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– When my parents brought my brother and me out to dinner, my brother would play under the table with his “guys.” His G.I. Joes kept him busy so the rest of us could have a peaceful meal. I think I brought colored markers and drew stuff on the paper place mats.

Apparently, my parents were very French.

An American mother living in Paris wanted to know why her kids were out of control and French children listened to their parents and contentedly played by themselves. She wrote about her observations in the Wall Street Journal.

The secret?

Yet the French have managed to be involved with their families without becoming obsessive. They assume that even good parents aren’t at the constant service of their children, and that there is no need to feel guilty about this. “For me, the evenings are for the parents,” one Parisian mother told me. “My daughter can be with us if she wants, but it’s adult time.” French parents want their kids to be stimulated, but not all the time. While some American toddlers are getting Mandarin tutors and preliteracy training, French kids are—by design—toddling around by themselves.

French parents are very “free range.”

– I always seem to pick the wrong checkout line at Wegmans. There might be an art to it.

– New York State gets a B+ on school science standards, according to a new study. Most of the country did much worse. I’m not sure if Regents science classes have changed much since I went to high school, but I thought they were challenging.

– There’s an amusing video making the rounds called “S*** Rochester People Say.” It’s good for a few chuckles.


I can’t wait for the Civic Center Plaza to reopen. The project turned a little-used Soviet-style concrete wasteland into an urban park, while replacing the garage roof.

3 Responses to French Parents Better?

  1. February 4, 2012 at 11:05 am Reggie Henderson responds:

    Regarding Wegman’s checkout lines. Anyone who thinks they need to game the Wegmans checkout line must never have shopped at any other supermarket.

  2. February 4, 2012 at 11:15 am Jason Milliman responds:

    agreed. People do much better when not relying on others all the time. This begins at childhood. I also find even if you pick an empty line you picked the wrong one.

  3. regarding French parents.. I raised my kids to know that they were the center of my world, but not the center of THE world.

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