French Mom, American Mom, Canadian Mom, what?

So much has been said and published about the Mom controversy about being a better mom if you were raised in another country. If you are a Chinese Mom (Tiger Mom) you raise your child one way, if you American you are overtly lax, if you from anywhere else so on and so on.

So the book "Bringing up Bébé" by Pamela Druckerman was highly publicised this week about parenting differences between French Mothers and their American counterparts. Now I am no American (but I love me some Americans and on many days I wish I lived south of the border) Mother, I am a Canadian Mother by proxy of where I am located on the map and albeit I am a Greek Mother because I was raised in a very strict Greek household.

This book focuses on key points that pretty much Children are to be seen, not heard. That adult time is reserved to the evening and patience is something taught because it's the french thing to do. You can further read a few excerpts that were post on The Wall Street Journal. As you'll see it's a highly flammable article with a ton of comments.

But when did parenting become something that has to do with your Geographic location. Without asking them, my mom friends from my Mom Board that I was on when trying to conceive are all uniquely different, some are raising their kids more religious, some have agents for their kids, others are in school still... how on earth can their parenting techniques be remotely the same. Some in Idaho, Rhodes Island, W. Virginia and California... such different physical environments how can the way I child is raised in either of those conditions be the same.

I live in downtown Toronto, love my city... but I know I don't raise my daughters the same as anyone else I know pretty much. Do my daughters run a free-for-all in my house? YES! Do they listen to every word I say with presence and awareness? NO! Do I hit them as a punishment? NO! Do I get mad at them and they get scorned with some sort of punishment? Of course!

Does this have anything to do with where I live, not at all! My father was far more heavy handed than the kids parents I went to school with. I was very much alone as a child so I was often silent. My daughter are a year apart so they are liking having a permanent friend in the house at all times. Don't you hate play dates? I have one every night.

But last year I went to Church over Easter Communion (I am not overtly religious, but religion is important to me and my daughters will be raised in this belief system) and there was a large line-up for communion. I was told Children don't have to wait in line. Now with newborns or very fidgety toddlers I have used this privilege as I have many times taken my daughter with my disabled mother and felt it would be easier for me to handle them. But my girls are fully capable of standing in a line for a while so this year I opted to well stand in line with them... at some point they'll have to learn to wait their turn. Why not today? What bothered me most and here was my judgemental self coming out was watching mothers take up their 10 year old or so... now it really is none of my business but these kids who are being taught they don't have to wait in line, when they hit the teenage years are not going to be so willing to wait; and where else won't they be willing to stay in line?

I think we need to raise our children in ways that will make our kids good adults! Yes adults! I know they are kids now, but soon they won't be and I am positive the tasks and behaviours we teach them now is only to set them up to continue to do those same responsibilities. There world we live in can be very Black & White... others might not like this reality (May I mention the British parents who raised their child sexless til it attended school) but it is what it is. People are raised to educate themselves (this is not archaic while I am sure I could debate what formal education is and how it could encroach in the personal freedom of our child but I digress), they are taught that at some point they'll need to make a living (albeit this is a choice of their own fruition), and then they will continue the process of life (become part of a relationship, live like a civilised person out of jail and chose to continue the family process).

But does any Group or Country do a better job? I say heck NO! Every day mothers across the world are praying they are doing a good job, that they are providing a nutritious meal, hoping they are allowing for their child to be and do all they can in the world. Do some parents allow for things to slide over others, yes.... I would rather my child get filthy from a meal so they can teach themselves to eat on their own instead of hovering over them til the age of 6 with a spoon. I would rather move my child out of my bed at 6 months from co-sleeping because I felt it was a good time to transition them to sleep on their own, while I am sure someone reading this would cringe that baby shouldn't be in my bed in the first place while someone else would say co-sleeping can go on and on without infringing on the child.

We all make decisions for our households that work for us, instead of saying I am doing a better job than you, or thinking ohhh her kids look put together why are mine terrors, just go over to your fellow mom and discuss. Maybe she does something far more interesting in her household, maybe we could be each other's support systems instead of each others enemies on raising one's child.

So French-smench... raise your kids to be good Adults I say, keep that in mind. When you see a behavioural pattern that your child has look within yourself and say, would I like them if they were an adult acting like this? If not nip it in the bud, if you like it and think it's cute than enjoy it.


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