Self-Motivation
David Goggins
Former Navy Seal
Career Development
Bryan Cranston
Actor
Critical Thinking
Liv Boeree
International Poker Champion
Emotional Intelligence
Amaryllis Fox
Former CIA Clandestine Operative
Management
Chris Hadfield
Retired Canadian Astronaut & Author
Learn
from the world's big
thinkers
Start Learning

How to Bring Up Bébé, Not a Brat

Former Wall Street Journal reporter Pamela Druckerman moved to France in 2003 and discovered that French children were much better behaved than American kids. Here's what she brought back with her. 

Former Wall Street Journal reporter Pamela Druckerman had one of those "Aha! moments" shortly after she moved to Paris in 2003. When Druckerman was sitting in a restaurant she realized "it was only my daughter who was throwing food and running around the restaurant and whining and just generally having a miserable time." The French children, on the other hand, were sitting politely in their chairs. And they didn't see him to be fussy at all about what they were eating. 


What's the Big Idea?

Druckerman, the author of Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting, describes the French way of raising a child as an education. But this has nothing to do with school. "The French believe you teach children how to eat," Druckerman tells Big Think. And don't worry, this isn't another iteration of so-called Tiger Parenting. Rather, education is done "by introducing food as one of life’s great pleasures," Druckerman says.

Watch the video here:

So what if your child still thinks artichokes are gross, and continues to throw the food back in your face? Henry Rollins calls this punk rock. If you're a parent, you have a different perspective. So what's to be done. In the next video, Druckerman offers some humble tips from the French. 

Watch the video here:

Druckerman offers five humble steps from French parenting. Let's review:

1.  Get rid of the idea of "kids’ food."  Kids can eat whatever adults can eat. That means there is one dinner and everyone has the same thing.

2.  Serve vegetables first. Kids will be much more likely to eat them.

3.  You don't have to clean your plate. Just taste it. By tasting, Druckerman says, little by little kids get more familiar with food and more likely to eat it the next time.  

4.  There's one official snack time a day. Other than that afternoon snack, kids only eat at regular mealtimes. That means when they sit down to eat, they're actually hungry. 

5.  Approach food with joy. Introduce your kids to healthy foods because "each one is sort of going to be her friend for life," Druckerman says.  

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Follow Daniel Honan on Twitter @Daniel Honan

Live tomorrow! Unfiltered lessons of a female entrepreneur

Join Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and best-selling author Charles Duhigg as he interviews Victoria Montgomery Brown, co-founder and CEO of Big Think, live at 1pm EDT tomorrow.

Two MIT students just solved Richard Feynman’s famed physics puzzle

Richard Feynman once asked a silly question. Two MIT students just answered it.

Surprising Science

Here's a fun experiment to try. Go to your pantry and see if you have a box of spaghetti. If you do, take out a noodle. Grab both ends of it and bend it until it breaks in half. How many pieces did it break into? If you got two large pieces and at least one small piece you're not alone.

Keep reading Show less

Improving Olympic performance with asthma drugs?

A study looks at the performance benefits delivered by asthma drugs when they're taken by athletes who don't have asthma.

Image source: sumroeng chinnapan/Shutterstock
Culture & Religion
  • One on hand, the most common health condition among Olympic athletes is asthma. On the other, asthmatic athletes regularly outperform their non-asthmatic counterparts.
  • A new study assesses the performance-enhancement effects of asthma medication for non-asthmatics.
  • The analysis looks at the effects of both allowed and banned asthma medications.

Keep reading Show less

Weird science shows unseemly way beetles escape after being eaten

Certain water beetles can escape from frogs after being consumed.

R. attenuata escaping from a black-spotted pond frog.

Surprising Science
  • A Japanese scientist shows that some beetles can wiggle out of frog's butts after being eaten whole.
  • The research suggests the beetle can get out in as little as 7 minutes.
  • Most of the beetles swallowed in the experiment survived with no complications after being excreted.
Keep reading Show less
Mind & Brain

Why are we fascinated by true crime stories?

Several experts have weighed in on our sometimes morbid curiosity and fascination with true crime.

Scroll down to load more…
Quantcast