In my university days I respected and admired the French, until I visited that country. With the last issue of Psychology Today, some of that high regard has returned. Only .5 percent of school age children in that country are on medications to calm their behavior, compared to over 9 percent in the USA. I refuse to believe that the French parents are 18 times smarter or closer to God than we are, or that our children are 18 times more in need of medication. Greedy and selfish doctors may be responsible in part for the difference in the rates, but the parenting is different.
French parents do not indulge every whim of their children, and consider it normal for a child to cry until they see that they cannot bully the parent by crying. Of course sometimes crying indicates some sickness that must be alleviated, but rarely in normal circumstances. Nor do French parents allow their children to snack between meals. In other words, they discipline their children instead of raising people with a sense of entitlement. When boundaries are set, children see themselves as safer and and are more happy.
Ephesians 6.1 Children, obey your parents in The Lord. Do not obey them if they tell you to steal or lie (tell the telephone caller that I am not here), but in Godly instruction. Of course small children do not know the difference, so parents are especially responsible to walk with God and to teach their children to obey them. So often I see adults asking very small children to make decisions for them, which puts much stress on the wee ones.
The Bible tells us to bring up our children in the nurture of The Lord. I am not convinced the French are doing that well ( with some exceptions I am sure). But I am sure that overall they are doing a much better job raising their children. There is no excuses for doping over 9 percent of our school aged children because we are too evil to discipline them. It is not love for the child that makes us slow to discipline, but love for our own comfort, for it is easier to let the child do what he or she wants, or to give a pill to calm them down. May we repent when we are guilty of this injustice, and find forgiveness from God. It is a good idea to ask forgiveness from the child we have wronged also!