Deborah Ross: You too can adopt French-style parenting – just say 'Non!'

If you ask me... I'm falling behind on the My Child Must Be Ahead Of All Other Children Act of 1981

Share
Related Topics

If you ask me, I would like to draw your attention to the success of a book called French Children Don't Throw Food, by Pamela Druckerman, which posits that French children are much better behaved and generally happier because their parents take a significantly more relaxed attitude and don't over-analyse or over-fuss. Are you a French-style parent? Ask yourself the following questions and if you answer each with a resounding "Non!", I'm thinking maybe you are:

Have I ever played any of those Baby Einstein DVDs to my baby, as recommended from three months even though, at this sort of age, babies cannot focus properly, let alone sit up, and would say if they could: "From where I was lying, it was just fuzzy rubbish"?

Do I see danger everywhere and lethal bacilli on every surface, and am I always producing anti-bacterial gels from my handbag because, what, a bit of soap every now and then isn't good enough for me, all of a sudden?

As a subsidiary to the above, would I rather be dead than retrieve a dummy from the floor, blow on it, and put it back in baby's mouth even though "Blowing On It" is recognised as an excellent method of sterilisation, whatever the science may say?

Do I fear that unless I comply with the My Child Must Be Ahead Of All Other Children Act (1981) and over-see a strenuous timetable of extra-curricular activities, my child will still be finger-painting well into his or her teens?

Do I forbid my teens from going "out" to do "nothing" with "people" – What people? "Just people" – and further forbid myself from saying: "Why don't you go out with some unjust people for a change? How about Kim Jong-un?"

When nearby families move expensively to "better areas" for the "better schools", do I consider this an absolute torment even though I can now steal their door furniture, bins, and even parking space?

Do I marvel at every doodle and hang it on the fridge even though it's rubbish and even though I am actually minded to say: "I think you did your best work when you were two, darling?"

Have I ever wheeled my child out in front of other people to show he or she can sing/dance/recite poetry/ play violin or steadfastly refuse to eat a crisp, because it has dropped on the floor?

Have I put this quiz aside for later because I have homework to supervise and must pass off the hamster's death as "a mini spa break at Champneys"?

And, lastly: Have I ever received a dough ball to the head in Pizza Express, and not wished I'd moved to Paris years ago?

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Cleaner

£15000 - £16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you've got first class custo...

Recruitment Genius: Mobile Applications Developer / Architect - iOS and Android

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity to join a medium s...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Account Executive - £40K OTE

£11830 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Working in a friendly, sales ta...

Recruitment Genius: Web Designer

£15000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's leading web des...

Day In a Page

Read Next
The Pentagon has suggested that, since the campaign started, some 10,000 Isis fighters in Iraq and Syria have been killed  

War with Isis: If the US wants to destroy the group, it will need to train Syrians and Iraqis

David Usborne
David Cameron gives a speech at a Tory party dinner  

In a time of austerity, should Tories be bidding £210,000 for a signed photo of the new Cabinet?

Simon Kelner
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Tour de France 2015: Twins Simon and Adam Yates have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

Twins have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

Yates brothers will target the steepest sections in bid to win a stage in France
John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

Forget little green men

Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

Dying dream of Doctor Death

Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy
UK heatwave: Temperature reaches 39.8 degrees on Central Line - the sweatiest place in London

39.8 degrees recorded on Tube

There's hot (London) and too damn hot (the Underground). Simon Usborne braved the Central line to discover what its passengers suffer
Kitchens go hi-tech: From robot chefs to recipe-shopping apps, computerised cooking is coming

Computerised cooking is coming

From apps that automatically make shopping lists from your recipe books to smart ovens and robot chefs, Kevin Maney rounds up innovations to make your mouth water
Jessie Cave interview: The Harry Potter star has published a feminist collection of cartoons

Jessie Cave's feminist cartoons

The Harry Potter star tells Alice Jones how a one-night stand changed her life