Week in Review for Parenting in the Loop

Links of the week:


Druckerman can talk all she wants about the Pause, and Le cadre (the frame), and the strict adherence to meal times, but the main difference between French and American mothers is culture.

It’s not that French moms are doing everything right, but that they believe they are.

French parenting

via Why Sleep Matters to Babies and Parents | Science of Mom.

Yes, sleep deprivation is a normal part of parenting. But when babies and parents suffer from chronic sleep deprivation, we need to be seriously concerned. Babies need sleep to support healthy development. Parents need sleep to maintain sanity. Sleep is a universal human need.

via Affluent Foreign-Born Parents in N.Y. Prefer Public Schools – NYTimes.com.

Miriam and Christian Rengier, a German couple moving to New York, visited some private elementary schools in Manhattan last spring in search of a place for their son. They immediately noticed the absence of ethnic diversity, and the chauffeurs ferrying children to the door.

Happy Friday…Have a great weekend!

Week in Review…

Links of the week…

Helicopter Parents Hover In The Workplace : NPR

What would you do to help your child land a job…how far would you go? Some parents go to the job interview with their kids. What do you think about helicopter parents hovering in the workplace with their kids?

New LEGO girls line is offensive, some say – latimes.com

LEGO came out with a new line of toys aimed specifically at girls…do you have any objections to LEGOs no longer being gender neutral or don’t you care one way or the other?

10 Stress Busting Strategies for Parents

I figured this one was a sure bet…young or old we can all use stress busters now and then.


Parenting in the Loop

6 Tips On Being A Better Parent

 6 Ways to Parent Better…

Sounds simple….but we all know differently…

While breezing through some articles devoted to parenting tips I began looking for a common thread.I wanted to see if there were one or two or more things that appeared on all the lists.

Consistency seemed to be a common thread that held all the lists on parenting together.

  • Being consistent in showing love…praise…conseqences for behavior
  • Being consistent with routines like meal times…bedtimes…naptimes..this makes a child feel safe and stimulates good sleeping habits.
  • Being consistent in being organized…requiring chores…instilling a routine…like making their beds…picking up toys…helping with meals.
  • Being consistent with rules and expectations…keep the rules simple and concise and make sure other family members and caregivers are doing the same. Make a list of family rules so everyone is on the same page.
  • Be a consistent listener…put away your phone…and talk…listen in the car when they are with their friends…you will be surprised at what you learn.
  • Be consistent in taking care of yourselves…so important for parents and grandparents to exercise and enjoy themselves…be a role model for your kids so that they learn to take care of themselves too. Teach them how to balance their lives…what a gift.

All of the above done with love and respect can help make parenting easier and hopefully happier… being a parent may never be easy but it can be enjoyable.

French Parents are Superior…Step aside “Tiger Mom”

Smile Saturday...

A follow-up to my recent post on French parenting…here is an interview and article from the Wall Street Journal for your Saturday reading.



French Parents sont le Meilleurs?



Raising our Children Properly…pour élever ses propres enfants

This week I have been fascinated by the reviews of a new book on parenting…it is reminiscent of how I felt when I read Amy Chua’s “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mom” last year.

Quite a few articles have been stimulated by this new book…”Bringing Up Bebe

Parenting styles differ so much in various cultures. I imagine it to be a fascinating experience being an American mom trying to raise a family overseas particularly in Paris.

The French do not agree with our American obsession with parenting. Unlike their American counterparts, they seem to manage to get their children to sit still through a meal which is hard to come by here in the United States. We seem to be raising a generation of wanderers who graze on their meals. Generally, we do not expose our children to multi-course meals that are paced for enjoyment and conversation as is typical in France. We seem to be a generation of eating on the run…running to activities from the beginning of the week sometimes through the weekends.

French parents have also learned the art of saying the word “NO”. We seem to spend an inordinate amount of time talking to our children explaining why we are saying no and discussing why a child should not be doing something that is clearly bad behavior….oh and we never say the word “bad”…we describe the behavior as not being nice or acceptable and something that we should not be doing. “French experts and parents believe that hearing ‘no’ rescues children from the tyranny of their own desires”. via New York Magazine

Another interesting comparison is how French babies learn to sleep throughout  the night at about 6 weeks of age. They practice “La Pause”.  ‘La Pause‘ is a period of about 5 minutes that a parent waits to attend to a crying infant. It is somewhat reminiscent of the “crying it out” method of sleep training which teaches a baby to self soothe and not  to expect instant gratification when he/she cries. I am totally not in favor of crying it out…a short cry perhaps…I also do not expect an infant to sleep through the night until at least 8 weeks of age for many good reasons. Co-sleeping is not something that is practiced with any regularity in France. For many families in the United States it is very typical for parents and kids to sleep in the same room, sometimes mom sleeps with one child and dad sleeps with another. Babies may sleep next to the parents or at least in the same room for an extended period of time.

