Why French Kids Behave

Why French Kids Behave

Have you ever been to France and wondered why the kids behave so well? If so I have a simple answer...they are strict and punish them with no worries of being criticized.

When my eldest started school there, she was exhausted by noon.    She was a mere three years old, didn't speak the language and a full day of classes was too much for her. The school and I decided it would be best to pick her up at noon daily until she was ready.

I would ring the bell (French schools have walls around them and are like a fortress), and they would let me in. One day as I waited for her to come running down the hallway and jump into my arms I noticed a little boy misbehaving. The assistant teacher had asked him to stop, "Non!" he yelled as he stuck out his tongue. What happened next caused a gasp that was so loud that the whole hallway looked my way. The teacher slapped him! Right there, in front of me, with no shame. As I gasped, she looked at me and shrugged, "He was misbehaving, non?"

I am not advocating slapping or spanking, but I am also not judging these mothers. I have lived in five countries and worked with kids and parents in the most diverse systems. I have learned there are many cultures and ways of doing things and that in France this worked just fine 

If you do wonder about those manners and well-behaved kids just know their parents will not hesitate to scold, punish, give a little spank or slap in a restaurant, a museum or public transport. Misbehaving is punished and that is why there are so many children who obey. It is pretty straightforward. 

–Allison Ochs, Social Worker M.S.W. , Coach, Expat, Mother of three, Wife

Photo by pan xiaozhen on Unsplash