French vs American – The New Tiger Mom

Last week the Wall Street Journal published an excerpt of a new book that comes out this week called Bringing Up Bébé. It’s written by an American mother who moved to Paris and was surprised at the differences in parenting between the two cultures. Here’s the excerpt. It’s flying furiously around the parenting side of the internets, and has some strong devotees and some equally strong haters. In a nutshell, American parents spoil their kids, give them too much attention, and turn out brats, while French parents are firm and disciplined and their children are quiet, obedient, and understand their parents’ personal space. Personally, I found the article interesting, but extremely polarized and simplistic, so I’ve dug around a bit in the responses. This article, from the Huffington Post, is my favourite, because it fleshes out some of the sweeping generalizations and gives more background info on American and French parents. What do you think? As usual, when it comes to these sorts of “put moms in a stylistic box” articles, I feel like most of us fall somewhere along the spectrum.

(As a note: yes, I did change the blog theme again. The Top Posts, Search, Email Subscription, and Archive links are all at the bottom of the page now. As ever, send me/Lindsay/Nicole feedback and tips if you have them!)

~Annemarie

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