“Quand je te quitte un peu loin, ca ressemble au chagrin, ca fait un mal de chien.” M.Lavoine
I left my douce France in July 2010. Before leaving, I managed to see all the people I loved and cared for, and organized a Goodbye Party for myself. Yes, I did that. We celebrated with baguettes, wine, saucisson, fromage and everything oh-so-French ! I asked everyone to come dressed in either blue, white or red. Yes, I did that too. We listened to Edith Piaf and other classic French singers and we all had a great time.
I was sad to leave everyone but I was very excited to go to Canada, reunite with my now-husband. The future was promising, exciting, and foreign…Since then I have worked a couple jobs, I got married and had a baby. I couldn’t be happier with my life – I have the most wonderful husband and an amazing daughter. But something is still missing. Other than a career for myself, I miss home, terribly.
5 random signs of homesickness:
- I heard a French girl talking while I was waiting for my baby to get her immunization needles and I couldn’t help it. I had to talk to her. It felt so good to speak French with a French person. She said “ca suffit” to her daughter and I thought that was so French. I loved it.
- I have been listening to French music a lot – including music I didn’t use to like.
- “Midnight in Paris” made me cry. When we left the movie theater, I was surprised to hear people speaking English. This movie made me travel.
- I watched Amelie (Le fabuleux destin d’Amelie Poulain) three times and I am thinking of watching it again.
- I felt emotional when Jean Dujardin won the best actor award at the 84th annual academy awards. He’s French, we are family.
10 things I miss about home:
- My family and friends. I have three younger sisters and I haven’t seen them for so long it hurts.
- The food. I miss “boeuf bourguignon”, “tarte a l’oignon”, “raclette”, “fondue au fromage”, “creme brulee” and many other French delights.
- The streets of Paris; cafes and bars, bridges and museums, shops and tourists. Ses beaux quartiers, and bien sur, the Eiffel Tower.
- I miss the French language.
- The bakery downstairs.
- Watching the world go by sitting at a cafe terrace.
- The culture.
- London. (It is not home, but I have lived their long enough to miss it.)This city is very dear to me and so close to home.
- My hairdresser. She’s done my hair for over 10 years and I can’t believe I haven’t done anything to them since I arrived.
- Myself. I miss my old self.
Click here to listen to “Je ne veux pas travailler” (I don’t want to work) by Pink Martini. It is an American band but the song is in French. Sixtine and I have been listening to this song a lot lately.
I would love to hear how you cope with homesickness and what are the things you miss from home…Please share !
(After bath time…)
Mama says to baby: “Hummm…Tu sens bon !“and tells hubby: “Can you say “Tu sens bon.“?
Hubby says: “Tu-sens-bon. What does that mean?“
Mama answers: “You smell good“
Hubby says to baby: “Tu-sens-bon.” and out of the blue added “Je“, “how do you say want?“
Mama replies: “veux“
Hubby: “Je-veux-manger-toi. Hahaha” ! (for the non-French speakers:” I want to eat you!”)
I thought it was adorable and I was glad he made the effort to speak French with the baby !
I am Parisian French. When I was 8, I had to choose a second language (it was mandatory). I wanted to learn English but my dad highly recommended I take German. Let’s say I had to. I never liked it. In fact, I hated it. So when, aged 13, I was asked to take a third language between English and Spanish, I took English.
It was instant love.
For those of you who know German, you may know how much easier it is to learn English after battling against “der, die, den, das” and others singularities of the German language…
English, on the other hand, was melody to my ears. And I was very good at it. I pretty much averaged 18 out of 20 at every exam (French marking – equivalent of an A minus maybe?) on my first year.
My husband is Canadian English. He learned French in high school but doesn’t remember much. He is trying really hard however to learn with the baby. But it is obviously harder to learn as an adult !
We were excited at the thought of raising a bilingual individual long before I got pregnant. It would be such a rich heritage to pass on to our child !
I did some research when I was pregnant as I wanted to find out what would be the best way to introduce both languages and finally agreed with my husband that we would do : one parent, one language.
This is pretty much what we have been doing although I do speak English at times. Usually, it goes like this: Did you tell Papa what we did today? So that, Papa in fact, knows what we’re talking about.
I have here on the island very few opportunities to speak French and if it wasn’t for my family and friends from France, I would probably not talk French at all anymore.
But there came our little one ! How I love speaking and singing in French to her ! I am so looking forward to hearing her first French word !
And to give her more opportunity to hear and speak the language, we would like to send her to a French daycare ( if we get a spot – she is on the waiting list ! ) and French school until junior high. Then we will give her the choice: stay in French school or go to an English one.
I would also like to add the basics of a third language (Spanish or Italian). And make sure she has good world awareness: I want her to know about different cultures, languages, and customs.
Please share your experience raising a bilingual child because you and your partner speak different languages or because it is a choice of yours. How does it work for you? Thank you !
Interesting title, eh?
How French Parents Raise Better Kids by Terryorisms
- Children should say hello, goodbye, thank you and please. It helps them to learn that they aren’t the only ones with feelings and needs.
- When they misbehave, give them the “big eyes”—a stern look of admonishment.
- Allow only one snack a day. In France, it’s at 4 or 4:30.
- Remind them (and yourself) who’s the boss. French parents say, “It’s me who decides.”
- Don’t be afraid to say “no.” Kids have to learn how to cope with some frustration.
This was a very interesting and informative article I stumbled upon this afternoon.
I am Parisian French so my point of view will probably differ from yours if you are from North America or other parts of the world.
I wouldn’t say that French parents raise better kids. In fact, I don’t think there is one good approach at parenting but I do believe that French people are less children-oriented than their fellow British, American and Canadian peers.
I can relate to some of the things talked about in the article but I think it is good to keep in mind that not every French parent raises their children the same. I experienced both types of parenting while I was working as a babysitter in France and as a nanny in London which, I believe, will enable me to find a good balance between the two.
My daughter is only three months old and three weeks and I have already started to let her know when enough was enough. And I don’t see anything wrong with that. My mother always made sure I was polite, well-behaved and respectful of others. I always knew where my place was but also felt loved and respected as an individual. I want to teach those values to my daughter.
Here is another article from the Guardian UK that an American friend of mine posted on her FB profile. The parenting gap: why French mothers prefer to use the firm smack of authority
I would love to hear what you think about “French parenting” versus your own ! Please share !