All who have children, wish they slept at night, without hysterics took the word “no”, well behaved in the hotel and the restaurants and were eating what they cook. And it would be good, did all it not only under her mother’s strict guidance, but also independently. Because mommy’s got to go to work, or is it already out, or even work.
The author of the absolute bestseller “French children don’t spit food” American Pamela Druckerman proved that to deal with most parental nightmares are excellent for French methods of education.
Exclusive tips from a successful writer and mom of three children in our material. And as a bonus — the recipe Paris dessert which is loved by children of any age.
A working woman is always striving to grasp the immensity: to be the perfect mother and at the same time to make a successful career. In fact it works in two shifts — in the office and at home. I think all careers moms this feeling is well known. Now, the French have a favourite aphorism: “Perfect mothers don’t exist.” Do not try to be perfect. And this is the most important, fundamental idea.
And do not take the child a child as the beginning of a marathon, the finish of which is the University. The French, of course, want their children to be successful, but they don’t try in the evenings after work to get the child strides to pass through natural stages of development. For example, to read and write a child is not taught to six years. French women think it is more important to the school to teach toddler skills such as concentration, sociability and self-control. First, it does not require any special times, and is simply an integral part of the process of education. And secondly, these abilities, not the skill in three years to count to a hundred and back, to create a strong base for the child’s success in school.
In America, for example, it is common to believe in a fairy tale about the wonderful marriage as the synonym for a peaceful, carefree life. The main thing — to marry well and get a good husband with a stable salary, and then they could not work. In France it is not so. French mothers are convinced that a woman absolutely needs its own source of income. Even the most successful marriage with a secured and loving man a woman should think: “what if one day everything collapses?” She must have a profession, job or any other stable source of income just in case. French moms believe: it is extremely important, especially for a child. The French quickly goes to work after childbirth, because he wants to know exactly what will be able to provide the child with everything necessary, if you suddenly have to raise it myself.
This position is extremely pragmatic and there is not a drop of French romance, but it really helps to live.
Maternal care of children is a great illustration of the principle of infinity. We will always try to help them, always. It’s such a voluntary eternal sacrifice. But at the heart of French culture lies a very important idea: any person (especially parents) need time and space only for themselves. And it stands out not by a residual principle: if I make the kids this, this and this, at the end of the day I will allow myself… Or only when I will do my best for the child, I will allow myself… No, in any case!
To maintain balance in the family it is imperative that some part of life was only yours, belonged only to you. It may be work, although not necessarily. It can be any hobby or socializing with friends — whatever it is, I don’t know, growing orchids. The French are deeply convinced that if you devote all your time to the baby if your world revolves around him, it is very harmful and may even be dangerous, primarily for children.
If the child is used to you around him all the time involved in what he does, and live with him every second, he will not learn independence. Moreover, he will not learn to be considerate to other people, to notice their needs, do not learn to empathize. Any French woman intuitively feels: from time to time keeping away from the child, it provides him with an invaluable service.
It is important to understand that this is not some radical position. In no case did not appeal to Russian women to immediately drop everything, go away for three weeks at a Spa resort, engage yourself and forget about the baby. Talking about how to quietly admit: if you spend all the time together with someone — no matter how much you love each other, you will sooner or later begin each other to be annoying. And it’s not all about you, it equally applies to your child.
How effective this simple rule from time to time to enjoy each other, I literally just experienced. We with one of my five year old twins last week, was on holiday with my mum. She took him somewhere for two or three hours, and when we met again — we were so happy to see each other, we had something to share. Short of separation, make the relationship fresh! It is always a new experience, it’s a breath of mountain air, a source of energy. And this is a necessary condition for the strength of any human relationship, including the relationship of mother and child.
There is no point in feeling guilty in front of the child because you work. This is a totally destructive feeling, which is not going to change anything. You still won’t have more time to spend with the baby. The important thing is that you can do is to truly be a child when you are free. Don’t just attend for a walk, talking on the phone with a friend, but really spending time with the child. You don’t have to worry all the time about the baby when you are at work, should not beat yourself up because you’re not only a mother, but a colleague, friend, wife. The only thing you may have to your child when you’re around him, is to be calm and to be “here”.
And educate their children patience. I used to think that it is an innate ability that’s either there or not. The French perceive patience as a muscle that can and need to be trained, and from an early age. Do not jump out from the table, if you are working and the child is asked to look at a tower of blocks he built. Gently explain to your baby what you are doing and ask them to wait a bit. First, he can wait a few seconds, but then minutes. He will learn to entertain himself while waiting and deal with my disappointment. For a child this skill is vital, say the French: only in this way he learns that is not the centre of the universe, and learn to grow up.
