Education in France
7 reasons why French kids don’t have tantrums
French children behave very well, and for many parents, “tantrum” is a foreign word. Seven reasons for this.
When you think of France, you might think of good food (especially cheese), wine, champagne, and the Eiffel Tower – but of course an entire country has a lot more to offer than that. French kids, for example, aren’t known to throw a tantrum at every little thing that doesn’t go their way. The online magazine “Mom Junction” explains why this might happen. In this article we summarized what we can learn from French parents.
There is no “baby food”
In France, there is no distinction between adult and child food – everyone eats the same thing. This means that French children are mostly used to food that our children might view with skepticism. The exceptions are hard-to-eat foods like oysters or lobster, and highly spicy foods. In general, food is celebrated in French culture – young gourmets ensure peace in the family through their taste buds, which are cared for from an early age.
No small snack between appointments, and some lunches can last hours. From an early age, children learn the rules of table etiquette, such as putting as much food on the plate as they can eat and not wasting any food. It is also a common practice to get together as a family to eat at least once a day.
Good behavior is a high priority
Courtesy, patience and consideration are taught to children in France from a very young age – and their parents are good role models. Neighbors as well as guests and strangers are greeted in a friendly manner. If you have to wait in line, do so patiently and undisturbed. Similarly, French parents teach their children that it is appropriate to provide seats for the elderly on buses and trains. The magic word “please” is taught and used early on, just like “thank you,” “you’re welcome,” and “have a nice day.”
Independence from an early age
In France, only mothers are entitled to ten weeks of maternity leave after the birth of their child. They can then extend their parental leave – but since this is not usually paid, most people refrain from doing so. Then, the children are in nursery school and kindergarten at an early age and get used to new conditions and people at the beginning of their lives, which benefits their independence. Sponsorship offers until the late afternoon are also very common in France. Many facilities for children aged three to six take care of the little ones until 4:30pm during the week – except on Wednesdays, which are usually taken care of after only half a day.
Parents don’t meddle in everything
As a parent, it can sometimes be very difficult not to interfere in our children’s lives – after all, we only want the best for them and protect them from danger, pain and other negative experiences. In France, there is a strong belief that the free development of the child must be protected – as long as children do not abuse this freedom. For example, if a parent notices that their child is in an argument with their peers, they will not intervene, but first wait to see if and how the child resolves the conflict independently.
A child can be a child
The five-year-old French child who can’t read is not rare. In France, children should be allowed to be children for as long as possible – that means playing a lot and not studying all day. At least this is the wish of many parents, even if sometimes this is not the case in reality.
Family time is constantly used
Sunday is family day. This is practically an unwritten law in France. Children are usually not allowed to meet on Sunday, just as parents are not allowed to work on that day. Many French families plan Sundays in advance so that they can use the time together as effectively as possible.
Kids run their own money
It becomes stressful when going out to the supermarket at the latest. Because this is where all the cool things kids really want are collected. If the parents deny it, the screams quickly become loud and unpleasant. However, things in France often work differently: here, children receive their own allowance from their parents at an early age, which they can use freely. When they visit the supermarket and see something they like, they buy it themselves. The problem has been resolved. If what you want is too pricey, just save a bit and can’t afford it until your next visit. Children learn the value of money from an early age. The amount of pocket money usually depends on the age of the child.
Sources used: momjunction.com, connexion-emploi.com, tagesschau.de, kindergartenpaedagogik.de