Here is a follow up to my last post highlighting a few interesting tidbits from Bringing Up Bebe.
Waiting: Author Pamael Druckerman discusses how French parents believe that teaching kids how to wait and also cope with the word “no” is a cornerstone to raining kids. It teaches them that essentially the world does not revolve around them. She writes that the general consensus in France is that “making kids face up to limitations and deal with frustration turns them into happier, more resilient people. Interesting. I’ve seen what happens to kids who always get what they want and then all of a sudden are told ‘no.’ It’s not a pretty sight. I will certainly keep this in mind.
Day Care: French parents think very positively about starting their children off in day care at a young age. Day care is open five days a week and subsidized by the state so parents are charged on a sliding scale based on their income. They’re so popular that French women are urged to meet with the director of these day cares as soon as they find out they’re expecting.
There are schools in France that train the staff who work in day care. It’s seems quite competitive to get into these schools. At one school, more than 500 folks apply and only 30 are admitted. Druckerman writes, “The thirty winners then do a year of coursework and internships, following a curriculum set by the government. They learn the basics of child nutrition, sleep and hygiene, and practice mixing baby formula and changing diapers. They’ll do additional weeklong trainings throughout their careers.” Wow, this sounds serious! I don’t know a lot about the day cares here but I do know that some are run out of peoples’ homes and I don’t know what standards have to be met.
Breastfeeding: A big difference between Americans and French women is that French mothers barely breast feed. Druckerman shares from a French magazine, “breastfeeding after three months is always viewed badly by one’s entourage.” Wow! Really? One French pediatrician and proponent of breastfeeding Dr. Pierre Bitoun shares that mothers in French maternity hospitals are not even encouraged to breastfeed so they’re left to think they don’t have enough breast milk.
Most shocking? Apparently about 63 of French mothers do some breastfeeding. A bit more than half are still nursing when they leave the maternity hospital, and most abandon it altogether soon after that… In the United States, 74 percent of mothers do at least some breastfeeding, and a third are still nursing exclusively at four months.”
Druckerman shares some theories about why Frenchwomen don’t nurse. I am trying hard to understand the reasons but it’s really hard when I felt it was a privilege to be able to breastfeed.
Alright, that’s all for now.