TLDR: interesting book for parents.
So, I’ve been reading the fairly humorously, light-hearted book Bringing up Bebe: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting. And if i were to summarise the main difference she highlights between American parenting and French parenting, it would be the emphasis or lack thereof of structure and the over-babying (does this word make sense) of the baby.
What struck me as interesting was the fact that before buying the book, I was reading through quite a bit of criticism of the author’s take on parenting, how the French rigidity could be the reason why the French aren’t famous for entrepreneurs and how her take was a bourgeois take on French parenting, the lower-middle and lower income don’t live like this.
I found this interesting because I feel like in Singapore, back in my day (late 80s early 90s), we were all brought up with similar structure and discipline. There was (and still isn’t) any interrupting of parents, no throwing of tantrums, sitting at the dinner, eating what you were given. All this was a given. Behave or you would be scolded, worse, you could be smacked (I refuse to delve into the whole debate surrounding smacking. We were smacked as kids, and till this day, I don’t see it as child abuse, I greatly love my parents and I understand that they love me to. Thats all I will say). To say that this stifles creativity or self-expression, I don’t know if its true, given that creativity and self-expression is also limited by cultural and national norms. But to say that it limits entrepreneurship? Probably not. Singapore is filled to the brim with entrepreneurs or people with business plans.
Interestingly though, I find that Singaporeans appear to be moving toward a more “helicopter” type of parenting where parents are constantly hovering, or anxious about their child, what he or she is doing etc. I’m not sure how I feel about this. Perhaps it’s simply because we are having less children and therefore each child is more precious. What does this mean for such children? I guess only time will tell.