Have you heard of the new book by Pamela Druckerman? It is a memoir that encourages American mothers to emulate the laissez-faire style of French parenting to bring up well-behaved, independent children while they still maintain a sense of curiosity and creativeness.
I have not read the book and even I have, I am not mom so, I really couldn't critique it well. But I not really keen on extreme generalities that say an entire culture does something better than another. (Oh and, just so you know, some French women are fat.)
But I think reading and finding what works for you (and what doesn't), won't hurt. (French children did seem very well-behaved while I lived there.)
I will probably pick it up at sometime even if it isn't until I am a parent. But maybe I will check it out of the library sooner rather than later because I am a francophile.
Mom or not, what do you think?