Wine, cigarettes and lots of sex: Billionaire author who advocates parenting the French way sparks anger from U.S. mothers
19:22 GMT, 3 May 2012
A billionaire philosopher has endorsed a parenting technique that allows generous time for smoking, drinking wine and having sex.
Elisabeth Badinter, a 68-year-old mother of three who is the 13th richest French citizen according to Forbes, has published a book about parenting the French way.
Now, her controversial methods have sparked anger from U.S. mothers.
Controversial: Elisabeth Badinter, a French woman and one of France's richest citizens, has written a book about parenting that has angered New York women
Titled The Conflict: How Modern Motherhood Undermines The Status Of Woman, the book has led many mothers to speak out about how French women who preach about
their lives, frustrate them.
Ms Badinter is the daughter of the founder of Publicis Groupe, a French communication firm based in Paris.
In March, she was found by the magazine to have a net worth of $1.1billion. She has served as the chair of the board for Publicis Groupe since 1996.
Her opinions on parenting include the condemnation of breastfeeding as well as the belief that women lose part of their identity when they become a mother.
One part of the book reads: 'Bottle-feeding mean[s] a woman has freedom of movement and could be replaced as her child's caregiver therefore restoring the ability to be both mother and woman.'
Literature: The billionaire's book (pictured) also condemns breastfeeding
Elaine Cipriano, a mother of two from Queens, New York, told the New York Post: 'I'm getting sick of these books about how other cultures do everything better than our own. I don't think we need any more of that.'
Fiona Schaeffer, an attorney and mother of two from New York, showed similar frustration.
She said: 'It's a very popular thing to bash American parents, particularly American mothers.
'There's a new book out every year. One year it's the Chinese Tiger Mom, the next year it's the French model.
'I don't know how easygoing French parents are. I mean, the fact that they get their kids to behave in restaurants; I've never seen that achieved through easygoing-ness.'
Kelcey Kintner, a mother from Westchester, New York, believes that raising a child well has nothing to do with being French.
She said: 'A young kid who can sit through a long adult dinner is not necessarily a happy child. Just because kids are well-behaved doesn't mean they're happy.'
Elizabeth Hines, a mother of one from Manhattan, said Ms Badinter's opinions provide a single school of thought that is certainly not the definitive one.
She said: 'The whole point of the [women's rights] movement was that women should have a choice. The point was not to make everyone follow the same path.'
Mrs Cipriano agreed.
She said: 'We take these hot topics and assume everyone is doing them but really I think we're all just sort of muddling through the day.'