I’ve always felt that it is a mistake to call the birth process labor. In retrospect, that is the easy part; what follows is the world’s most challenging on the job training, in the world’s toughest training ground – parenting in America.
A good friend once told that me if you say yes to a child who has just asked 27 times to have a piece of candy right before dinner, and you give in, you just taught the child that 27 is the magic number. This means the next time a child asks for something and you say no, the child will ask at least 27 times before giving up.
For this reason, I was fascinated by the recent WSJ article, “Why French Parents are Superior”. I’ve watched parenting in America and witnessed rather lengthy negotiations parents have with 4-year-olds over various issues including a store purchase, leaving a playground, or eating a certain food.
Parenting in America
“The thing that impressed me most about America is the way parents obey their children.”
–King Edward VIII
When did American kids take over? For parenting in America to get better, parents need to remember who is in charge. It isn’t stifling your child’s creativity or imagination to sit at the dinner table and eat what is put in front of them, or to be part of the dinner conversation without the help of an iPad to keep them quiet.
The French, it seems do what our parents did; have a stern no and a glaring stare, and it seems they can do this and let their kids behave like kids. If you find yourself apologizing to friends that you can give them eye contact until the kids are in grad school, then let’s take more than the French fries, and French toast and take a tip from French parents.
And the next time you are having a meaningful conversation with your spouse or a friend and a child interrupts, you can always use the old standby, “the adults are talking”.
Have a great week
Tina Nocera, Founder