Wednesday, March 7, 2012

brining up bebe

I got a small package from home the other week (my momma is sweet like that) and inside was an article from the WSJ about a new French parenting book called Bringing Up Bebe. I hadn't heard anything about it, but after a quick read I signed on to good ole amazon and ordered myself a copy. Once I picked it up I couldn't put it down. I found myself completely obsessed, reading lines out loud to hubs (which he loves of course) and even marking pages to come back to. Maybe it's the new parent in me, looking for all the help I can get! Or maybe it just really hit home with how I want to be. Anyway, I dug it. I loved hearing the author describe a different cultures views on parenting. I think it's fascinating. I went online to see if other people were talking about it and boy howdy, were they ever - kinda negative stuff. Hot topic for sure. So, I'm jumping on the bandwagon and sharing my thoughts.

I didn't take the whole French thing soooo seriously. It's one persons observations and most of the tips are common sense and good, plain parenting. Still, I thought it was a great read and I think we can always learn from other people. My favorite chapter was "the perfect mother doesn't exist" which is all about how the deal with mommy guilt (going back to work, daycare) and balancing work, parenting, being a wife, etc. Totally different over there! "The French also talk about the equilibrium. But they mean it differently. For them, it's about not letting any one part of life - including parenting - overwhelm the rest."

Anyway, here's some more stuff that I underlined, but what I really want to know is… have you read it & what do you think? To all my momma friends out there, please read and then call and let's discuss. And then we could plan a trip to Paris while we're at it. Macaroons, champagne, galleries - we could call it research for a future post. I'd love to know what you're thinking for real.

"genuinely listening to your child, but not feeling that you must bend to their wills".

"excessive praise distorts children's motivations; they begin doing things merely to hear the praise, losing sight of the intrinsic enjoyment"

"I think you need to leave kids a bit of liberty, let their personalities show"

"French parents treat their vegetables with a whole different level of intention and commitment. They describe the taste of each vegetable and talk about their child's first encounter with celery or leeks as the start of a lifelong friendship."

"She doesn't worry too much about how much Lucie eats. But she insists that Lucie has at least one bite of every dish on her plate." "… in France, everyone eats the same dinner. There are no choices or substitutions."


  1. Okay, so I read this over a course of 3 AM feedings the first week or so Miss Priss and I were home from the hospital, so I will probably need to read it again at some point. However, I really enjoyed it. I don't know about your experience, but I feel like among my group of friends at least, parenting is a bit more laid back yet strict, than the experiences of American parenting that she describes- maybe it's a smaller town Southern thing to be a little less into "attachment parenting"? What do you think? Anyway, picky eaters are the BANE of my existence (pretty much guaranteeing that Dell Harper will subsist only on noodle with butter or some such nonsense), so I really enjoyed the parts about food. Also, I liked the "cadre"- my mom was like that, where we had the freedom to use our imaginations, yet had boundaries of how we needed to behave and treat others. I need to tell her how chic her style of raising us was! One other concept that I am digging when I am trying to keep Miss Priss down for a nap? THE PAUSE! Haha, okay, I might need to just send you an e-mail!

  2. I am intrigued... might have to sign onto Amazon to order. I'll keep you posted.

    And a research trip to Paris sounds perfect!