…when American parents come to my house, they’re constantly engaged with their children resolving spats, or getting down on the ﬂoor and playing Lego. We never finish a conversation, certainly not a cup of coffee. When French families come over, the kids go off and play by themselves and we adults have coffee.
Pamela Druckerman, author of the new book Bringing Up Bébé describes this scene in a recent interview with Macleans. Amongst the many differences she notes between American and French parenting styles is the “belief in America that we must always stimulate our kids.” In France, by contrast, “children are given freedom to play by themselves, and to cope with frustration and boredom.”
But is it a “bad” thing for parents to build Lego houses with their kids?
Of course not. Perhaps the more relevant question is, should you as a parent feel obligated to build Lego houses? Would you rather be socializing with friends or catching up on household chores? Could American parents make things a little easier on themselves if they loosened the reigns and allowed themselves more “me” time?
To the last question, Druckerman would respond with an emphatic yes. How would you respond?