French Moms Ain’t All That Great

French mothers do not have some magical formula for raising well behaved children.

Heather Horn reveals that, contrary to the hype created by a new book an a WSJ column based on it, French mothers do not have some magical formula for raising well behaved children. Rather, it appears that the American author based her research on three or four minutes of casual observation of some rich French women.

FILED UNDER: Parenting,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Gold Star for Robot Boy says:

    But do welfare mothers make better lovers?

  2. Franklin says:

    Hmmm, now I’m going to have to start adding “In Bed” to all your post titles to humor myself (always works great with Santorum, BTW).

  3. rodney dill says:

    @Franklin: White House’s Revised Contraceptive Proposal Unlikely To Satisfy Critics In Bed.

    Yep…. works for me.

    (Actually I heard you were supposed to add ‘in bed’ to fortune cookie sayings)

  4. Franklin says:

    I’ll be honest, I didn’t see that one coming!

  5. Shocking, isn’t it, how anecdotal evidence ends up making for lousy social science?

  6. TheColurfield says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    Charles Murray, you are being paged

  7. Brummagem Joe says:

    Actually based on purely personal observations while living in France for awhile I’d say French kids are way more polite and well behaved than their US opposite numbers. It’s not remotely scientific but there you are. Sorry if this doesn’t satisfy your apparent Francophobia JJ.

  8. James Joyner says:

    @Brummagem Joe: Nah, it was just a snarky post linking to a column bursting a bubble.

    My reaction to the original WSJ piece is that a more relaxed, less kid-centric approach to parenting makes a lot of sense and it’s quite probable that other cultures take such an approach. But the notion that there’s some magical approach to parenting that results in toddlers that never misbehave or interfere with adult “me time” but has somehow eluded Americans is just silly.

  9. Christophe from Airbase 105 says:

    I have spent plenty of time in France, with and without my children. I have seen lot’s of French kiddies acting up, melting down and, well, acting like children. Yes, they can deconstruct a resturant as well as ant American child. Actually, to think of it, the French people I know seldom take their kids out to eat. I wonder why?