French parents

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2 Φεβ 2013 (πριν από 4 χρόνια και 4 μήνες)

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R
ead the following passage







TEXT 7

French Children Don’t Throw Food: Parenting
Secrets From Paris

IN DIPLOMATIC affairs the French are often viewed from America and Britain with
exasperation, as arrogant, unreliable and underhand. When it comes to fam
ily matters,
however, there seems to be a fresh burst of admiration for all things Gallic. Ever since “French
Women Don’t Get Fat” by Mireille Guiliano, a Frenchwoman, became a bestseller in America
a few years ago, a new genre has emerged devoted to the f
ailings that French women don’t
possess. Now attention has turned to the impossibly well
-
mannered offspring of these
impossibly chic women, with “French Children Don
’t Throw Food”.

Like many foreigners living in France, Pamela Druckerman, an American write
r and
mother of three, found herself struggling to control her toddler in a posh restaurant while small
French children around her sat still, ate with cutlery and left their parents to chat calmly to each
other. Her Paris flat was overtaken by toys and tri
cycles; theirs were tidy with no traces of
childhood. Her children ate a mono
-
diet of white pasta; theirs tucked into hearts of palm and
tomato salad followed by turkey
au basilic

with rice in a
Provençal

cream sauce

and this at
the local, state
-
run crèche
. Dumbstruck, she set out to discover why.

With a dollop of research and a big helping of anecdotes gleaned from friends, Ms
Druckerman identifies two elements to French parenting that set it apart from what she calls the
“Anglophone” version. One is that
the French teach their children to be patient. Babies are not
picked up at the first snuffle from their cots; children are expected to wait until parents have
finished a conversation before getting their attention. This, she concludes, stems from a less
ch
ild
-
centred approach, in which the adult’s needs remain at least as important as those of the
child. Parenting is just one part of a French mother’s life, alongside stilettos

and a briefcase, not
the high
-
investment, all
-
consuming project it has become to
over
-
anxious parents in New York
or London.

The other element is that French parents impose a strict
cadre
, or framework, on their
children. While her English
-
speaking friends tiptoe around their infants’ sensitivities

“do you
think that was nice, darling,

to throw sand into Ruby’s face?”

their French counterparts are
unapologetic about saying
non
, or
ça suffit
(that’s enough). Ms Druckerman argues that this
framework allows them to give their children more space. She finds herself stunned to watch
parents
in New York fretfully following their toddlers around the apparatus in a fenced
playground; French mothers just sit on a bench and let them get on with it.


It all sounds too good to be true. And in a way it is. Ms Druckerman’s France is a
particularly nar
row slice of bourgeois Paris. Try enforcing the greeting, “Bonjour Madame”, in
the tough
banlieue

housing estates that ring the city. She also underplays the more troubling
counterpart to tough French parenting: tough French teaching, that overstresses fai
lure and
under
-
rewards success. But a self
-
deprecating tone rescues the book from taking itself too
seriously. It does not promise to make a pint
-
size terror restaurant
-
friendly. But it does help to
explain all those disdainful looks from French diners the

moment an English
-
speaking family
walks through the door of the brasserie with toddlers in tow.

(
First and second
-
language students ar
e asked to answer the following:)


Write TRUE or FALSE after each of the following statements.



1.

Pamela Druckerman

based
her theories
,

about why

French children are better behaved
than
their American and British counterparts
,

on detailed study and close observation.


2.

The French are
less anxious about parenting tha
n the Americans
.


Now write a summary of the passage

in your o
wn words
.


(Third
-
language students ar
e asked to answer the following questions only:)


A
nswer the following questions
in your own words
.

A

What

is the one thing the Americans and the British admire the French for
?


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B

How

does French parenting differ from American parenting
?


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