Tired of always calling out your rowdy kids? How about a different approach? Here are some French parenting tips that you can learn from.
What can you read in this article?
- Differences of Filipino and French Parenting
- Ways on how we can apply French parenting tips to our Pinoy kids
Parenting in the Philippines
According to the book “Parenting in the Philippines” by Liane Alampay, Filipino parents are guided by their attitude and behavior towards their children, the nature of parent-child interactions, and the roles of a mother, father, their sons, and daughter.
Pinoy parents have much of the authority and control and expect their children to obey them at all times. The family members are also dependent on each other, especially the children on their parents.
The Filipino way of parenting is fixated on the nation’s traditional cultural values of hiya, kapwa, and utang na loob. Majority of the Filipino families are driven by strong ties and an authoritative style of parenting.
Practices of setting limits, allowing a certain level of independence, and giving emotional support blend with Filipino parenting.
The “modern” Filipino Parenting
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However, parenting has evolved since the start of the digital age. Parenting resources are now available anywhere – from books to magazines to online articles and even parent influencers.
In a recent study conducted by TheNerve online on parenting conversations, the most discussed topics by Filipino parents are:
- Parenting in the digital age
- Tips and strategies against bad manners or habits
- Child development (positive parenting)
Children’s behaviors are changing with the times, parents are exerting more effort to be more understanding to their kids. This shows that Filipino parents today are slowly breaking the barriers of the traditional way of raising children in the Philippines, thus, they are now more open to different types of parenting.
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One example of another cultural approach to parenting is French parenting.
Although they are on the other side of the world, French parenting is quite similar to ours when it comes to being the authority at home.
According to the book Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting, by Pamela Druckerman, one of the major principles of French parenting is setting clear boundaries in the parent-child relationship.
This just shows that their approach is not too different from ours, and we can try to apply them to our kids.
Here are some French parenting tips that can be applied to Pinoy kids. No type of parenting is perfect even French, but we can learn from it. Here’s why:
1. French kids are allowed to do things by themselves
As parents, we tend to do things for our kids because we can simply do it and they cannot. But will this kind of thinking help them in the future? No.
Teach them how to do it, then let them try things by themselves. Nothing beats the feeling of self-confidence when you are able to do something by yourself.
Druckerman, an American mom who raised her children in France stated that,
“The French believe that kids feel confident when they’re able to do things for themselves, and do those things well.”
In a follow up of her book entitled Bebe Day by Day: 100 keys to French Parenting, she wrote:
“The de’clic (DEH-kleek) is an ‘aha’ moment when a child figures out how to do something important on his own… It’s a welcome sign of maturity and autonomy.”
2. French kids are praised accordingly
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Pinoy parents are uncomfortable with hurting their children’s feeling. Because of this, they tend to praise kids for everything. This is a “no-no” moment for French parents. Druckerman says,
“After children have learned to talk, French parents don’t praise them for saying just anything. French parenting is about praising kids for saying interesting things, and for speaking well.”
According to the 10 habits parents of successful children have, whenever children earn praises from their parents, they will feel a true sense of accomplishment and feel proud about it.
3. When parents say “No”, then it’s a NO.
Whenever your kid asks or whines about something, have you ever counted the “no’s” you said to them and eventually say “yes”? It is hard especially for a persistent child, but it is worth enduring until your child learns to listen.
A French Philosopher, Jean-Jacques Rosseau once said,
“Give willingly, refuse unwillingly. But let your refusal be irrevocable. Let no entreaties move you; let your ‘no,’ once uttered, be a wall of brass, against which the child may exhaust his strength some five or six times, but in the end he will try no more to overthrow it. Thus you will make him patient, equable, calm and resigned, even when he does not get all he wants.”
French parents adhere to this. Don’t be afraid to say no to your child and stand your ground.
4. Children are allowed to suffer sometimes
However painful, experience is one of the best teachers when it comes to learning. Sheltering your children may only delay their growth and emotional development.
If your kid tripped on a rock and gets a bruise on his knees, help him up and treat his wound, but don’t coddle him. Allow him to get hurt. This will teach him to be more careful next time.
If he’s up for vaccination, don’t say sorry and be apologetic because they will get an injection. Druckerman quoted her French doctor saying,
“You don’t say, ‘I’m sorry.’ Getting injections and experiencing pain is part of life. There’s no reason to apologize for that.
If you spare them every kind of discomfort, you are preparing great miseries for them.”
Instead, teach your children how to deal with it so they can be resilient and good problem solvers when they grow up.
5. Kids should learn to respect their parent’s privacy.
Most parents want their kids to be with them all the time. Perhaps it’s the guilt of being away from their kids because of work.
But for the French, grownups deserve to have their own time too. Having your kids all the time with you can be exhausting and can contribute to a feeling of burnout, being tired from working to playing with your kids nonstop.
Druckerman says that the solution is for parents to have their own “me” and “us” time.
“In French parenting, the parents have managed to be involved without becoming obsessive. They assume that even good parents aren’t at the constant service of their children, and that there’s no need to feel guilty about this. Evenings are for the parents.”
Mommy Candice, a Pinoy mom, believes in this approach.
“Our kids know that nighttime is for me and their dad. After dinner, they go to their rooms and me and hubby retreat to ours. This helped foster independence in our children and strengthened my relationship with my spouse.” she shared.
These French parenting tips can be applied alongside our traditional Filipino values of respect for elders and close family ties. It doesn’t have to be one way or another.
Regardless of what parenting approach you choose to follow, remember that you have all the capabilities and resources to empower yourself as a parent. Every lesson and advice you get can help you decide on how you can bring up your child to be the best person she can be.
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