Bringing Up Bébé: You'd Be a Better Person If You Were French

It appears there's money to be made in stoking the self-loathing of the American people — hence this article on the Chronicle's Mommy Blog. It plugs the book Bringing Up Bébé, in which an American expat expounds upon the enlightened parenting techniques of our Gallic brethren, and contrasts them with the lax, slothful methods used to produce loathsome wastrels like you good people (and your humble narrator).

Americans have long romanticized all things French — an inclination that can be effectively cured via first-hand experience of a French rail strike. Self-reflection is healthy, but lamenting about how much better everyone else has it is not. It warrants mentioning that the French do both: The schools, the culture, the behavior of the young are all so much better in Germany or Italy — or the United States, the French constantly grumble.

I don't have French parents, but I do have French parents-in-law. I'd write this book off as n'import quoi, but it'll be more fun to break it down point-by-point. Per the Mommy Blog, here's where the French have us licked in the child-rearing department:

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