French kids don't throw food

We all know that French women don't get fat (actually Mireille I think you should go check out the the Chips & Pretzels aisle in Intermarche!) but now there is a new book for me to read, 'French children don't throw food'. I've ordered my copy & I'll update you on it's findings when I get 2 minutes to read it - which shouldn't be too long as I won't be cleaning bean juice off the walls, floor & toes...

Oh and neither of my kids have ever thrown food - they wouldn't dare! It's like a conversation I saw on a mum's forum about whether you should clean up after your kids in a restaurant. What, you shouldn't need to have to clear up.

Going back to the needle incident, at least the needle was one owned by a nurse, I'm sorry to say that in other circumstances it would probably have been owned by a drug using mother or mother's on/off boyfriend.

I've tried to stay out of this but my experience as a mum of two young children brought up in France and aunt to various children brought up in the UK, Germany and Canada the french children win hands down in almost every sector of behaviour. I'm not saying that because they are my children, I am saying it because the majority of our family acknowledge that this is the case. That said, I also have 2 children at either end of the scale, one who is quaking at the mere thought of a smacked bottom and the other who will challenge you to breaking point and then if you do smack her, says, well it doesn't hurt anyway. It just means that we have to use other ways of teaching her acceptable behaviour, it doesn't mean we don't do it.

Fortunately, the advantage we have over the rest of our widespread family, is the fact that the school and wider french society (ie neighbours, friends, shop keepers and so on) expect and insist on good behaviour. Of course, I may well change my mind when my kids get older, it may all go wrong but we'll wait and see.

Yes Jane, the lunchbreak supervision issue is a biggie - some mothers I know prefer to bring their kids home for lunch for that reason.

Jane - that's awful and how inappropriate of the school to just notify them by letter. I would be outraged.

My 2 children are both different, No 1 hardly eats so her mess ratio is almost nil, No 2 eats lots and hence is more messy, she only throws food occassionally when she's had enough and we haven't recognised it and even then it's more like dropping it on the floor than intentionally throwing it.

In France we are happy to take them to restaurants and they are generally very well behaved, they are well known in our local cafe (where we rarely pay for their food - it's usually always offered on the house as the patron loves our girls), in London I still try to take them out for a meal once every couple of weeks so that they are familiar with eating out & behaving appropriately. I am proud of their behaviour at the dinner table and pleased I can take them almost anywhere (I could probably take No 1 to a Michelin pin drop type restaurant but No 2 would be too noisy rather than messy).

That said, we always sit down to the dinner table to eat as a family, perhaps this has more of an influence than whether one is English or French. I know some English families who don't use their dinner how exactly are the kids supposed to learn table manners?

The reason why most French women aren't fat is because they inhale their food! That means instead of snacking they light up another cigarette.

I have never seen as many women smoking than here in France.

In the 1970's we rarely saw a fat French woman. Now we see more and more young fat french women. They also seem to have caught the English disease of sporting a range of ghastly tattoos.

The boys in question were cousins and one of them was the "ringleader". His parents are separated and he lives with his father, who has his own reputation.

Apart from the head teacher's problem of recognising and addressing the situation (the parents were advised in a letter and told to take their child to their doctor for the appropriate blood tests) there appeared to be so little supervision in the lunch break that these boys were able to get away with this.

This is is a country market town, not a banlieue.

Oh Jane how awful; your friend must have been beside herself. Are the boys old enough to have known better or were they playing at doctors or nurses? The mother should be told off too for leaving her needles somewhere accessible (as I quickly scan all the dangerous/fragile/precious things within the grasp of my children.) My mother has been a teacher in a comprehensive in the UK her entire career and would be the first to say that good and bad behaviour happens everywhere. Sometimes it is poor parenting, sometimes poor teaching/out of home care and sometimes it is quite simply the child or the hormones of the child or a phases the child is going through. She has often had sisters/brothers where one is a complete terror and one perfectly well behaved and both brought up in identical surroundings. I teach once a week in my daughter's grande section and it is a perfect mix of loud children, naughty children, shy children, good children. teh shy children are perfectly capable of being naughty and the naughty ones perfectly capable of paying attention and being good - you just have to make more effort to keep their attention which is exhausting for any teacher and parent and runs the risk of ignoring the rest of the group. Just like children all over the world. The woman who wrote the book is completely ridiculous in my opinion or calculated that to write such nonsense would create publicity and sell her ill researched and racist rubbish for her. Anyway - throwing food is harmless fun and occasional harmless fun is normal and necessary behaviour for a child - what is important is that the child is taught that there is a time and a place for it. Bugsy Malone anyone?

My friend's son and his classmates were injected with a hyperdermic needle in the playground by two of their classmates. They had stolen the needle from the mother of one of the boys, who is a diabetic nurse.

The punshment for this, suspension for one day!!!

All the children had to have blood tests for Hepatitis C and HIV.

After behaviour like this throwing a few buns is minor.

To be honest i have seen more badly behaved uk children than French when eating out, i have also seen more than one French child given a good hard smack on the legs where try that one in the UK and the police and social workers would be knocking on your door, having spent 15 years working with children of all levels of society my wife 25, been threatened with getting you the sack, having the police on me or my dad will get you, also my wife attacked by a 6 year old with a pair of scissors threatened by a parent even assaulted by a parent, does that happen in France

I believe French women are getting much fatter!!!

And I have seen French children throw food!! oh the myths!!

That said my hoover and floor would willingly attest to their ability to drop food!

my daughter says everybody throws food in her canteen except her - I asked her why she didn't fully expecting her to say that it's because she's good but in fact she replied 'Because i'm English'!!!!!

I agree, more nonsense. I'm British and I didn't throw food as a child, my children didn't throw their food and my friends' children in England don't throw their food. What is she on about?

I have been reading several articles about this book. While I agree on various points I see also their downsides! Generally speaking, I find a lot of French children and teenagers quite timid and not as self confident as their American counterparts.

But what concerns me most is the high suicide rate amongst young people here in France (the highest after Finland, Hungary, Lithuania and Slovenia)!

What, no bun fights? Boring! If I am reborn it must be in a decent food throwing place. There is no such thing as a fat woman, why even Dawn French has lost several tonnes in the UK and heaven forfend a French woman being as much as a gram more than they should be. These authors are clearly not researchers, hahahaha!

here is one to read. very one-sided but interesting...

I will of course be comparing all these findings with the local children including my this space!

More nonsense! Sheesh.