My First experience with the French style of bringing up children
I arrived in France when my oldest child was 3 and the youngest one only 10 months old. As soon as we arrived they went to the Garderie which is our local day care centre run by the local council. I remember at the time (2005) we only had to pay about 1,20 euros per hour for both children, plus we had to provide their lunch and nappies for the day. My little ones loved the garderie and not being familiar with the French language did not pose a problem either for them or the carers.
The advantages of having a Garderie for my little ones were several, among which the most important were:
- The Price. Being run by the local council, we only had to pay a fraction of the total cost. The price you pay in most local day care centers is decided based on your tax form and your income during the previous year.
- The children start early to learn how to interact with other children and the importance of sitting and eating properly at a table. More important than everything else probably is that they learn to have a Pause. Whether they slept or not, at the garderie children were put in a bedroom to have a sleep or simply to have a lay down and a calming time on their own. This “Pause” continues to be a rule during all the pre-school years.
- Freedom of time. Sending my children to the Garderie meant that I could have a whole day free to do whatever I had or wanted to do without feeling guilty or worrying about leaving my children with someone else.
- First contact with the French language and culture. My children went to the Garderie without speaking a word of French and much to my surprise, in a few weeks they were already speaking French.
I can say that the secret behind having well behaved children is based on the fact that:
- French parents are not afraid to show their authority
- French parents do not spoil their children
- French Mothers say NO
- French parents let their children be children
- French mothers have FREE time
- French Parents enforce rules that affect their own pleasure
- French parents teach their children to eat well rounded meals