The parenting gap: why French mothers prefer to use the firm smack of authority

  •  First British women came under attack for being chubbier and less chic than their stylish Gallic sisters. Now another critical salvo has been fired across the Channel, this time over our ability to bring up well-behaved children.
  • In her book French Children Don’t Throw Food, out this month, American mother-of-three Pamela Druckerman, who lives in Paris, asks how the French manage to raise children who, unlike many of their US or British counterparts, sleep through the night at two months, are not picky eaters, do not throw tantrums in the supermarket and go to bed without making a fuss, while their mothers “continue looking so cool and sexy”.
  • “What British parent hasn’t noticed, on visiting France, how well behaved French children are, compared to our own
  • Friends in London admire our children’s faultless script – they learn to use fountain pens in the first year of primary school – but are horrified when told that the neighbours’ six-year-old was declared “nul” – useless – by his teacher and marked down, even when giving the correct answer, because their ornate, loopy, joined-up handwriting was not up to scratch.


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