French children are typically not the center of the universe, their parents are good parents but they do not hover over their children. They also do not feel guilty about their parenting practices. Weekends are not spent wrapped up in children’s activities…like the overwhelming, over done birthday parties, sports practices and games.

According to Pamela Druckerman, French parents are not as anxious as their American counterparts…they tend to be a little more relaxed and realize that learning to be parents is a process.

“The French are absolutely not draconian about their own rules,” Druckerman added. “They actually believe that children are more capable, in some ways, and believe in their autonomy. They just give a clear framework in which they can learn and see its a process — you dont suddenly arrive at being a brilliant parent.”

In doing some reading before writing this post I came across the following statement which adds a touch of humor to all parenting styles…I hope you have a laugh…

I think what the French do well is rely on common sense when bringing up their kids, and perhaps the support of mothers, sisters, aunts, and grandmothers, rather than gimmicky books by childless gurus. Why British women are so attracted to bizarre methods of childrearing rather than relying on common sense and a sensible book of essential information is a mystery. But whatever the method chosen rest assured that a mothers place is in the wrong, and our parents fuck us up whatever their nationality.


They fuck you up, your mum and dad. They may not mean to, but they do.They fill you with the faults they had And add some extra, just for you.

via St Bloggie de Riviere: French Parenting

related posts:


Toddler Interviews…”Kids Say the Darndest Things”…

Dear Diary:

As I was walking on Park Avenue last month, I noticed a little girl about 3 years old, standing next to her stroller.

She was wearing a lovely outfit, but what got my attention even more were her silver shoes.

I paused to admire her when the baby sitter volunteered, “She has an interview.”

via A Moment With a Mayor, and Other NYTimes.com Reader Tales – NYTimes.com.

I love this little anecdote…toddler interviews…

I laughed when reading this…

What pressures parents living in a city like New York experience when they want to send their child to a private pre-school.

Toddler interviews

How do parents prepare for this…the “right” outfit of course but what else?

What are these interviews like?

If you and your child have been through a school “interview” please share some of your experience. What was it like…how nervous where you?

Why Caucasian Dads are Superior…REVISITED…

Noteworthy Wednesday!

This is my most read post in 2011…since “Tiger Mom” is now published in paperback and it is the one year anniversary of the commotion that it set off I am reposting this for you perusal.


Why Caucasian fathers are superior.

“So it should come as no surprise that I am better at parenting than most humans (and all animals, except bison and unicorns). The reason? I’m a Caucasian male.

The Caucasian culture does not accept mediocrity. You name it, we excel at it. Whether it’s playing hockey, or watching hockey, or dancing (the polka), or finishing last in 100-metre races, or suppressing the civil rights of minorities, Caucasian males do it best. We also raise the brightest children.”

Seriously, this is such an amusing piece that responds to the “Tiger Mom”  uproar. I thought we had read just about everything but apparently not so.

Given all the commotion that Tiger Mom has generated, I think that it is time to consider some balance. Parenting is something that is too important to actually laugh about.

It seems there are as many beliefs about the right way to parent as there are parents. It is my belief that anything taken to extremes is never really a good thing. There are exceptions to almost any “rule”. To be excessively rigid in your parenting style could pass this rigidity on to your child or create the opposite stance on your child’s part. Neither of these responses is what I personally would want.

There are many aspects of attachment parenting that I like and I probably was an attached parent and am an attached grandparent although I did not “co-sleep” nor did I breast feed.

My personal parenting guidelines came from Erik Erikson’s stages of development. I tried to parent so that my children successfully completed Erikson’s  stages of development.

I also tried to model behavior for my children. They experienced how important it was for both their grandmothers to die having completed their final stage of life at age 89. They both died with integrity and dignity.

Parenting never really ends.

For me, it is about teaching your children how to have love and empathy and be able to develop their own skills to live each stage of life.

With that said please read this “caucasian father’s” editorial reaction to “Tiger Mom” and laugh if you like…it is pretty humorous!

