Apparently, the French are better at parenting than the British or the Americans. French children don’t throw food, are better behaved, know what the limits are, and so on, and so forth.
How come I haven’t noticed?
I am not sure that the French have any parenting secrets. We are all just doing what we can. And as you know (you can read the post here), one of the reasons French kids tend to be so well behaved is that we French are much harsher on them.
If there is a “secret”, it is that French women have a life that doesn’t revolve around kids.
If there is a “secret”, it is that French women have a life that doesn’t revolve around kids. I have seen many women simply lose themselves when they become mothers. Their whole life is about bringing up their offspring as best as they can, sometimes to try to make up for their own mistakes and choices.
A friend of mine was creating four different menus every day to accommodate her three children’s tastes. No wonder she was at the end of her tether. And to make matters even worse, her children got used to it and refused to taste anything new. A vicious circle.
I only prepare one menu in my house, and that’s it. Always have. Always will. And if my children don’t like it, well, they can always catch up at the next meal or have a piece of toast.
As a result of this (very French) approach, my children eat everything: from blue cheese to pot au feu.
As a result of this (very French) approach, my children eat everything: from blue cheese to pot au feu. And if they are a bit reluctant to try something new, I have no problem in ‘tricking’ them.
For instance, my younger one didn’t want to drink sparkling water for some reason. I told her that it was ‘transparent coke’. It worked. We don’t have sparkling water at our house, we have transparent coke. And she drinks it. Problem solved.
Sometimes my children don’t want to eat fruit. So I give them a compote (I especially like the Crushed one, it has the taste of my childhood), and tell them that, yes of course they like fruits: they just had some. The beauty of the Crushed compote it that they come in a shiny new pouch, and it feels like a treat. Job done! No more complaining about fruit.
As for cheese, initially my children only liked it melted on a pizza and would turn their noses up at having it on its own. When I showed them the pizza cheese before and after cooking, they had to admit that it was the exact same thing. So I started heating the cheese of pizza less and less and eventually they came to like it. It is all about strategy with children.
That said, I never force them to try something. I make it look completely natural. And if they don’t it eat it once, they can try the next time.
No big deal.