Book Review: Bringing Up Bebe

featured, To Read — By on August 29, 2012 at 8:32 am

As a devoted reader of all kinds of parenting books, I have to say this one was great. It’s not just a list of how things should be done, it’s more of an anthropological survey of a way of life. The author, Pamela Druckerman, is an American who moves to France and notices that French women and families operate differently than Americans. Her observations about pregnancy are something I think most neurotic moms would love to hear– French women don’t worry about their pregnancy as much as we do, they embrace it as part of their life and they don’t overindulge. There are no cravings to satisfy, they just continue with life.
The birth of baby was also very interesting- the government supplies most of the literature about childraising, and it tends to have a goal of creating independent, respectful children.

The author’s observations of French toddlers were the best part. French kids eat veggies, salads, fish, fruits, and many other foods. They have a wide palate and are taught from birth that flavors are important and are to be appreciated. Their schooling is also government provided. In preschool, the focus is not on letters, but on socialization. All French kids are expected to acknowledge adults and respect them.

One of the most valuable pieces of information I picked up on was that French kids aren’t disciplined. They are educated. It’s such a positive mindset to think of discipline in.

Overall, I would say READ IT! It doesn’t bash our American way, it really just highlights parts of the French way. It made me look at a few things differently- especially the food, the pause before responding to a crying baby, and the discipline/education philosophy.

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