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Dear British (and U.S.) Moms: Be More French?

Jemima Lewis writes in The Telegraph:

British women need to toughen up to match the French.

Good Lord, is there anything French women don’t do better than us? First we’re told that French Women Don’t Get Fat; now another hit book, entitled French Children Don’t Throw Food, invites us to marvel at their parenting skills. Written by Pamela Druckerman – an American mother of three, who lives in Paris with her English husband – it examines why French children (unlike ours) commonly sleep through the night at two months, eat adult food without complaint and don’t behave badly in public; and why their mothers (unlike us) manage to look so chic and sexy.

The answer, it seems, is to toughen up. From birth, the French teach their babies self-discipline. A French infant is more likely than a British one to be left to “self-soothe” at night. Picky eaters are given no quarter. You don’t eat your tripes à la mode de Caen? You go to bed hungry. Tantrums are likely to be met with a smacked bottom (something the British middle-classes now regard with horror); schools favour learning by rote; and children are seen but not heard. Because their children are better behaved, mothers have more time to themselves in which to co-ordinate their lingerie and stay thin.

The rest here.

French mothers, “Tiger” mothers, it’s all so confusing. How about more common-sense moms?


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