French Parents are Better at Discipline

French parents are better at discipline

A few weeks ago, we discussed an article that made French mothers sound a bit monstrous. Well apparently, French parenting is a hot topic. On Saturday, The Wall Street Journal printed this article about how French parenting is better, and it’s so positive that it’s practically glowing. Here’s an excerpt:

“When I asked French parents how they disciplined their children, it took them a few beats just to understand what I meant. “Ah, you mean how do we educate them?” they asked. “Discipline,” I soon realized, is a narrow, seldom-used notion that deals with punishment. Whereas “educating” (which has nothing to do with school) is something they imagined themselves to be doing all the time.

One of the keys to this education is the simple act of learning how to wait. It is why the French babies I meet mostly sleep through the night from two or three months old. Their parents don’t pick them up the second they start crying, allowing the babies to learn how to fall back asleep. It is also why French toddlers will sit happily at a restaurant. Rather than snacking all day like American children, they mostly have to wait until mealtime to eat.”

What do you think? Do you purposely and pointedly teach the ability-to-wait-nicely to your children? I can’t say I’ve been particularly good at it. But it does seem like such a valuable real-life skill!

The article isn’t too long, but it definitely has me examining my parenting methods. I hope you have a few minutes to give it a read — I’d love to hear what you think of it. Do you agree French parents are better?

129 thoughts on “French Parents are Better at Discipline”

  1. I have a 9 year old, and am wondering, if we would like to institute more of these French techniques, what resources are there? I would like to get her to be more patient when having to wait (i.e. in church). I know I can start having her do things that she can do, like get her own dinner instead of sitting at the tv waiting for me to bring it, doing her own laundry (geez it’s once a week) etc. Plus how do we train them in these things when their friends are all doing it “the american way” such as we only expect them to sit with us adults at, say, lunch, until they are done eating and want to go play, then we say go on, go play. i would love to ease her into some of these things but how to do it? any suggestions?

  2. I do recall that when I was a boy in France and up till the age of 16,Mothers in the 60’s-70’s and 80’s had the full control of their children,especialy “Discipline” !.First me like all the other girls and boys you attended maternal school from 4 to 7 years old,and our mothers put on us very short trousers with leather end suspenders,a nylon buttoned overall and a beret +a leather harness,and you were whipped with a leather “Martinet” ( a childrens little whip ,composed of a round wooden handle 30cm long with 10 to 12 leather tails 40cm long !) to whip your ass if you did’nt do as you were told,( at school the same thing!).Then from 7 to 11 years old you attended Elemantary school and the clothing was the same aswell as allways the Martinet whippings,only the leather harness was removed!otherwise the whole thing continued!Then from 11 to 16 years old when you went to college,you were allways dressed up the same way,and us the boys allways had to wear those short trousers but with clip on suspenders and pulled up very high so our mothers used to just pull up our nylon buttoned overalls and give you a good martinet whipping ,wich could happen anywhere!,in front of the school,in the streets and at homme of course,another thing too,because I forgot to mention it is that up to 16 our heads were “Shaved” allways by our mum’s thanks to their electric shaver!,And this went on till the middle of the 80’s ( but some parents still utilise it !).Now as for the girls their outfit to go to school was ,long pleated skirts with large suspenders ( suspender skirts)crossed in the back and straight in front!+a white blouse with big buttons in the front ,the beret like us aswell as nylon buttoned overalls ,but buttoned in the back and they received the same Martinet whippings as the boys ,( a matter of fact it was much easier for the mothers to whip their girls because all they had to do is lift up their suspender skirts and give it to them ! and up to the age of 16 just like us too !.Now if you pose me the question “why was it like this in France ,I just don’t know ,was it a fashion?,a habit? or just the tradition in France ? I don’t know it was like that Final

  3. Concerning this blog,I remember what happened to me latter on despite of my last message sent back in 2016 on this page! My last blog concerned the middle of the 1970’s but this message concerns the end of the 1970’s and has just came back to my memory!I was 17 years old at that time and despite my age when I merited it I still got whipped with the Martinet by my mother! and I was still attending my college,and as usual like all the other boys and girls of my age wearing those nylon buttoned overalls aswell as always the beret too ,Nevertheless my mother still made me wear large clip on braces with my long trousers too! Well one day a girl school mate invited me to her party she was giving and I don’t know why exactly how I got involved in this stupid game ,wich consisted of climbing up to the top of a big tree she had in the lawn! Of course on that day I was’nt wearing a nylon overall ,but just a pair of jeans and a shirt but always with my large braces ,Actualy the game consisted of who would climb up that tree the most rapidly ,and stupid as I was again! Oh sure I did quite well and achieved it ,but I was really dirty ,but that was not all ,because as we were allowed to have a few drinks ,It went certainly to my head and on the way back from my girl freind’s house I passed by an old woman’s house ,who in fact was our neighbour and as she was allways on our backs ,and seeing nobody in sight I picked up a big stone and smashed her window with it and even saying that’s for you, you old witch! ,not knowng in reality what I had done! But the thing was far from being over, as allready she was a real trouble maker ,and I was seen by other women who told her that it was me who had done it,! She came around our house completly wild and waving her hands as she was explaining all of this to my mother! who was looking at me with fierce eyes ,Suddenly I started to realize what I had done! and I remember even saying to my mother Yes I do recongnize that I had a few drinks and I was not in my normal state What exclaimed my mum ,So you ‘re not satisfied of drinking alcoholic drinks and coming back in a really dirty state you’ve even managed to smash a window?! Do you realize what you have done boy ?! For the broken glass window it was my father who had to go and repaired it,but as for me I’s my mother who dealt with me once again! ,and to calm the old woman who was shouting at me;my mother agreed with her that once again ,she would whip me with the martinet bare ass in front of her!Wich she did ,and that day everything came off my trousers,my braces and knickers Everything fell on the floor! Then my mum went in the house and came back with the newly bought Martinet before that old witch and I was was whipped like never before ,I beleive that day my mother gave me non less than 25 hard strokes with it on my bare ass,! boy did I feel it ! even when I started crying she continued not even listening to me crying! Then everything calmed down and everybody went home ,!But for me things were not over, because the next day ans still attending college my mother found nothing better than to buy me a new pair of very braces 6 cm large and pulled up once again,and so pulled up that I could not even bend down to pick something on the ground! My mother being satisfied and saying You se with your stupidness thisis all you have won,and as long as yoy reaso like a little boy ,you shall be treated as one ! Even at my colleg the girls and boys had a good laugh at me , saying ,oh mummy’s litle boy has been naughty so he’s back in short trousers with his large braces + newly bought nylon overall wich butoned in the back with those very big plastic buttons ,non less than 14 ! But thinking about that period I have to admit that I was really stupid in those days !

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top