With Mother’s Day around the corner, I thought I’d share a few French parenting tips that are helping my husband and I raise our kids Kenan, 17 and Ella, 8 into nice human beings ~ we’re still working on our youngest one who is a more of a free spirit, just like her mother 🙂
To celebrate the occasion, Ella and I played twinsies with matching outfits. Something I’m sure she won’t want to do in a few years. I’m so thankful to my photographer friend Amanda to have captured this moment!
Being raised by French parents with whom I moved to the States when I was 16, and now raising my own kids in an American culture, I do see pros and cons between the two parenting schools. I would describe my parenting style as being more French American which my son has learned to appreciate over the last few years now that he has a better understanding of the French culture.
Here are a few French parenting tips my husband and I swear by on a daily basis:
- Polite manners – I can’t tell you how much we stress on having good manners no matter where our kids are: at the dinner table or with friends and family, they have to acknowledge others, be polite and asked to be excused before leaving the table.
- Being patient – “Attends” is the one French word my kids learned very early on. I’m just not going to drop whatever I’m doing to tend to their immediate needs. It teaches them to wait and tolerate delays without having anxiety.
- Being bored – my kids learned very early on that being bored is a good thing. Being a parent doesn’t mean you have to entertain around the clock . It helps them develop their coping and creativity skills.
- Adult time for Mom and Dad – my husband and I go out all the time and we do not feel guilty for having a date every week! It teaches kids about balancing needs and they get to appreciate the time we spend as a family.
- Family time and family dinners – while we try to have family dinners during school day (with no TV on), Sundays family meals are sacred. We try to go on a family walk, a bike ride or watch a movie together to break the weekly routine.
- Being responsible – we try not to cover as much for our kids. I say try as I might interfere more than my husband (I’m the soft one!). Learning the consequences as early as possible helps them get used to “real life”.
- Help out in the house – we ask our kids to help out with household chores all the time without giving them allowances in return. Our philosophy is they are part of the family and should contribute like we do. Taking out the trash, helping with laundry, setting up the table to even planning meals is part of their repertoire.
- Limit extra-curricular activities – we are very selective when it comes to activities outside school. We don’t want to overschedule our kids so they can enjoy some time off and family times. I also don’t want to spend all my free time driving them around!
- Outdoor time – a lot of quality time outdoors is good for the kids’ health, happiness and minds. Luckily, we live in a neighborhood with tons of kids and they both play soccer and tennis.
- Saying no – this may sound like we’re bad parents but we really don’t give in very easily. Being the softest parent, I tend to lean in more often 🙂 Luckily, my husband is firmer. Our kids have learned to have a very compelling argument or do very well at school to get what they want.
If you’re interested in French parenting, I recommend this funny book Bringing Up Bébé from Pamela Druckerman, an American journalist living in Paris and mom to three well-behaved children, who shares many secrets of French parents.
Hope you enjoyed this post. As always, thanks for reading!
Happy Mother’s Day! ♥
Mondays – Glass of Glam