From: Marilyn Wedge (edited)French children don't need medications to control their behavior because they learn self-control early in their lives. The children grow up in families in which the rules are well-understood, and a clear family hierarchy is firmly in place.
In French families, parents are firmly in charge of their kids—instead of the American family style, in which the situation is all too often vice versa.
From the time their children are born, French parents provide them with a firm cadre—the word means "frame" or "structure." Children are not allowed, for example, to snack whenever they want. Mealtimes are at four specific times of the day. French children learn to wait patiently for meals, rather than eating snack foods whenever they feel like it.
French babies, too, are expected to conform to limits set by parents and not by their crying selves. French parents let their babies "cry it out" if they are not sleeping through the night at the age of four months.
French parents, love their children just as much as American parents. They give them piano lessons, take them to sports practice, and encourage them to make the most of their talents.
But French parents have a different philosophy of discipline. Consistently enforced limits, in the French view, make children feel safe and secure. Clear limits, they believe, actually make a child feel happier and safer—something that is congruent with my own experience as both a therapist and a parent.
Finally, French parents believe that hearing the word "no" rescues children from the "tyranny of their own desires." And spanking, when used judiciously, is not considered child abuse in France.
French children are not exposed to TV screens nearly as much as children in the United States because they are protected from it. The French government has actually banned French television programs designed for children under three-years-old.
Young French children are sometimes exposed to TV programs on foreign channels, but now those channels must warn parents of the negative developmental effects of television watching. This kind of programming now issues the following warning to French parents, “Watching television can slow the development of children under the age of three, even when it involves channels aimed specifically at them.”
The warning is based on a ruling by the French High Audiovisual Council: “Television viewing hurts the development of children under 3 years old and poses a certain number of risks, encouraging passivity, slow language acquisition, over-excitability, troubles with sleep and concentration, as well as dependence on screens.”