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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2012 1:09 pm 
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I normally don't buy the Times but today's issue had a review of a book out, about French parenting and why their children are better behaved.

Anyone who has been skiing in France and had large groups of French toddlers push their way into the lift queue might disagree with this conclusion. Anyone who has spent time in Paris and had to deal with the grown up result may disagree. But hey ho, at least we can move attemtion away from the Chinese and onto those Frenchies.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2012 1:18 pm 
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Snail-eating, beret wearing, frogs...! :lol:


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2012 1:19 pm 
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Pushy Dad wrote:
I normally don't buy the Times but today's issue had a review of a book out, about French parenting and why their children are better behaved.

Anyone who has been skiing in France and had large groups of French toddlers push their way into the lift queue might disagree with this conclusion. Anyone who has spent time in Paris and had to deal with the grown up result may disagree. But hey ho, at least we can move attemtion away from the Chinese and onto those Frenchies.


You might be interested to know that the dominant pedagogy in France draws more heavily on Asian models than on the Anglo-American 'negotiated pedagogy' prevalent in English schools. Broadly speaking this means that there is a divide between individualism/innate ability (US model) and collectivism/effort (East Asian model). This is thought by some commentators to go some way towards explaining differences in behaviour [in school contexts] across continents.

So just when you thought you had escaped the Chinese Question....


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2012 2:03 pm 
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Excuse me while I go and find a dictionary :-)


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2012 2:42 pm 
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I read somewhere that 70% of married people in France are unfaithful. I'm not going to criticise any race but in terms of popularity they are quite far down my list for a multitude of reasons - manners being one of them! :lol:


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2012 3:56 pm 
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Pushy Dad wrote:
Excuse me while I go and find a dictionary :-)

Sorry. :oops:
Was writing about it and it just came out.
I just meant that there are things in common between France and China which you might not at first glance think of, that's all. And that they might go some way to explaining why French children are better behaved than English ones. If they are.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2012 4:19 pm 
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I have first hand experience of french children's behaviour and if that's anything to go by, then they are NOT better behaved at all - of course this is a scientific observation of one family with two children (over 7 years though :roll: ) which obviously represents the whole of the french population :lol: :lol:

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2012 5:20 pm 
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I also read the article and found it particularly interesting that French mothers won't go down a slide in a play park, won't put up with toys in their living room and lose their baby weight within 3 months of the birth. Made me quite depressed actually :(


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2012 3:38 pm 
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One of the observation the English writer made was how well behaved your typical French toddler is at the dining table. Ok, they push in front of you in the ski lift queue and when they grow they will try to crush you with their car when you try to cross a Paris road but, in my experience, albeit limited, at the table they are little angels.

If on a Sunday you were to go into London Chinatown for dim sim, you will see large Chinese families, often three generations, around a table. And the children will be very well behaved. When we go into a pub for a Sunday roast we invariably get stuck next to the table where there is a kid throwing a tantrum or a kid chucking colouring pens onto the ground, knocking drinks over, chasing each other, and so on. We tried tipping the waiter generously but the next time we visit .... Ground Hog Day!

You probably don't recognise yourself and DC in that generalisation and from that you will probably will dismiss the following but the English parents we've dined with as a family seem to have the attitude that children will be children and the dining table isn't a place for strictness.

Its attitude combined with culture. My DD has a number of European school friends and when she goes to their houses for tea the pattern is for everybody to eat together. Afterwards the adults and the children will stay at the table to chat. When DD goes to her English friends house the kids will either eat separate from the adults or else leave the table once they are finished.

The book suggests that this culture of family eating teaches kids discipline. Based on my personal experiences, I would agree. And apparently so do the 'experts'. Various studies have shown that, what with fast food and microwave food and mum working, very few households sit down to a family meal these day. This, they suggest, is the source of many of society's problems.

I am in no way suggesting that French and Chinese kids are angels and that, by comparison, English kids are yobs at the table but you have to admit that it is food for thought (pardon the pun).

PS Went a Chinese reataurant with some English co-workers recently. The food fight at the end was not cool at all. Luckily I had the sense not to take them to my 'usual' else I would have to look for a new 'usual'.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2012 4:06 pm 
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Your experience is only that 'your experience' - stop stereotyping anyone!

All the families I know eat together and I often have taken children out to eat with NEVER any tantrums - that's MY experience! :D


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