Book Review: Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting

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bringingupbebe 198x300 Book Review: Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting When Pamela Druckerman, former writer for the The Wall Street Journal, moved to Paris (France, not Texas) with her husband Simon, little did she know that she was about to embark on a fascinating exploration of the differences of parenting between Americans and the French.  In her fascinating, well researched and often hilarious book, Bringing up Bébé, she makes a case for the calm civility with which the French interact with children.  She is especially curious about why French babies sleep through the night at 2-3 months of age, why French children behave more autonomously on the playground, and how on earth they get their kids to eat vegetables and only 3 big meals a day, without constant snacks.

Regardless of your parenting style or the age of your child, the book is very interesting.  I didn’t get to it until my daughter was well past the baby years, but there are still elements that I aspired to include more in my life as a parent.  I was especially interested in the idea of combining firm boundaries with lots of free choice, the joys of setting up adult/couple time and, of course, any tips on increasing vegetable consumption.  Other things didn’t interest me as much, for example the super strict French approach to only eating 3 main meals didn’t really work so much for me, my daughter, or our blood sugar.  Overall, Ms. Druckerman combines her personal journey of marriage and parenting with enough research, on both the French and the Americans, to make her book enjoyable but useful, like a novel in its writing, but scientific in its conclusions.

~ Dr. Carrie

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