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Is this why French children are better behaved than British? Author shares the four rules all Gallic parents enforce …

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When it comes to parenting approaches, no one size fits all.

But one author believes that children from France have a ‘je ne sais quoi’ because of how they were raised to be incredibly well behaved and impeccably dressed.

Florence Mars, a mother-of-three from Paris, told My Domaine that the French parenting style is teaching children to abide by rules and doing things ‘comme il faut’ (the way it should be).

Florence, who recently relocated to New York and penned Say Bonjour to the Lady: Parenting from Paris to New York, shared four golden parenting rules that our continental neighbours swear by when raising their children.

Florence Mars, a mother-of-three from Paris, shared the four parenting rules French mothers and fathers abide by 

Florence Mars, a mother-of-three from Paris, shared the four parenting rules French mothers and fathers abide by 

Florence Mars, a mother-of-three from Paris, shared the four parenting rules French mothers and fathers abide by 

1.  Respect the rules

Florence says that the idea of ‘children being seen and not heard’ is taken very seriously in France.

Indeed, children in France are taught from a young age to remain composed at dinner – chewing with their mouths closes and sitting up straight with elbows on the table – and never interrupt the adults.   

2. Strict meal times

Florence recently relocated to New York and penned Say Bonjour to the Lady: Parenting from Paris to New York

Florence recently relocated to New York and penned Say Bonjour to the Lady: Parenting from Paris to New York

Florence recently relocated to New York and penned Say Bonjour to the Lady: Parenting from Paris to New York

Rather than snacking throughout the day and letting children choose unhealthy options, French people stick to a rigorous mealtime itinerary: breakfast, lunch, a possible mid-afternoon snack, and dinner.

The most important rule is that they all sit down to dinner together as a family and keep things as healthy as possible.

3. Dress to impress

Frenchwomen are universally admired for their timeless elegance and chic sense of style – something which Florence believes is instilled in them from a young age. 

‘Kids do not choose their outfits until a little later in life,’ she said. ‘It is very important to us to have well-dressed children, and most of my French friends would rather die than let their children go out in sweatpants if they don’t have P.E.

FOUR RULES TO FOLLOW

1. Be seen and not heard

2. Stick to regular mealtimes

3. Always dress to impress

4. Don’t be afraid to shun breastfeeding 

‘You go to school, so you need to be dressed properly even if there is no uniform. You go to a birthday party, you need to be at your best.’

4. Raising baby

Florence says that breastfeeding is an option in France and ‘not a big at all’. 

‘You can do it without hiding the baby and boob under a big scarf. It is considered very cute to see a bit of flesh,’ she noted.

She also adds that French parents let the baby cry before bed and expect them to be sleeping throughout the night at around three months. 

 

 



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