Rus Articles Journal

No to hysterics! How to teach to wait for the child? The French secret of

the Beginning

American Pamela Drukerman with the husband Simon, the daughter Bin and sons - twins lives in Paris. And delightfully notices that the French children are able to wait and suffer while they with the husband are forced to adapt to children`s desires. How to teach kids to patience?

Me begins to seem to

that children and parents in France only also do that wait for. At first “the pause method“ - the child wakes up, and parents wait. Then the mode of feedings - long breaks between meals. And the two-year-old children who are quietly expecting at restaurant until bring food?

It seems to

, French managed to make a miracle: their babies and children are more senior besides that wait for, they not against to wait! Perhaps this ability also distinguishes the French children from others?

I write with

In attempt to find answers to these questions the letter to Walter Michel, 80 - summer to professor of psychology of Columbia University, the world-class expert studying limits of children`s patience. I inquired about it and read several its works on a subject. I explain that I am in Paris and I study the French methods of education; he could not speak with me by phone? Michel answers in several hours. To my astonishment, it too in Paris. Whether I with it want to drink coffee? In two days we sit at a table in kitchen in the apartment of his girlfriend in Latin quarter, near the Pantheon.

Michel does not look also on seventy not that on eighty. Shaven nalyso and vigorous, it is similar to the former boxer, but at the same time it has lovely lines, almost children`s. It is simple to present it the eight-year-old boy from Vienna fleeing Austria with a family after Austria was a part of nazi Germany.

his family eventually threw

in Brooklyn. In nine Walter went to school, but he was sent to a preparatory class where he studied English and “went on a lap not too to be distinguished from five-year-old kids when our class went along a corridor“. Michel`s parents (an intelligent family of middle class from Vienna) had to open the cheap supermarket “in total on five cents“ they hardly made ends meet. In Vienna his mother had a slight depression, however in America cheered up and subsequently became the successful designer of show-windows. But the father could not endure loss of the social status.

This experience got in the early childhood - experience of the outsider, - helped it to formulate questions, answers to which he looked for all life subsequently. In thirty with small it created a furor in psychology of the personality, having put forward the theory that traits of character are not constant, and depend on a context. Michel married the American, his three daughters grew up in California, however in Paris he is every year:“ I always felt like the European, and I perceive Paris as the main European capital“, - he admitted.

Michel became famous for the for the “zephyrous test“ (marshmallow test) which is thought up in the sixtieth, - then he taught in Stanford. During this experiment of four - or the five-year-old child brought to the room where on a table the zephyr lay. Then the experimenter explained to the kid that now he for a while will leave the room and if the kid holds on and will not eat a zephyr before its arrival, then will receive not one, but two zephyrs. And if eats - will not receive anything.

Test turned out

very difficult! From 653 children who were taking part in experiment in 1960 - e and 1970 - e years, only one third held on all fifteen minutes before arrival of the scientist. Some ate a zephyr at once. And only thirty seconds could wait the majority.

In the mid-eighties Michel visited participants of the first experiment to compare whether there is a difference meanwhile as “patient“ and “impatient“ children at teenage age behave. Communication was traced distinct: those who at four-year age kept and did not eat a zephyr, grew up more concentrated and judicious. In the research published by Michel and his colleagues in 1988 it is said that “in stressful situations these children do not lose self-control“.

So can if to keep children waiting for the desirable how the French parents do of middle class, they will become quieter and steady against a stress? Unlike children who got used to receive the desirable immediately and in stressful situations arrange hysterics at once? Really French “guessed“ recommendations of scientists like Michel again, following only traditions and instincts?

Bing, as a rule, receives that she asks, almost without delay and to cannot stop a hysterics, it has enough also second. Once I arrive to America, and it seems that the unfortunate shouting kids demanding that got them from a carriage, or, slightly that, rushing on a floor - part of a surrounding landscape.

it you will not see

In Paris. Here both babies, and children of two - three years, got used to suffer , are incomprehensibly quiet if they do not manage to receive the desirable in the same second. When I visit familiar French, at once I pay attention as few their children ache and complain. Usually all are quiet and absorbed by the affairs that in our house, I admit, a rarity.

In France I regularly come up against situations which to me personally seem by a small miracle: the adults having small children manage quietly to drink up the coffee up to the end and to carry on normal full conversation! The word “wait“ even is part of a parental lexicon: instead of hushing on the got naughty child or to shout “will be enough“ for him, French just give the short team in translation meaning “to Wait!“

Michel did not carry out the “zephyrous test“ with the French children (though in this case the zephyr should be replaced with cream - to the bryula). But as the old observer behind local customs, he cannot but be surprised to distinctions between children of French and, say, children of Americans.

