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
Local

'Five Star': A coming-of-age story about Brooklyn's gang…

'Five Star' tells a coming-of-age story about Brooklyn's gang culture at the Tribeca Film Festival.

National

New statue of Penn State's Paterno set for…

By David DeKokHARRISBURG, Pennsylvania (Reuters) - Fundraising for a new statue depicting Joe Paterno "as the man he was and not Joe the football coach"…

Local

NYPD detective shoots partner: DA

A New York City Police detective was arrested early Thursday and charged with driving under the influence while on the clock.

Local

Judge strikes down NY limits on donations to…

A federal judge on Thursday reluctantly struck down New York's limits on donations to independent political action committees as unconstitutional, potentially ushering in a new…

Music

Championship of Collegiate a Cappella: Students who are…

Tickets to this Saturday’s International Championship of Collegiate a Cappella reportedly sold out within 11 hours of going on sale.

Music

M.I.A. talks 'Matangi,' divinity, spontaneity and holograms

"There’s pressure for me to become a theatrical production like 'Glee,' or something" says M.I.A., "It’s like, 'the pressure’s on, bitches.'"

Movies

Tribeca: 'Goodbye to All That' star Paul Schneider…

Paul Schneider talks about his new film "Goodbye to All That," not acting too much and how he'd rather indulge in simple pleasures than play the scene.

The Word

Taylor Swift battles paparazzi daily at Tribeca penthouse

We're entranced by these photos of poor Taylor Swift leaving her Tribeca apartment.

NHL

Rangers unlikely to change lineup, Steve Mason in…

Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault wouldn't say much, but don't expect any lineup changes.

NBA

Jason Collins named to Time's 100 Most Influential…

Jason Collins was named to the list after coming out as the first openly gay player to appear in an NBA game.

NBA

Nets excited for Brooklyn fans to bring the…

Kevin Garnett has definitely used profanity while trash talking or in practices, but never to describe an entire borough.

NHL

Rangers turn up shot blocking in Game 3…

Game 3 of the Rangers-Flyers opneing round series was not a return to John Tortorella hockey.

Parenting

New study: Inside the wage gap between boys…

According to a new study, there's a wage gap between boys and girls, with boys earning more allowance for less chores.

Tech

From Apple TV to Fire TV, big changes…

Apple is set to launch a new generation of it's Apple TV, which grossed over $1 billion in 2013. But competition from Amazon and Google looms.

Style

Katy Perry releases a new Claire’s collection

Katy Perry expands her empire by releasing an accessories collection at Claire's.

Style

MAC & Proenza Schouler collection unveiled

MAC Cosmetics is releasing a new collection with Proenza Schouler.