PHOTO: Reprinted from Say Bonjour to the Lady. Copyright © 2017 by Florence Mars and Pauline Lévêque. Illustrations copyright © 2017 by Pauline Lévêque. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.
From how to chop vegetables correctly, how to tie shoelaces, and how to be the world’s best parent; there are a zillion-and-one methods, not of which correspond to one another, nor are any/all correct.
Do you care to have an insight in the nuances of parenting from a Parisian perspective? Read on…
“The French way is all about respecting rules, tons of rules, doing things very much comme il faut (the way it should be). And the American way is definitely about making sure your kids are comfortable; something that we really do not care so much about in Paris!”
MD: How do children’s table manners differ between Parisian and New York?
FM: Table manners are pretty intense in Paris. Dinner is a big deal. It is every night around the table. We cook. Nobody is fooling around. We share the food and the conversation. All the rules for la table are no jokes in our house. Chew with your mouth closed, do not speak while your mouth is full, sit straight, and no elbows on the table. Both hands on the table is perfect and the feet on the ground. And never, ever put your shoes on the chair.
MD: What are the main differences in schooling between Paris and New York?
PL: In New York, the education is supposed to make the child feel very confident, so everything they do is acknowledged with a huge amount of enthusiasm. It is basically the exact opposite in Paris, where teachers are almost never satisfied or at least will never show it. You need to do better pretty much all the time. Even if you are a very good student, you can improve and aim for excellence.
MD: What are some of the things Parisian moms do differently with their newborns compared to New York? Why?
FM: Breastfeeding is an option, not a big deal at all. It is up to the mother, and I don’t think people will judge you if you decide to not try it. If you choose to breastfeed, you can do it without hiding the baby and boob under a big scarf. It is considered very cute to see a bit of flesh.
We also let the baby cry before running to their bed. And at three months, they are expected to be sleeping at night.
If you want to read more, then shop the gorgeous illustrated book (here).
**Florence Mars and Pauline Lévêque. Reprinted from Say Bonjour to the Lady. Copyright © 2017 by Florence Mars and Pauline Lévêque. Illustrations copyright © 2017 by Pauline Lévêque. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.