This is a book I picked up at the NLB because I am personally intrigued by how the Japanese and French bring up their children. In Boston, we got acquainted with one couple who had a son then. The husband is a Singaporean Chinese and the wife, Japanese. They were both in France when the eldest, Arata, was born and I saw how amazing the child was. He was adorable and self-disciplined. During meal times, the parents did not have to deal too much with the 2-year-old; he was sitting quietly, munching his food. At an outing, with a group of his peers, a boy took his toys away and Arata, visibly disturbed, went up to the mother and told her what had happened. The mom just told him in a very calm manner about something in Japanese and Arata nodded his head and went off …and continued playing with the kid.
I was personally impressed. It is true that every child is different but he has left a very deep impression with me. It must have something to do with Ayako’s and Alvin’s parenting. So, when I searched some literature on French parenting, I came across this book, Bringing up Bebe, and noted some interesting findings.
A similar article worth reading.
– The French managed to be involved without becoming obsessive. They assume that even good parents aren’t at the constant service of their children, and there’s no need to feel guilty about this. French parents want their kids to be stimulated, but not all the time. French kids are – by design – toddling around by themselves.
– To be a different kind of parent, you don’t just need a different parenting philosophy. You need a very different view of what a child actually is.
Doing the nights
-When your baby is born, don’t jump on your kid at night. Give your baby a chance to self-soothe, don’t automatically respond, even from birth –> La Pause –> The parents who were a little less responsive to late night fussing always had kids who were good sleepers, while the jumpy folks had kids who would wake up repeatedly at night until it became unbearable.
– One reason for pausing is that young babies make a lot of movements and noise while they’re sleeping. This is normal and fine. If parents rush in and pick the baby up every time he makes a peep, they’ll sometimes wake him up.
– Another reason for pausing is that babies wake up between their sleep cycles (which lasts about 2 hours). It’s normal for them to cry a bit when they’re first learning to connect these cycles. If a parent automatically interprets this cry as a demand for food or a sign of distress and rushes in to soothe the baby, the baby will have a hard time learning to connect the cycles in his own. He’ll then need an adult to come in and soothe him back to sleep at the end of each cycle.
– Newborns typically cannot connect sleep cycles on their own. But from about 2 to 3 months they usually can, if given a chance to learn how.
– Babies do need to be fed or picked up. But unless we pause and observe them, we cannot be sure.
– The Pause doesn’t have the brutal feeling of sleep training. It’s more like sleep teaching. But the window for it is pretty small – it’s only until the baby is 4 months old. After that, bad sleep habits are formed.
————————-I think I should just purchase the book—————————-