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

Austen Lloyd: Commercial Property Lawyer - Cheshire

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: CHESHIRE MARKET TOWN - An exciting and rare o...

Austen Lloyd: Residential Property Solicitor - Hampshire

Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: NORTH HAMPSHIRE - SENIOR POSITION - An exciti...

Recruitment Genius: Gas Installation Engineer

£29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Gas Installation Engineer is required ...

Recruitment Genius: Domestic Gas Technical Surveyor

£28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Domestic Gas Technical Surveyor is req...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Michael Brown was shot and killed by police in August  

Ferguson: The sad truth is that Michael Brown was killed because he was a black man

Bonnie Greer
A protestor poses for a  

Ferguson verdict: This isn't a 'tragedy'. This is part of a long-running genocide of black men in America

Otamere Guobadia
Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

24-Hour party person

Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

A taste for rebellion

US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

Colouring books for adults

How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

Call me Ed Mozart

Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
10 best stocking fillers for foodies

Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
Phil Hughes head injury: He had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Phil Hughes had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Prolific opener had world at his feet until Harmison and Flintoff bounced him
'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

'I am a paedophile'

Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

From a lost deposit to victory

Green Party on the march in Bristol
Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

Winter blunderlands

Putting the grot into grotto
'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital