Newspapers around the world have been banging on about the impeccable behaviour of French children compared to kids from other countries following the publication of Pamela Druckerman’s book “French Children Don’t Throw Food”.
In her book she says that French parents are better at being parents because they treat their children as small grownups and therefore French toddlers eat their meals properly and “don’t throw food”, babies sleep through the night sooner, and children are more civilised.
I’ve certainly noticed that in restaurants children of French parents do seem to be better behaved on the whole, not quite so whiny and there’s none of that running round the tables or standing up on chairs – any such nonsense is met with a hefty whack and peace is swiftly restored. French parents seem to be stricter than those in say the US or UK.
Recently I was standing in a queue at the local supermarket and a small girl about 5 years old started whining for sweets at the checkout, her mother told her to be quiet but the child persisted and received a slap round the face. It’s certainly not what we’ve become used to in the UK where smacking is not allowed (if it leaves a mark). I have to say though, the whining stopped and under threat of another smack, so did the crying.
The trumpeting about the angelic French children and their wise and knowledgeable French parents isn’t quite the full story though and newspaper reports in our region of Calais are doing the rounds currently that highlight the fact that not all children are so well-behaved in France.
In the small village of Cousolre on the Belgian borders in the Nord Pas de Calais, the Mayor of the village, Maurice Boisart appeared in court after slapping a 17 year old youth who swore and insulted him. The Mayor says his reaction was that of “a father” – he slapped the boy.
The Mayor claimed that the boy was one of a gang of youths who committed acts of vandalism and it was his, the Mayor’s duty to act to stop such behaviour.
Interestingly he said that he felt that the young of today increasingly have less respect for things and it seems that it is not just Mayor Boisart who feels this, he’s received lots of support from French people across the country, and, just a few weeks ago the French Government began a campaign to introduce civic duty and morality classes in primary schools.
It seems that French children do throw food after all – its official!A bientôt Janine