This rule is directly related to the previous one. Do not try to compensate children of their own the lack of a huge number of clubs and educational classes. Parisian women, choosing extracurricular activities for children, always weigh how it will affect the quality of their own lives. Mother, the one who the whole day she takes her child from one mug to another in France never call the dedicated. Especially won’t appreciate if she does it to the detriment of their work. About a mom says that she has lost all sense of balance. And the children of such sacrifice completely useless. Of course, the child is to go to the pool or music lessons, but they must remain on their own games at home. Excessive psychological and physical burden will go to the child harm.
Never forget: at the heart of the family — married couple. Always find time to be together with her husband. In France, all the parent space belongs to the child, only the first three months. By analogy with the presidential term, the French call this period the “first hundred days”. At this time, the child may sleep in the same room with the parents and even in their bed. But after the baby is taught to sleep in his crib in his room. Your master bedroom should be a place that belongs only to you two. The children cannot go to their parents when they want to. The child should know exactly — the parents have a part of life, in which he is not involved.
A Frenchwoman once said to me: “my parents’ Bedroom was a sacred place in the house. Needed a very good reason to go there. Between the parents there was always some connection that we, the children thought of the great secret.” I think it is very important for the baby. After all, if he would take it that everyone already knows and in the adult world it’s no mystery — why did he have to grow up?
Even if you work as much as your husband (and even if you work more), don’t demand that he paid the house and children as much time as you. Nothing but discontent and irritation, it will not cause. Unlike, say, American women with their feminist mindset, the French woman’s very good old-fashioned pragmatism. Of course, many Parisians would place on men more worries at home, but many mothers have long agreed with the unequal division of responsibilities. And it’s much easier for them. The harmony in the relationship for French women is much more important than equal rights. They perceive men as separate species, even the best representatives of which are by nature not able to home business.
This does not mean that men do not do anything. French mothers believe that family conflicts will be less if everyone has their chores, though unequal to the effort and time. Do not demand from her husband more than he is willing to do for you. Better hire a housekeeper coming and Sami once again have sex.
All the French parents I know, once a month, free weekend just for yourself. No job, no children no part of this. Set aside the case, send children to grandparents, take kids with nanny out of town or go to the country themselves. Lying in bed, adipates, to be precise, long and with pleasure, see a movie… let yourself relax and do nothing. This homemade honey weekend once a month to arrange all the French parents. And most importantly, they do not feel on this occasion the slightest remorse. This is absolutely natural and normal pastime, even for the most loving parents.
The rest of the time French parents are very strictly monitored to ensure that children went to bed at the same time. After the evening tale or lullaby the baby should be in bed. “Adult time” — not with the hard-won rare privilege, no, it’s a basic human need, the parental right, if you want. The French are convinced that the key to a happy family — happy and loving parents. Sincerely explain this to my kids — they will understand.
This is the most difficult (at least for me) the rule of the French education. To realize that I make the decisions. I’m the boss. Not a dictator, and this is much (!) — and the boss. I give children a lot of freedom where possible, take into account their opinions and listen to their desires, but I make the decisions. Keep this in mind. On top of your own family pyramid is you. Not children, not your parents, not teachers or babysitters. Commanded the parade, you and only you.
Of course, this is difficult. It is a daily struggle. I’m still every day over and over again gaining his small army. But I now know that children develop better within clearly established boundaries. They feel much more confident and relaxed when you know that the pilot is an adult. Learn how at key moments strictly and confidently say “no.” Learn to calmly but firmly tell the children that you are going to do. You’ll know immediately when you succeed you feel like a boss.
In the end a new book from Pamela Druckerman “French parents don’t give up” are given a few recipes that the kids eat in the Paris nurseries. The food is prepared from scratch every day and serves a dinner of four dishes: cold appetizer, main course with side dish, cheese and fruit dessert (the children’s lunch consists of two dishes). Children’s nutritionist has adapted a number of products for the family dinner; each recipe designed for two adults and two children.
Here is the recipe pear and banana puree straight from Paris.
Purée de Poire et Banane
2 large or 3 small soft pears
the juice of half a lemon
1/4 Cup water
Wash and peel pears and bananas. Cut them into pieces. In a medium size saucepan boil them with lemon juice and water for 15-20 minutes on low heat. Periodically stir with a spoon. Remove the mixture from the heat and let it cool for a few minutes. Ready mixture pour into small cups. Cover with lids and refrigerate until serving.