Title: French Twist: An American Mom's Experiment in Parisian Parenting Author: Catherine Crawford Publisher: Ballantine Books; Reprint edition (March 12, 2013) Format: Trade Paperback; Pgs 256 Genre: Not sure if it is a memoir, parenting book or downright fiction Source: Library
I had such high hopes for this book. By mid book, my hopes were still high, until I had come to the conclusion that Catherine Crawford was trying to stretch out a three part magazine article into a book length dissertation involving her attempts to “french-ify” her family.
Totally failing at controlling her daughters, Catherine Crawford looks around and realizes that the offspring of her French friends are better behaved. It did not occur to her that it could possibly be her own lack of parenting or her own ADD tendencies, but obviously, it was that she was not rearing her young in the French ways.
Dragging her family, kicking and screaming I might add, through this new adventure had its interesting parts. There was humor from her daughters and slight glimpse of insight from Catherine herself, but to be honest, there was nothing new in this book. This is how mothers used to raise their children right here in the United States. I do not know when parenting changed, but my mother did not sit by a pool waiting for my latest escapades to entertain her, she did not read the same book five times in a row just so I would go to sleep at night. Adults were adults that interacted with adults and children were children and expected to do what they were told the first time and only time. Only when a child was self-controlled enough to contribute to adult conversation were they allowed to participate. Do not even get me stated on the food thing. Multiple meals and snacks were not provided – you ate what was offered or you went hungry.
By the end, I was just exasperated. If this was meant to be a memoir of sorts, then I could appreciate part of the adventure, but if it was a parenting book like I was lead to believe - Oh goodness, we have a long way to go. There are many areas in life that new and improved really is, but when it comes to parenting, the tried and true works. We do not need to look at the French, we need to put on our big girl panties and set rules and examples. That is all. It does not matter what country you come from.