10 Surprising Reasons Why French Children Are So Well-Behaved
Every parent claims to know the best way to raise their children to have good manners, but some cultural differences in parenting styles can spark the question, “Can we do something better?” Some children master certain skills and abilities more quickly than others. The French are well known for the way they raise their children, and one parent on Reddit decided to share their tricks that we can all easily adopt.
10. Don’t punish them.
- “He can be angry or in a bad mood, which is no reason to scold and punish him. We do our best to play with him and read a book together. He may also want to be alone with his favorite plush toy, stay seated, or spend a few minutes in our arms for a hug.” © marmakoide / Reddit
Punishing the child when they don’t behave, according to the given rules, won’t make them “learn their lesson.” It can cause the child to behave aggressively in the future as well as disobey their parents’ advice. Resist that kind of parenting and model fixing and apologizing.
- “If he asks for a dessert, bread, etc. — nope, finish your dish first.” © marmakoide / Reddit
Desserts contain a lot of sugar that can instantly change one’s mood. Some children avoid eating the main course only to move on to dessert. Avoid using the phrase, “There is no dessert until the main course is eaten,” and replace it with something like, “First the main course, then dessert.”
8. Separate chairs and cutlery
- “My son eats in his chair, with his dish and spoon/fork. If he plays rather than eats and makes a mess, we take his dish and his spoon. We never had to do more than this, he never had a tantrum over that.” © marmakoide / Reddit
Babies will let you know when they are ready to start eating independently, so make sure you have everything they require. Allow your youngster to practice frequently in order to improve their skills. Responding negatively when the child throws food can lead them to believe it is a game. Pick up the food calmly and without making a fuss, or leave the food on the floor until the dinner is over.
7. Words of praise
- “Whenever he behaves well and does something difficult, we encourage him and congratulate him.” © marmakoide / Reddit
Kids are like blank notebooks and parents are the first ones to start writing in them. Reminding your child every day that they have done their tasks correctly can boost their confidence and make them independent in the future. Reward your kid with good words and compliments, as they can have a big impact on their development.
6. Quality playtime
- “We both spend time with him, playing. We try to not ignore him when we have to work.” © marmakoide / Reddit
Even though it’s hard to manage time correctly as a parent, make sure that you have enough time for the kids as well. From simple tasks to more complicated ones, kids who are treated properly are less likely to misbehave in certain situations.
5. Explaining instead of scolding
- “We talk to him not in a childish way, just with simpler explanations for things. I try to tell him in advance what is going to happen and why.” © marmakoide / Reddit
Kids, like adults, seek explanations for everything, so be sure to provide them with what they want. They will begin to question our beliefs and reasoning if we don’t take the time to explain them. Explaining how things will work out allows them to comprehend and learn without judgment.
4. Giving the child a chance to choose for themself
- “Whenever I can, I try to let him choose between 2 options, where we are going to walk, what book to read, etc.” © marmakoide / Reddit
Children, like many others, like to have a say in what they do. By giving options, we make them feel like they have the ability to control what they do. They’ll often behave well, and it’s a step toward maturation.
3. The same food for everyone, and no special meals for kids
- “No special foods or meals for kids; it’s the same for everyone. Don’t like it, fine, don’t eat it, but no way we cook something in a hurry to compensate.” © marmakoide / Reddit
Offering your child a special dinner may lead to the misconception that certain meals are appropriate for them while others are not. Later on, this may manifest as informing them that if they don’t like something, they will be provided an alternative, which may result in picky eating.
2. Sharing food
- “Around one year old, he started to want to eat like us. No more purees, but vegetables cut in small bits with various kinds of cereal, either stir-fried or boiled or whatever. We do 2 dishes for each meal, and one of the dishes is made so that he can share with us.” © marmakoide / Reddit
Eating as a family may have a significant influence on children’s development. It teaches kids to share food from an early age, which is a vital step in developing good food connections later in life.
1. Kneel down to their level to talk.
- “When he is having a tantrum or is not cooperative, I kneel down to his level, and I explain to him why he should do something or not do it. I try very hard to not be angry at him. It doesn’t always work.” © marmakoide / Reddit
This technique makes it physically simpler for kids to communicate with you, plus you are giving them respect by being on their level. It will engage them to take part in the conversation and understand you better.
What’s the best and most practical advice you’ve heard about raising a toddler?