so being there can be an exercise in feeling stunned. Its refreshing and a bit empowering knowing that there are concrete techniques for bringing up ones child that don't feel like a constant struggle in sleep and social dept... this book above all will help to keep your sense of humor amidst it all. Thanks Pamela for writing it!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Hope Slope on May 8 2013
Format: Hardcover
Drukerman's account of French parenting resonated fiercely with me. For perhaps the first time since my first child was born, I do not feel philosophically alone in my parenting values. Although I am but half way through the book, in chapter after chapter I feel, for the first time, that my innate style of parenting isn't substandard, even inherently bad; I feel some sense of validation. I have spent the last 8 years on the receiving end of judging glances, and passive aggressive comments with respect to my parental strictness and permissiveness in various areas - feeling utterly alone in my sense of what my role as a parent should be. I have felt so insecure about my beliefs that I have actually modified my parenting methods. As such, I now fear (how American of me) that I have irreparably damaged my children. My genuine sense though, is that it isn't too late. My hope is that reading 'Bringing Up Bebe' will provide the reassurance I had been looking for and henceforth, I will be able to help steer my children toward actualization as responsible citizens of the earth.
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