Unveiling the secret: Why French children often behave better than their peers

The French seem to have cracked the code when it comes to raising well-behaved children. With their calm demeanour and polite manners, French kids often stand out amongst their peers. So, what’s their secret? Here we delve into some of the cultural and parenting practices that contribute to this phenomenon.

French parents believe in setting clear boundaries and expectations for their children from an early age. Consistent routines and rules provide a sense of security and stability, helping children understand what is acceptable behaviour. This emphasis on structure and following “Le Cadre” helps minimise power struggles and fosters a sense of discipline in French children.

The Importance of “Le Cadre” (The Framework)

In French parenting, “le cadre” refers to the structured yet flexible boundaries and routines parents establish to guide their children’s behaviour and development. This framework encompasses not only rules and boundaries, but also the values and principles that guide behaviour. By providing a solid framework, parents empower their children to navigate the world with confidence and respect for others.

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Consistency and Clear Expectations

“Le Cadre” emphasises consistency in rules and expectations. Parents set clear boundaries and consistently enforce them, providing children with a sense of security and predictability. This helps children understand what is expected of them and reduces confusion or defiance.

Showing Respect for Authority

French parents typically expect children to respect authority figures, including parents, teachers, and other adults. By following “Le Cadre” parents teach children the importance of following rules and respecting authority and hierarchy, which fosters discipline and social skills.

Teaching Independence and Self-Regulation

French parents encourage independence and self-regulation from a young age. Children are given age-appropriate responsibilities and encouraged to take initiative in tasks such as setting the table or tidying up their toys. This fosters a sense of autonomy and self-confidence, allowing them to develop decision-making skills and a sense of responsibility, which are essential qualities for ensuring children are well-behaved.

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Mealtime Etiquette and Cultivating a Healthy Relationship with Food

In France, mealtimes are considered sacred family rituals. Children are taught to appreciate a wide variety of foods and to approach eating with respect and moderation. Parents emphasise proper table manners, patience, and respect for others during meals. By involving children in meal preparation and exposing them to diverse flavours, French parents instill healthy eating habits and good table manners from an early age.

Positive Discipline, Valuing Patience and Delayed Gratification

While “Le Cadre” involves setting limits and boundaries, it also emphasises positive discipline techniques and teaching children the value of patience and delayed gratification. French parents often use reasoning, explanation, and redirection rather than harsh punishments or rewards. This approach helps children understand the reasons behind rules and encourages self-regulation. Whether waiting for a turn on the playground or saving up for a desired toy, children learn that good things come to those who wait. This focus on patience helps develop resilience and self-control, qualities that are essential for navigating life’s challenges.

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Embracing “La Pause” (The Pause)

French parents understand the importance of allowing children to experience boredom and frustration. Instead of constantly entertaining or rescuing them from discomfort, they encourage children to find their own solutions and explore their interests independently. This fosters creativity, problem-solving skills, and emotional resilience in French children.

Routine and Predictability

Establishing routines is another key aspect of French upbringing. Consistent daily schedules for activities like mealtimes, bedtime, and play provide children with a sense of security and stability. Predictable routines also help children learn self-control and time management skills.

Emphasis on Education

French parents value education and intellectual development. This includes creating an environment that fosters curiosity, exploration, and learning. Parents may provide stimulating activities, books, and opportunities for creative expression to support their children’s cognitive growth.

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Overall, “Le Cadre” serves as a guiding framework that promotes balance between structure and flexibility in parenting. By providing a consistent and supportive environment, French parents aim to raise independent, respectful, and well-adjusted children who are prepared to navigate the challenges of life.

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