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IS IT CULTURE OR SIMPLY GOOD PARENTING?

Posted by Nanny Knows Best
Nanny Knows Best
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on Monday, 21 October 2013
Call me old-fashioned but I cannot accept that where you live dictates whether a child is happy, or well behaved. Growing up in Manchester, Moscow or Mumbai may present distinctive environmental challenges and opportunities; however, their impact is an aspect of character, personality, and not conduct.

So why does petit Pierre in Lyon, sit contentedly sharing an adult meal with his parents in a restaurant, whilst demanding David in Liverpool has more of his nuggets and fries scattered on the floor like debris, than in his belly?

The French are masters in managing enfant terribles according to Pamela Druckerman, an American mother of three raising her brood in Paris, with a keen interest in the “superiority” of French parenting. She feels the Gaels are so worthy of admiration, she has penned a how-to manual, “Bringing Up Bebe”, detailing secrets for avoiding tantrums, teaching patience, and saying “non” with authority.

I can’t say there is any ground-breaking revelation Madame Druckerman offers. “Even the French parents themselves insist they aren’t doing anything special.”

It seems it is simply the age old principles of spending more than quality time with your brood, engaging them without the distraction of phones & computers (YOURS, not theirs), consistency, teaching by example, parenting with calm firmness, patience and a whole bunch of love… ALL THE TIME and not just when it is convenient for you.

It is not a five minute miracle technique, nor a one-day-quick-fix, and this French style is no different from good parenting anywhere.

There is no top-secret ingredient in their croissants. Real kids do eat quiche. Actually, they also eat salads and soups and snails if that is what is served for dinner. No special meals for fussy eaters because there are none.

Good manners, pleasant behaviour, confidence, independence are all concepts that can be taught. Nurtured. Encouraged. The choice is whether you decide to be the teacher, or whether your children will eventually learn despite you. Or they might not, and just grow up.

Parenting 101

Posted by Nanny Knows Best
Nanny Knows Best
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on Tuesday, 17 September 2013
Some adults just don’t want to grow up. You are not your child’s “bestie”, nor “BFF”. You are the parent.

There comes a time when children don’t want you around when they are with their friends. Tweens are entitled to their own relationships and don’t need you trying to be one of the gang. Being the jokester dad or mum who wants to be one-of-the girls is not cool.

It’s so cringe worthy for a 10-year-old who does not have the words to explain to peers why my parents can’t leave us alone.

Allow your child space to develop a personality and explore their own social skills. And if you really, REALLY must show how “with-it” you are, employ the less is more rule and then exit the stage. Quickly. Your offspring will have more respect for you if you save your kooky behaviour for family time.

And if you find yourself uttering “I only want the best for you”, to encourage junior to sign up for Japanese or Fencing classes when his current ambition is a musical career, listen rather than trying to relive your own childhood regrets. The Pushy Parent is just plain ugly and unfair. Tread cautiously. Self-esteem and confidence may be compromised in a fragile and yet undeveloped character.

Every child carer at some point in time will be guilty of the dreaded mollycoddling. There comes a time when a child is ready for more responsibility even if you are not.

A solo trip to town or a movie, especially if it’s the first, can send parents into a head spin. “Make sure you wait for me to pick you up inside the entrance…in a well-lit area…actually, maybe your father and I can see a movie tonight and we can all go home together”.

It’s wonderful to love so completely, however, over-controlling will never allow her to learn independence. A lack of freedom may impede the ability to make a considered decision as she matures.

When you are in the thick of parenting and caring, it’s not so easy to find your rational self. The best advice is to take a moment to ponder, “What am I doing?”

Do you really want your little darlings penning their version of “Mommie Dearest”?



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