Now that we have digested Chinese-style parenting for more than a year since the release of “The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother” by Amy Chua, enter the French perspective on child-raising via “Bringing Up Bébé” by Pamela Druckerman. If you weren’t convinced that the Chinese raise the best babies last year, maybe you’ll be convinced this year that French babies (and their parents) are superior.  Maybe.

Or, maybe you’ll begin to see what No Regrets Parenting has been saying all along, including in my previous post on this blog (http://www.noregretsparenting.com/the-checkered-history-of-parenting-advice/), about parenting advice du jour. New strategies for being the perfect parent and making the perfect children come and go. And I do encourage you to think about parenting styles and philosophies, because just thinking about what’s best for  your kids that makes you a better parent. But once you’ve settled on or rejected the Chinese or French approach,  or chosen to adhere to or ignore the next domestic or international  parenting expert’s advice, remember this: no parenting style will be successful without the single crucial element for parenting success – time. Time with your kids. Enough time for them to really know you, and for you to really know them.

It may be impossible for you to squeeze any more minutes into your already overwhelmed day – but  you don’t have to. All you have to do is make the most of the minutes you are already spending with your kids, turning the minutes into moments. Follow me here, take a look at the new book, No Regrets Parenting – Turning Long Days and Short Years into Cherished Moments with Your Kids (Andrews McMeel Publishing, in bookstores 2/21/12, and available for pre-sale online now at amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com).  There you’ll find many, many suggestions for how to make the most of the time you have with your kids before they grow up too fast. What you won’t find there is advice on how to parent your kids. I give you enough credit to know that if I help you find the time, you’ll know how best to use it!

Have you read Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother  or Bringing Up Bébé? What did you think? Share your comments in the box below. If the box isn’t there, click on the title of this post and the comments box will magically appear beneath the post.

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