A well-behaved child

Un enfant bien élevé

does not talk back to his parents

doesn't cry when his or her mother doesn't buy him or her toys all the time.

doesn't disrespect his elders.

is admired by old-fashioned grandparent types, but is probably taken advantage of by his peers.

is not annoying.

is polite and unselfish.

is well-mannered and a bit more mature for his or her age

isn't rude to strangers.

judges the domain of his actions by their individual merits and faults, not in blind obedience to his elder's wishes.

listens to his or her parents and does what he or she needs or should do.

listens to parents.

minds his/her parents, is nice to siblings, doesn't break the rules

never cries, is respectful, doesn't cause trouble


obeys his parents demands, understands the difference between right and wrong, and does not harbor internal hatred.

obeys his/her parent and shares his/her toys

obeys what the elders tell him/her, does not scream and yell and cry loudly in public, is polite and respects ther rules put by the elders


quiet, calm, and attentive.

respects his parents, makes his parents' lives easier

respects their parents, respectful, thoughtful, well behaved

a reçu une bonne éducation, a des valeurs morales, n'est pas un délinquant

écoute les adultes, parle poliment

écoute ses parents

dit merci, respecte ses aînés

est poli et serviable envers sa famille et ses amis

est poli

est poli et respectueux

est poli, charitable, cultivé

est quelqu'un qui respecte son entourage et les lois de son pays

est un enfant qui respecte ses parents.

ne dit pas de gros mots

obéit à ses parents, connait les politesses d'usage

politesse, curieux

qui est respectueux et poli envers ses parents, ses proches et les autres. Il aide son foyer dans toutes sortes de situations. En plus, il possède déja des objectifs à atteindre et essaie toujours de regarder vers l'avant.

respecte les personnes, à commencer par ses parents.

respecte ses parents, devient adulte et parent

respecte ses parents, les écoute, essaye de ne pas les décevoir

sait se taire et respecte les autres.


It's interesting that the Americans claim that a well-behaved child is one who doesn't cry or make a lot of noise, while the French don't mention the noise and focus more on manners in general, maturity, and respect. Do the French not mind the noise? Or do you think that the Americans are just being more superficial and thinking of the obvious things "bad children" do, instead of citing solutions to the underlying problems causing their actions? To the French students: when you think of "un enfant," approximately what age is this child? I think the Americans might have thought of a child as under 6 or 7, and that's part of why our expectations were different.

It is interested that the English translation to the French phrase is actually "a well raised child" instead of a well behaved child, which reflects that perhaps the French put a lot of responsibilty on the parents to raise their children well. In "a good parent", you mention that they must "educate/raise children well" many times, whereas we mostly say a good parent loves their children. What kind of things would a well-behaved child learn from their parents?

We can see again the concept of respect in the responses from the french students. This time it is also part of the american students answers. It seems that after growing up we forget we have to respect our elders.

The role of the parent in American society has diminished steadily since the Second World War. These days, television programs, the Internet, and popular culture provide more child-rearing substance than most parental figures, who often work all day and leave their offspring unsupervised at home. Children are often forced to come up with their own answers to the challenges of development. Therefore, it's a far bigger accomplishment for a child in America to be well-behaved, since he or she probably became that way alone.

I have to agree with Julian in his observation (as lighthearted as it might have been intended), it seems as if now days, the older you get the less respectful you tend to be. In the U.S. rebellion has become somewhat of a fad—from talking differently, to listening to varying musical genres, to wearing all your clothes inside out and backwards. I feel as if, depending what your upbringing has been, the idea of respecting your elders comes out stronger in certain cases. For example, my dad is from Algeria; growing up he always taught my brother and me the value and importance of respect—if we did something wrong or rude, we would hear about it later that night (and thus we learned quite quickly). On the other hand I remember explicitly in 5th grade that there was this one kid Joey who simply didn't understand how to respect another person, let alone his elders; he would often curse at the teacher, throw things, and get into fights. I hate to think it but, respect might be something that is beginning to take the side burner in much of the teachings to our children. All I can say is that my child is going to learn respect one way or another. Do you feel that in French culture, the teachings of respect are beginning to die also out or are they as strong as ever?

I disagree somewhat with the idea of US rebellion being the instigator. I do believe it's there, but I also believe there are some other important factors besides while "growing up we forget we have to respect our elders". Assuming the child was respectful in the first place, I think that while growing up, we don't (at least don't just) lose respect of authority figures, we just incorporate independent thoughts and self-respect when interacting with parents instead of the deference given as a child. Having a difference of opinion isn't necessarily rebelling. When you're older you're just less inclined to do what people said just because.