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French parenting techniques

Updated: Sep 8, 2022

The concept of "helicopter parenting," in which parents constantly monitor their children's activities, is frowned upon in France. This is because they are mindful of the need of making time for themselves as well.

1. Do not conduct yourself like a helicopter.

The French approach to parenting is opposed to the helicopter parenting style, in which parents "hover" over their children to exert control over all aspects of their life, including social, academic, psychological, athletic, and so on. There is little desire to dominate a child's life; rather, the objective is to make them as self-sufficient as early as possible by allowing them to explore, experience failure, and make age-appropriate choices. This may be accomplished by letting them make age-appropriate decisions. If you go to any playground in France, you will probably not find parents standing next to their children and assisting them with the monkey bars. It's not that French parents are careless or uninterested in their children's education; rather, they subscribe to the philosophy that the best way to learn is via experience and experimentation.

2. Create family-only time

French parents prioritize spending time with their family throughout the week as well as on the weekends. During the week, the most important moments for spending quality time with family are the evening meal times. The French put down their devices and engage in conversation with one another while eating a meal that was prepared at home (regardless of how basic it was). On the weekends, families tend to spend the majority of their time together, engaging in activities such as sports, going on long walks, visiting museums, or just unwinding. It is not usual for parents to provide transportation for their children to many activities, athletic events, or nonstop playdates.

3. When it's time to play, it's time to play!

About playgrounds, free time spent playing outside and being physically active is given a high priority in France. The academic requirements of the school day are high, and throughout the day, students are expected to behave appropriately and maintain their concentration for extended periods (usually 8:30 am to 4:30 pm even for the little ones). Therefore, when kids go out to play, the primary focus is on letting free and having fun. The average school day for youngsters includes up to three recess breaks: two shorter ones and one longer one. The longer break is often in the middle of the day. The French think that playing is not just a kind of physical exercise but also a form of mental stimulation, and they hold this belief strongly.

4. When it’s not playtime, it’s not playtime!

In French parenting, there is unquestionably a code of behavior as well as appropriate etiquette that is taken quite seriously. Children are taught from a young age to sit motionless when it is appropriate to do so, to greet adults appropriately (by kissing them on both cheeks), to refrain from interrupting people while they are speaking, and to remain seated during the whole of a meal. At restaurants, you won't see youngsters running about; instead, you'll see them sitting down (without devices) and engaged in conversation with their parents.

5. Serve your children real food

You won't find any French parents who let their children, not even infants, and toddlers, subsist on nothing but simple pasta and chips. The French place a high level of importance on their cuisine, and this extends to the food that is provided for their children. The majority of the time, beginning at a young age, parents anticipate that their children will have the same meals as adults. No practice involves feeding the youngsters one meal while the grownups eat something else entirely. They consume very much the same things we do, albeit in somewhat lower amounts. As soon as they can properly manage an adult glass, they transition to drinking out of adult glasses, using adult-sized place settings, and sitting on adult-sized chairs. Even somewhat "mature" delicacies such as mushrooms, raw oysters, any form of seafood, foie gras, and all the other dishes that are iconic to French cuisine are included in the repertory from an early age. And this includes getting to sample some of the country's hundreds of different kinds of cheese.

6. Assure that parents are valued equally with children.

When they have children, parents, and women, in particular, do not often 'lose themselves as a result. They place the same amount of importance on their priorities and health as they do on the children. What kind of example are they setting for their children if they can't even set a decent example for themselves? As there is an abundance of childcare options and children may start attending public school full-time as early as the age of three, many moms can maintain their careers despite taking time off for maternity leave. It is common practice for husbands and spouses to cut out time for themselves, often turning to their parents for assistance with childcare responsibilities. The fact that they have children does not prevent French moms from wearing nicely, maintaining their femininity, or having a strong sense of who they are as individuals.

7. Do not overschedule

In comparison to their counterparts in North America, youngsters in France do not have as packed of a schedule. They do take part in sports and music programs, but French parents do not live in constant terror that their children will not succeed in life if they are not simultaneously athletic champions, presidents of the debate club, and great musicians at the same time. The French approach things with a mindset that is more laid back. Is it worth it if it causes too much disruption in your life with your family? What is the purpose of the youngster being too exhausted to participate? Why should we add more to what is already a very lengthy and demanding school day for them? When it comes to their children's participation in extracurricular activities, French moms do not feel that more is better and will not put their mental health or physical well-being at risk for their children. In this situation, it is best to exercise moderation.

8. Screens are to be used with restraint

I have been to restaurants in North America where a family of five is seated at a table, and each member of the family is staring at their device. There is no communication going on, and the family is eating while texting. This is something that is not yet available in France; it has not yet found its way there. The French are aware that spending time in front of a television is an inevitable part of life in the modern world, but they do not let technology control them. They try to steer clear of anything that might entirely cut off communication within the family, particularly during mealtimes like supper.

9. Let the grandparents hold a significant role

In France, it is not unusual to see grandparents caring for their grandchildren, especially younger ones. The extended family plays a significant role in French culture and may be an invaluable resource for families with small children. Not only are grandparents a dependable source of additional hands, but they also play an important role in the transmission of important family and regional customs to the next generation, which is something that the French place a high value on. When it comes to bringing harmony back into the lives of the parents after the birth of their children, the grandparents are often the answer. And since there are so many breaks in the school year in France, grandparents may be an invaluable source of value-added childcare help for working families.



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