Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting Hardcover – Feb 7 2012
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“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
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.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
Facts reported in Druckerman's book sometimes get in her way but she ultimately delivers an entertaining, enlightening and excellent read. Exploring everything from breastfeeding to park behaviour to spanking to sleeping habits to division of labour between the sexes, the book highlights what North Americans can learn from the French and offers some useful parenting advice.
But do the French really do it better? Giving birth and raising children is messy and confusing in any society. It's perpetual trial and error ' whether in France or elsewhere. Nowhere does a baby come with a user's manual.
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!
Most recent customer reviews
This is not only informative, but I also really enjoyed her writing style and humour. It was an easy, effortless read.Published 2 months ago by LisaB
She spends a great deal of time talking about how harsh and rude french people are and then is instructing how to raise yours kids like that?? Read morePublished 6 months ago by Erin
This copy was a unedited not for sale manuscript... DissappointingPublished 7 months ago by Shelah Brook
Hilarious!! Really gets you thinking about how we raise our kiddos!!Published 12 months ago by Grade 3 Teacher
Absolutely love this book. I've bought this for my expecting sister as well, and she loves it. It is actually making me a lot calmer and relaxed in my pregnancy right now. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Anna
Fantastic book, an entertaining account of the different styles of French and North American parenting. Though provoking and comical.Published 13 months ago by Ty Ashcroft