Penn State And Our Kids …

The news about the sex scandal at Penn State is truly disgusting.

No one went “the whole nine yards” to protect the children …this is not forgivable  …it is a lack of what is morally right.

We tell our children that “if a touch feels wrong it  is wrong”…I told this to my own kids. Even tickling can be wrong if it feels bad to a child.

Kids trust us as parents to protect them…when we fail they feel abandoned and confused as to why mom or dad did not rescue them.

In the case at Penn State…these kids trusted the coaches and teachers to be their parents when their own parents were not present and what did they do …well I don’t even want to repeat it here.

I think to really appreciate the significance of such an “injury” to a child you have to put yourself in that child’s place…it’s called empathy. You have to dig up your own childhood innocence. You have to remember your mom, your nana, your dad, your siblings, your teachers, anyone who you trusted.

Then you have to picture them violating you and taking away your innocence forever.

Teach your children to tell you if anyone makes them feel uncomfortable.

Teach them about their own bodies and answer their questions with age appropriate responses.

As a social worker, I have seen my share of child abuse…they are most times victims of people they trust.

So sadly, we have to be aware and sensitive to our children’s environment and we must take time to talk to our children and listen to them. Get off the phone, get away from media, and actually observe and listen to your kids.

Do not focus too much on “Stranger Danger” give kids the warnings associated with this.

Parents, keep your eyes wide-open around those you trust, teachers, babysitters, friends, boyfriends,  and even relatives.

Related articles;

Penn State Sex Scandal And Our Kids – Parenting.com.

Tantrum Tamer: New Ways Parents Can Stop Bad Behavior – WSJ.com


Forget everything you may have read about coping with children‘s temper tantrums. Time-outs, sticker charts, television denial—for many, none of these measures will actually result in long-term behavior change, according to researchers at two academic institutions.

Whether a child has violent temper tantrums or is extremely clingy, their behaviors can be curbed, according to child psychologists at Yale University and King’s College London. Shirley Wang has details on Lunch Break.

Instead, a set of techniques known as “parent management training” is proving so helpful to families struggling with a child’s unmanageable behavior that clinicians in the U.S. and the U.K. are starting to adopt them.

via Tantrum Tamer: New Ways Parents Can Stop Bad Behavior – WSJ.com.

Parents can control bad behavior if they are consistent with their approach to their child’s meltdowns.

This is not easy and many parents may become frustrated and revert to their “old” approaches before they actually see positive results.

My personal favorite book on the subject of children’s behavior especially that of toddlers is “The Happiest Toddler on the Block” by Dr. Harvey Karp. It is easy to read and follow…my copy is totally dog-eared. I absolutely endorse his “Fast Food Response” to the toddler’s demanding demons.

You see, he says…toddlers lack the maturity and sometimes I do as well, to express what they really want …so a tantrum is the best way to get it.

Dr. Karp tells us to verbally recognize what the child actually wants…this usually gets the toddler to respond by suddenly stopping in his tracks…this is the time to inject some choices (not too many) or an alternative.

Why this works?  Simple… it disarms the child…he gets his needs validated, understood and respected.

Really it works…I have tried it.

Dr. Karp makes a point here though, that is very important….if the toddler is doing something dangerous…you cannot use this approach…you must remove him from the unsafe situation and then move into the “FFR” (Fast Food Response)

So, there is hope for tantrums…remember “meltdowns are not pleasant for the child either.

Be patient and consistent and get help, you will probably need it…but trust me, it will be worth the effort in the end.

The 6 Best Baby Care Books



Back in the day, an extended family of wise women would be around to reassure parents about weird gurgling noises, breastfeeding “latch,” and infant acne. But for most modern Americans, that wise old aunty comes in the form of a big fat baby book.

But which one? There are a lot out out there, but the 6 I’ve picked here will teach you what basic  things there are to know about babies and how to keep them safe, healthy and relatively happy.

via The 6 Best Baby Care Books | Being Pregnant.

It is often said that our children do not come with “owner’s manuals” like the ones we get when we bring home a new car.

In a way, this is a good thing but where do we go when we really need answers?

The internet…Barnes and Noble…or to our cellphone to call an experienced friend or better yet the pediatrician.

If you are looking for books on parenting here are a few of the best ones out there …already reviewed and recommended.

My personal choices include these plus….The Happiest Baby on the Block and The Happiest Toddler on the Block…both by Dr.Harvey Karp.

New parents and not so new parents… this one is for you.

Happy reading…