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6 parenting customs from around the world

In 'How Eskimos Keep Their Babies Warm,' writer Mei-Ling Hopgood explores parenting customs from other cultures.

- Molly Driscoll, Monitor contributor

Montaigne de Rems in Verzenay, France

2. Adventurous eating in France

In France, school lunches often have ingredients like duck and asparagus, and children drink water with the meal rather than fruit juice or soda. A French restaurateur and her husband, who now live in Vancouver, told Hopgood that the rule in their house was "You are allowed not to like it, but you are not allowed not to try it." And if a child didn't like something, that didn't mean it needed to be banished forever – often, a child would try something he or she had previously disliked and love it the second time around. When Hopgood asked a French chef who is also a father what he did, he said he encourages his children to look at the food he's making, taste it, and generally be allowed to explore the process.


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