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

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"…

National

On newly released tape, 'Squeaky' Fromme says was…

Manson Family member Squeaky Fromme told a mental health examiner in newly released interview the "X" she carved in her forehead was meant to separate her from "the system."

Local

New York-based Century 21 store coming to The…

The former Strawbridge & Clothier building will once again host a department store. City officials on Thursday announced New York-based Century 21 Department Stores will…

National

Electric Zoo tickets on sale Tuesday as festival…

Electric Zoo tickets go on sale Tuesday. The festival announced plans to amp up security after two attendees died last year from apparent drug overdoses.

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.

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.

MLB

The return of Cole Hamels brings optimism

Cole Hamels’ quality start Wednesday was a nice change of pace from his recent season debuts.

MLB

Tony Gwynn Jr. a nice surprise for Phillies

Tony Gwynn Jr. has been a plus in every way for the Phillies.

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24…

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24 version

Food

Hai Street Kitchen opening in Rittenhouse May 22

Japanese cuisine will get a Chipotle-style twist at Hai Street Kitchen & Co., a new casual, quick-food restaurant opening near Rittenhouse Square on May 22.…

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.