I wrote about some of my personal reflections as I read Pamela Druckerman’s French Children Don’t Throw Food, here, here, and here. Overall, I enjoyed her observations on parenting the French way and found some of the information useful. As mentioned before, what I like most about this parenting book is that it is not like the usual parenting “manuals” which gives us various advice and professional insight on what to (or not to) do to our children. Instead, this book offers me another perspective to parenting — what to do about ourselves, which will then help us to become sane parents. Yes, I deliberately choose the word “sane” instead of “better” because (1) there is really no hard set of rules on parenting, so better or not is pretty subjective, and (2) many of us are inflicting an irrational fear in ourselves due to an overload of information on the various aspects of parenting. Hey, some parents never had access to all these parenting gurus yet their children are undoubtedly well brought up. So there you go.
I finished reading the book a couple of weeks ago, and I am glad that I did it in perfect timing. I was struggling with some uncertainties about parenting styles, especially in terms of discipline and cultivating good habits in my children. French Children affirmed my own beliefs and it gave me a confidence boost at a time when I needed it the most, accompanied by some insight on raising calm, well-behaved and independent children. What works for one may not be so for another, and after all, I am not living in France so some of the observations may not be practical here. But it’s always good to know that parents all over the world face similar challenges, and the ways to overcome them are not as out-of-reach as some of us may believe.