In rich countries, parents spend twice as much time with their children than 50 years ago… Except in France!

Here is a study published by The Economist, Sunday July 27 which does not really honor French parents. She even concludes that "the stereotype of the bourgeois couple drinking wine and ignoring their remarkably wise offspring" seems correct.

Cyes, the French would have the reputation of having particularly "good" children. And the investigation revealed yesterday, seems to indicate that the presumed good education of our blond heads would not be correlated to the time we spend with them.

According to an analysis of 11 rich countries, in 1965 the average mother spent 54 minutes a day caring for children, but 104 minutes in 2012.

Men would still do less than women, but much more than in the past: their average childcare time has dropped from 16 to 59 minutes per day.

At the same time, the gap appears to be widening between college-level parents and those without. In 1965, mothers with and without a university education spent about the same time caring for their children. In 2012, the most educated would spend half an hour more per day with their children.

According to the data collected, academic or not, English, Canadian, Italian, Spanish, American mothers and, very markedly, Danish mothers spend at least twice as much time with their children as they did 50 years ago. This increase is less marked among Germans, Dutch and Slovenes. On the other hand, the trend is downright for French mothers! They would spend less and less time with their children.

Concerning fathers, we observe the same trend: a doubling of the time devoted to children and a widening gap depending on the level of education. But unlike their wives, French men spend more time with their offspring than 50 years ago, even if, with the Slovenes, they appear to be poor students.

From there to concluding that French parents "neglect their well-behaved children by drinking red wine", we will not go that far, but this study has the merit of calling out and questioning our own agendas, in order to restore priorities if it was useful.

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