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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: 23.6 x 16 x 2.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 499 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,293 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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33 of 36 people found the following review helpful By A. Volk #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWER 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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4 of 4 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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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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Barb M. on March 10 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a good book for those interested in human psychology.
The perspective is an American mother bringing up her 2 children in Paris - contrasting the way the two cultures raise their children.
The French culture which emphasizes a "Frame" or boundaries a child must have in politeness, socialization and self-control. The child is not the center of the family, but expected to be a contributing member to the whole. It contributes well to the child's sense of security. Creativity is also emphasized.
This is contrasted with the American perspective where the child is more the center of attention and expected to achieve academically from a young age. Whereas there is more intellectual stimulation, the focus is more on the needs of self and the child may be less socially motivated.
A very interesting read, especially for parents or expecting parents. There are definite advantages to raising one's child with the French (Parisien) paradigm.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Leah on July 3 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I loved this book in every way: good writing, a helpful glossary to start and return to as needed, fascinating information about how North American children are raised in comparison to French children. Not a how-to book but a series of acute and practical observations as the author, Druckerman, raises her own three children and negotiates the child-care system in modern day Paris. The French do it differently. According to the author, their children grow to be patient, able to entertain themselves, sleep well, eat well and play on their own. Now I'd like to read how this early upbringing is reflected in the teens.
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