Motherhood with a bit of ‘ooh la la’

PAR_french_parenting_book_3c_0319

When Brooklyn mom Catherine Crawford began to feel as if her kids were running the household, she and her husband began an experiment in French parenting. The more hands-off French method focuses on rules and boundaries between children and adults. Her memoir, “French Twist: An American Mom’s Experiment in Parisian Parenting,” chronicles her family’s experience with “la vie francaise,” and how it transformed their lives. Crawford learned plenty about American culture, childrearing and family dynamics.

Your “a-ha” moment occurred during dinner with French family friends — as you were about to bolt out of the room to tend to your crying daughter, your friend said, “If there is no blood, don’t get up.” Why was this moment so significant for you?
Throughout the evening, I had been in awe all night of my friends’ children. They didn’t seem to need the same amount of attention, and they were extremely courteous. My daughter was freaking out about something and my instinct had always been to get up and run. My daughter calmed down.  She figured it out on her own, which we don’t let children do enough.
What changes did you make after that?
My husband and I defined rules. We said, “You’re children. Daddy and I are grown-ups and we’re not the same.”  I had to explain to them that they didn’t get a say in everything. I realized I was always trying to fit into my children’s world, whereas I never made them adapt to mine. We’re afraid to tell them to be quiet and say no.
And this brought the    family closer together?
It provided a little relief for everyone. One of the best changes was in the way they related to each other. All of a sudden, they were a team. If mommy or daddy laid down a rule they didn’t like, they had each other to commiserate with. They play together so much more now.
What are some of the things American parents are doing right?
American parents encourage individuality. I didn’t want to squash that in my kids. Our kids are boisterous, and I like that. There is a nice middle ground between the American and French examples.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Mutant worms stay sober, even on alcohol

U.S. researchers have developed "mutant worms" that do not get drunk by alcohol, a breakthrough that could lead to new treatment for people trying to quit drinking

Local

K-9 nose helps capture $150K in cocaine at…

A furry, four-legged security agent helped authorities stop an illegal cocaine shipment from sneaking past JFK customs.

National

Minnesota man asked to leave Southwest flight after…

A man and his two sons were asked to leave a Southwest Airlines flight after the man sent a tweet complaining about being treated rudely by a gate agent.

National

Man sues hospital after surprise penis amputation

An Alabama man who went in to a hospital last month for a circumcision awoke after surgery to find his penis had been amputated, his lawyer said on Thursday.

Movies

Review: Brett Ratner's big 'Hercules' movie is small…

The latest "Hercules," starring Dwayne Johnson as the half-god beefcake of Greek myth, strips its hero and tale of most of its fantastical elements.

Arts

Scientists recreate world's smallest Monet copy

Scientists have reproduced a famous Impressionist painting using nano-printing, to create what has been described as the world's smallest work of art. Reworked at the…

Television

Jerry Seinfeld is ambidextrous, and other Reddit AMA…

See some of the weirder highlights of Jerry Seinfeld's recent Reddit AMA.

Going Out

Grab a pedestrian and start dancing at What…

As a New Yorker, I’ve mastered the art of focusing my gaze straight ahead. Though it occasionally piques my interest, the absurdities that play out…

U.S. Soccer

Orlando City takes shot at NYCFC over Frank…

Orlando City reminded the world how big a signing Brazilian star Kaka earlier this month with a photo of Kaka mobbed by fans juxtaposed against Lampard.

NBA

Jeremy Lin says 'Linsanity' is over as he…

Jeremy Lin lit up the NBA two years ago with his play for the Knicks but he has no desire to recreate "Linsanity" in his new career with the Lakers.

NFL

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player…

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player rankings

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC announce signing of Frank Lampard

The tease of a big signing Thursday by new MLS side NYCFC ended up being one rumored for weeks. England midfielder Frank Lampard agreed to…

Tech

Forget Wi-Fi: Li-Fi could be the future

Li-Fi technology – developed by Mexican company Sisoft – is wireless internet connectivity using specialized LED light.

Tech

Weather app Climendo might be the most accurate…

The wait for a truly accurate weather forecast could finally be over thanks to a nifty new app called Climendo.

Tech

Napkin Table puts focus off the phone and…

Michael Jan, a design student at Tunghai University in Taiwan, has invented a serviette-picnic blanket hybrid called the Napkin Table.

Style

Essie's new Color Boutique

Essie launches high-tech kiosks at major airports and malls across the country.