A Dad Tried the French Parenting Method and His Kids Have Never Behaved Better
Parenting is one of the hardest jobs anyone will ever do. Thankfully, there is an abundance of help for people who need it, and let’s be honest, everyone needs it. Bringing Up Bébé is a book by Pamela Druckerman, which explores the ways of French parenting, and shows us why French kids are the most well-behaved in the world. And it is no surprise that people are reading it and adopting the techniques inside.
Bright Side would like to show you these important parenting tactics through the eyes of a father who’s tried them and loved them.
This dad decided to parent like a Frenchman.
Patrick Coleman is the dad who decided to give the French parenting method a go and was so impressed that he had to share it with the world. He started by praising Pamela Druckerman’s book, Bringing Up Bébé, which, according to Patrick, is the reason why French people have the most well-behaved and polite kids who finish everything on their plates and sleep when they’re told to. He wanted to import that lifestyle into his own and his children’s lives.
He wanted things at home to change, so his 4 and 6-year-olds could stop whining all the time, not sleeping, and misbehaving. So he decided to “go full French” for a while, just to see if it’d work. And boy, did it work!
How his plan went
As he was reading up on French parenting, he discovered the 2 main tactics he’d use to tame his children: “Not letting them be the center of attention and speaking to them as if they were adults.” He explains that he doesn’t usually do these 2 things because there isn’t solid research that supports these ideas. Despite this, he decided to give it a shot.
The first step of his plan was to stop catering to their needs immediately and all the time. He was telling them to wait and to be patient. “I was dismissive... They started pleading louder and more annoyingly. I doubled down. They doubled down. It sucked, but then, around the fourth day, a switch flipped,” said Patrick.
His sons finally understood that their dad wasn’t going to give in to their demands and that he wasn’t going to stop what he was doing to attend to them. It might have been confusing, but they finally accepted it. The dad explains that they would sit beside him and wait for him to finish whatever he was doing before dealing with whatever they wanted. And they started operating on his schedule.
Life under a new system
He was pumped, because of the results. “Naturally, I quickly began abusing my newfound power. One of the things I told them not to interrupt was me talking to my wife about what to watch on Netflix. Another was me scrolling through my Twitter feed,” he said. However, sometimes he felt guilty, especially when they asked him something simple like, “Will you play with me?” while he made them wait until he was ready.
Patrick admits that he didn’t like that version of himself very much, but it was still nice to feel like he’s the boss and not his kids. He says that he’s never talked to his boys as if they were adults before, but it was clearly working. He doubted that he could be a “French dad” all the time, but he liked the idea of talking to kids like adults, and he promised himself he’d stick to it.
8 tips, from the book, that will help with raising a well-behaved kid.
- Model good behavior for your baby early on by being polite to them.
- Observe your babies, to learn what they’re experiencing at all times.
- Let your baby nap with the blinds open, so they understand daytime and nighttime napping.
- Learn to “pause” for 5 minutes when your baby starts crying in the middle of the night, so they can try to get back to sleep on their own.
- Allow them only one afternoon snack. It teaches kids patience and self-control, and they’ll be hungrier when it’s time for a meal.
- Get your kids on the same eating schedule as the rest of the family’s, instead of feeding them on demand.
- Don’t drop everything the moment your kid “needs” you. Calmly explain that you need to finish what you’re doing first.
- Don’t let your kid interrupt you, and don’t interrupt them.
Would you try the “French parenting” method? Or have you already tried it? If you have, share the results and your opinions for everyone else who might be interested in giving it a shot.