- the impression Develops, - Michel says to me, - that in America it is harder and harder to children to control itself.

He notes it even concerning own grandsons:

- Me it is not pleasant to p when I call the daughter, and that answers that she cannot talk now because the child pulls it for a sleeve. She cannot even tell: wait, I talk to your grandfather.

At the same time, Walter Michel notes that ability to wait, characteristic of the French children, does not mean at all that them them happy adults as it is influenced also by many other factors will grow up.

- The fact that the child is spat by food at restaurant does not say that years through fifteen it will not be able to become the excellent businessman, the scientist, the teacher - yes anyone!

Anyway, with the children able to wait family life is much more pleasant.

- Children in France are much more disciplined and brought up approximately as brought up us, - Michel says. - When to us familiar French with small children on a visit come, it does not mean that it will be impossible to have supper as it is traditionally accepted in France... From children wait here that they will behave quietly as it befits a case, and too to have supper with pleasure.

the Most important word here - pleasure . French do not aspire at all to that their children were dumb beings and submitted implicitly. Parents just do not understand how it is possible to derive pleasure from life if you cannot control yourself!

to me often should be heard how parents in France order “to be wiser“ to the children. This expression - of sois sage - means at them approximately the same that at us “behave well“. However value is much deeper than it. When I ask to behave Bing well, standing at house doors where we came on a visit, she reminds a wild animal who ask to become house for an hour, - however it does not sweep aside that at any time my daughter can be enraged.“ To behave well“ contradicts its true nature. But when I ask it “to be wiser“, it means that she has to behave as it befits, following a reason voice. The main thing that from it it is required, - to understand that also other people are near and them it is necessary to respect. I as if hint that she is capable to argue wisely and to control myself. What I trust it.

If children behave well, it does not mean at all that it is boring for them. Children of my French acquaintances are able to have fun. On days off Bing and her friends arrange squeal and for hours rush in park. In Paris there are also more civilized children`s entertainments: film festivals for kids, theaters, the cookery lessons demanding patience and attention.

my familiar Parisians want
that their children developed comprehensively, were interested in both art, and music. However they do not understand how it is fully possible to enjoy all this, without having patience. According to French, self-checking is an ability to stay quietly in the present, without being nervous, without being irritated, without demanding. Only then to children it can be rather cheerful.

at the same time the French parents and tutors do not consider at all that children have infinite stocks of patience, and do not count that babies will be, without having peeped, to hatch out symphonies and official banquets. When it is about expectation, these are usually several minutes or seconds. But even ability to sit out such small period considerably changes life of parents. I was convinced that the secret of the French kids which seldom ache and is rolled up by hysterics, consists that they developed the internal resource allowing to cope with disappointments. They do not wait that all desirable to them right there will be presented on a plateau. When the French parents speak about training of the children, it is first of all about training to patience thanks to which these children also do not snatch on a zephyr, without having waited also for half-minute.

So in what way French turn ordinary babies into angels of long-suffering? And whether it is possible to teach it Bing?

Walter Michel for the long career watched hundreds of videos with the children pining with impatience participating in “the zephyrous test“. And eventually understood that while impatient kids are completely concentrated on a zephyr, patient try to distract somehow.

“Children to whom expectation comes easily during this pause purr

to themselves under a song nose, pick ears in some original way, move with toes, turning it into game“, - the scientist in the book reports. The same who is not able to entertain himself and only look and looks at a zephyr, sooner or later do not maintain and eat it. From what Michel draws a conclusion that will power comes not from stoicism at all, and from ability to think up the way doing expectation by more comfortable.

In the subsequent experiments scientists asked children to think not of a zephyr, and of something another, pleasant, for example, too of how mother swings them on a swing. At observance of this condition the waiting time considerably increased in spite of the fact that children knew that they deceive themselves. As soon as scientists came back to the room, the child, within fifteen minutes trying to distract right there ate a zephyr.

to Parents it is optional to p to teach intentionally the children to “the distracting maneuvers“. Michel says that each child possesses skill to wait and realizes it if parents give it such chance.“ In education often underestimate cognitive abilities of small children, and they are simply amazing if to give them chance to develop“.

Parents in France it also do

. Do not teach kids to distract in any certain way, and just give them an opportunity to learn patience continually.

From the book “The French children are not spat by food.
education Secrets from Paris“