From The Telegraph:
Every so often a new parenting book triggers the sort of conflicting passions most recently associated with the Arab Spring. Pamela Druckerman’s French Children Don’t Throw Food, is just such an incendiary work. We mothers are a notoriously touchy lot at the best of times, so when another woman dares to suggest there might be a better way of rearing our offspring than muddling through, bribery, intemperate amounts of wine, empty threats and inconsistency, forgive us for digging in our heels. I say heels, I mean of course, frumpy flats – we’re not Parisians, you know. And that is the crux of the problem. Like wine, cheese and sex, the French, it would appear are better at parenting, too; except there is no such verb, because verbs imply effort, whereas across La Manche it’s all so fabulously effortless.
…“Children are an important part of the family, but family life doesn’t revolve round them,” points out Druckerman. “In America and Britain, there’s a belief that having children must entail self- sacrifice and that we must push them to succeed. The French are more patient and allow their children far more freedom. You never see French mothers hovering anxiously round their children in a park.” French women don’t dedicate themselves selflessly to motherhood. French fathers aren’t enslaved at weekends, driving children to activities. And babies are seldom breast-fed for long – the emphasis instead being on the mother’s sex life returning to normal as soon as possible.