This hybrid columnist is facing many reporting frontiers; style, football, investigation and even the topic of children is not to be escaped. When the talk turns to interior, Marc Beaugé knows a things or two about the oh so fundamental issues that haunt the mind of every parent. What animal should we give our child but won’t leave the house in devastation? Till what age can sons and daughters share the same bath? These examples are just some of those highlighted in the magazine Doolittle and compiled into the new book “School for parents”. A top-level meeting with this fine analyst keen on coloured contrast, who doesn’t step away from a challenge. Not even regarding the relaunch of the anthological magazine Holidays, 37 years later.
Marc, this book covers all young parenting and responds to our most obvious questions in each situation. So why this educational guide for parents ? How was the idea born ?
The book is based on a the best parts of a column published in recently in Doolittle, “School for Parents”. Originally, the concept was really designed for the magazine, with the usual questions being asked when a magazine is to be made : how to have fun with the subject, entertaining the reader whilst providing real info, is the topic relevant ? Education is well suited to this idea. Every day, parents are asking all the same questions that seem to be harmless, but behind lurks much sense. Can you dress your children in the same way ? It can be funny issues potentially, but it’s also real questions. Can you kiss your child on the mouth ? That is the same. All these subjects allow us to reach our reader with culturally applicable affairs whilst associating humour and information.
Has there been a clear change in the education we give our children compared to the one we once had ?
It is my impression that we are indeed the middle generation. Our parents, as children, were and I’m simplifying a bit – not allowed to talk at the table, had no right to discuss subjects with adults and so on. There was a real sense of submission back then. Personalities were unable and forbidden to assert themselves. In this current generation, our children are very strictly opposed to this idea. They talk, discuss, negotiate, and we honour this. In truth, this behaviour and spirit is encouraged these days. We want children to have preference and personality. Those that are 30-40 years, are the middle generation. Neither, totally exempt or fully released.
Are children more alert at a certain time ?
They have more access to more things, more pictures, more screens, more books. Also the access to music and cinema is earlier. They absorb more information than we do. Inevitably, it stimulates them. Does it awaken ? It’s not so awakening when one spends half the day on an iPad. However, when using these tools intelligently it can awaken. Everything essentially is dependent on how it is used.
The most obvious thing to you ?
This is a subject to which I am sensitive. I see that the kids are looking at things increasingly early. By age ten, they have a sense of style and are beginning to feel that they belong to a tribe/group represented by what they wear; cuts of jeans, certain haircuts, sneaker brands and so on. They are becoming less and less childlike and dressing themselves without parental help. For our generation, I feel like this happened much later on, perhaps at age fifteen, maybe. It is like the children of this generation have gained five years worth of knowledge, disposition and ideas five years perhaps before they should.
Do you want a third child ?
Yes, if only for the rest of the book !
Doolittle presents “School for parents”, at So Lonely editions. Written by Marc Beaugé and illustrated by Aurélie Grand.
Credits : Constance Gennari – firstname.lastname@example.org