While I was taking the French language in university, I learned to admire and to respect them. Then I visited France. By the time I left Paris, I distinctly remember wishing that Hitler had leveled it. But my regard for the French has risen again somewhat because of an article in the last issue of Psychology Today magazine.
It seems that only one half of one percent of their school age children take medication for behavior problems, compared to over 9 percent of our children in the USA. I refuse to believe that our children really need pills to control their behavior over 18 times more that French children. So what is going on? From all the pill ads of TV, we know that there is a huge marketing campaign to sell them, and doctors sometimes push them for no good reason to do so ( except for profit).
But I think the big difference is in the parents. French parents allow children to cry instead of catering to their every whim. Sometimes the child is really ill and should get medical attention, but giving pills is a substitute for applying discipline 18 times more here than in France. I see children here who regularly bully their parents. Instead of standing up to them and using their 20 year of more head start in wisdom and knowledge, the parents often acts as if the child knows more.
But by setting boundaries, the child is given safety and the confidence of being loved. It takes courage to do that, and not to take easy way out by medicating the child so we can watch TV or otherwise ignore him or her. It is definitely not love that makes American parents medicate children over 18 times more than than French children, unless we are referring to the selfish love of the parents for themselves. No, it is loving to do what the Bible says, which is to discipline. This never means to beat, but to administer paddling enough to cause the child to see it as a very unpleasant consequence of being rude or otherwise mean.
I am not convinced that the French are raising Godly children ( with some exceptions I am sure, and for which I am very thankful). But they are clearly producing a generation that is better behaved and is more respectful Towards their parents. Hopefully this will translate to better behavior outside the home also. We as parents need to repent for the times we have refused to stand up for what is right with our children, and for the times we have tolerated what is wrong. If our children have not been totally influenced to call evil good, and good evil, sooner or later they will appreciate such repentance.