8 Main Differences American and French Parents Have When It Comes To Raising Kids – Which Way Do You Like More?


There are some very distinct differences between French and American ways of parenting. Do you know what they are?

Nexter.org prepared you a list of the main ones.

Relationship between French parents

Source: My French Link

Pamela Dunkerman, the author of “Bringing Up Bebe,” said, “What French women would tell me over and over is, it’s very important that no part of your life — not being a mom, not being a worker, not being a wife — overwhelms the other part.” French parents don’t build their relationship solely around the child.

American parents are more patient

Source: Deseret News

“Mothers [in the United States] are generally more talkative, and patient, and explain much more about everything to their young children,” said a French mother in an interview with Today. This helps them build a strong bond with their kids as well as build up their self-confidence.

“No” to parenting books

Source: Expatriates Magazine Paris

We all know that American parents like to use parenting books, but in , they are not that common, according to Today. French parents rely on their instincts and other culturally-approved techniques thus creating a more nationally cohesive parenting style.

Food is not a bribe

Source: Reader’s Digest

Food is not a bribe or a way of punishment for French parents, according to “French Kids Eat Everything.” This creates a healthier relationship with food because kids don’t have any strong associations with it.

More individuality

Source: businessinsider

Megan Mcardle wrote in The Atlantic, that the strict French parenting style can sometimes be too much and this can keep kids from revealing their individuality. While American parents are trying to help their kids to find their own voice from the early age.

Fewer snacks

Source: Food Network

Usually, French parents stick to the three-meals-a-day routine, with just one snack in the afternoon, according to “Bringing Up Bebe.”

More responsibility at an earlier age

Source: Laura Grace Weldon

French kids are given more responsibility at the early age than American kids. In , children start to walk to school by themselves by the age of 7 and by 11 they can already ride a public transport on their own, according to The Huffington Post.

Sleep all night

Source: The Spinoff

There is a thing like “The Pause” that French parents like to use. This is a technique parents use when they hear their child crying at night. They wait a couple of minutes before going to them to give a child an opportunity to “self-soothe.” Later, this can trick kids to sleep through the whole night.  

Which way of parenting do you like most?


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There are some very distinct differences between French and American ways of parenting. Do you know what they are?

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