Don’t Hover

Saturday, May 25, 2013

One of the big take-aways in Pamela Druckerman’s Bébé Day By Day: 100 Keys to French Parenting is that autonomy is crucial for children.  When a mother hovers over her child too much in France, someone is apt to say: 'Just let him live his life!'

This means that French mothers generally do drop-off playdates: 'French parents don't feel they must supervise another adult's supervision of their child, or stick around to reassure the child herself.  They make sure that they're in good hands, then they leave.  Usually they're invited back for coffee or cocktails at the end'. 

We like to hang out with our friends the Romanians.  We call them the Romanians because they are from Romania, and also because whenever I say ‘we’re going to hang out with the Romanians tonight’ it kinda sounds like we are going to hang out with an eastern-block rockband.  They’re not a band, which is okay because they do have a 1.75 year old son (baby Romania).  Matt, Poppy and I go Chez Romania on Friday nights and it’s great – Baby Romania and Poppy get along well together, the Romanians have a back yard, a grill, etc..  People who have offspring tend to spend time with other people who have offspring; the kids entertain themselves as the mothers hover nearby drinking wine and talking about the babies.  The men are always farther away from the children than the women are, and they're discussing business, not babies.  This situation creates a charming little culture that I adore being a part of.     

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