It’s the offseason. There’s no football on, and there won’t be for a long, long time. You’re hurt. You’re angry. You’re hateful. We understand. At KSK, hating things is what we do best. Which is why we have the ongoing series This Week In F–K You. This week: The Wall Street Journal.
Last year, the Wall Street Journal introduced us to Tiger Mother Amy Chua by posting an excerpt from her book with the trolltastic headline Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior. And now that we’ve gotten all that Chinese parent-hating out of our system, they’ve handed us this essay from Pamela Druckerman titled “Why French Parents Are Superior.” Taken on its own, the piece reinforces many of the “firm but friendly” techniques that American parents like myself have been trying to learn for a while now:
It struck me that most French descriptions of American kids include this phrase “n’importe quoi,” meaning “whatever” or “anything they like.” It suggests that the American kids don’t have firm boundaries, that their parents lack authority, and that anything goes. It’s the antithesis of the French ideal of the cadre, or frame, that French parents often talk about. Cadre means that kids have very firm limits about certain things—that’s the frame—and that the parents strictly enforce these. But inside the cadre, French parents entrust their kids with quite a lot of freedom and autonomy.
This is the exact sort of thing I learned in parenting class a while back, and Druckerman is 100% right about this being a better way to raise kids without ending up tearing your hair out.
The problem is that fucking headline. Chua didn’t write the headline for her column, and I’m guessing that Druckerman didn’t either. Because the headline completely blots out all of the good points that Druckerman is trying to make. Most people reading that article are gonna gloss right over the substance of it and react negatively to the headline (showing a photo of her kids in berets isn’t helping, either). The French? Who never work? Raising MY kids? FUCK YOU, LADY. That completely undermines what Druckerman wrote, most of it practical, some of it obnoxious (Congratulations to this lady for being the nine millionth dipshit American to go to Europe and then lecture us about how Europe does things better. We call that Paltrowism, and it’s a horrible disease). It does a disservice to her and lumps her into the same category as Chua, who did NOT offer similarly good advice.
I assume that the Journal won’t be satisfied until we hate parents from EVERY other country. Be sure to read them in the coming months for the following trolling features:
WHY CANADIAN PARENTS ARE SUPERIOR: They preach wood cutting!
WHY AUSTRALIAN PARENTS ARE SUPERIOR: They aren’t as skittish about bugs!
WHY DUTCH PARENTS ARE SUPERIOR: They aren’t afraid to eat pickled herring!
WHY MEXICAN PARENTS ARE SUPERIOR: They do manual labor without bitching!
WHY ZAMBIAN PARENTS ARE SUPERIOR: They breast feed until the child is age 32!
WHY KOREAN PARENTS ARE SUPERIOR: Something about David Chang!
Stop trolling American parents, Rupert Murdoch. Raising kids is hard enough already. I don’t need to feel SHITTIER about how I’m doing than I already do.