A well behaved child ...

Un enfant bien élevé ...

behaves with decorum.
my brother, respect, love

Does everything that needs to be done and takes orders well, also implements his/her own strategies to get the most out of life the best way possible for every one. (biased)

does the homework, does chores, listens to parents

does what his seniors tell him to do

doesn't make too much noise, should still think for itself

doesn't scream and act-up in public, obeys his/her parent, doesn't talk back, eats properly, and is better seen, not heard.

has issues

has respect
knows why they are well-behaved
has patience

is aware of social norms.

is calm and quiet in public and respects his elders.

is obedient and polite.

is obedient, quiet, and conforming

is quiet.

is respectful of elders.

is someone who expresses themselves freely, but has a strong self-awareness.

is trained to be that way.

knows how to eat, doesn't create a fuzz in public places and follows advice without arguing.

knows why he or she should follow the rules.

listens and does what his or her parents say when necessary.

listens to his parents and teachers, and is polite.

listens to his/her parents, doesn't throw tantrums, respects adults

obeys his parents.

obeys rules, works hard, and helps around the house.

often has learned manners from their parents;

respects adults and listens to their parents.

respects his/her elders.

respects other people

says "please" and "thank you".
is polite.
does not act like a child.

understands the difference between right and wrong.

will eventually understand and obey his/her parents.

a de bonnes manières, est poli, et respecteux envers ses aînés.

aura une meilleure vue d'ensemble du monde

connait les normes de la société.

dit bonjour, merci etc ... , laisse sa place dans le bus a une personne agée, pense aux autres , mange ce qu'il a dans son assiette

dit merci et bonjour...

est poli et courtois,
ne se salit pas,
ne crie pas

est poli, gentil, sérieux .

est poli, respectueux envers ses aînés

est quelqu'un de poli, aimable, qui respecte les autres, et qui a tous les outils pour vivre en communauté.

est un enfant ayant reçu une bonne éducation, avec la notion de respect.

est un enfant bien eduqué, poli.

est un enfant poli ayant une bonne éducation

est un enfant poli qui respecte les autres.

est un enfant poli, qui sait respecter les adultes, qui respecte toutes les règles de politesse.

est un enfant poli, qui sait se tenir et qui respecte les autres personnes.

Est un enfant poli, serviable

est un enfant poli, serviable, respectueux, qui a des valeurs.

est un enfant poli, studieux, ayant du goût et des bonnes manières.

est un enfant qui aide les autres, qui pense au bien d'autrui avant le sien.

est un enfant qui est respectueux et poli

respecte ses parents et autrui,
aide ses parents

sait dire bonjour, ne gronde pas ses ainés, sait venir en aide, a du tact, ne boit pas, ne fume pas trop, respecte ses parents et camarades

Sait se tenir en société et respecte les règles qui lui ont été inculquées.

utilise les formules de politesse (merci...), qui aide les gens


The French and the Americans have a lot of the same ideas about what makes a well-behaved child.  However, the Americans focused more on obediance than on simply being polite and respectful.  Is being obediant not expectation on French children or are the French more willing to just let children think for themselves and not constantly obey others? Americans tend to put a lot emphasis on children obeying adults without questioning them.

Also, I noticed that several of the American responses referred to children being quiet, but none of the French ones really did.  I feel like this is based on the old idea of children being "seen but not heard."  This doesn't actually hold very much in reality, but it is a nice ideal.  Do the French have any ideas like this on whether or not children should be quiet?

Some of the responses for what typifies a well-behaved child were not surprising:  both Americans and the French emphasized respecting parents or other elders and being polite.  Americans, however, placed much more of an emphasis on obeying or listening to parents, while the French purely emphasized respect.  I was suprised that so many Americans responded that a well-behaved child is a quiet child, especially since most people would probably describe Americans as loud people in general.  I think we still hold the older idea that well-behaved children don't throw temper tantrums and hold their tongue instead, but I also don't think that this is our real definition of a well-behaved child.  A few American responses also mentioned that although being quiet is important, speaking one's mind is also important, as well as having "strong self-awareness". These attributes are closely related to the American value of individuality that the French do not share, so that is probably why this category of phrases only appeared in American responses.

I also found it interesting that the French emphasized how important it is for well-behaved to children to say thank you, but I surprised that "bonjour" was mentioned with "merci" instead of "s'il vous plait."  In America, we think of "please-and-thank-yous" as signs of good manners, not "please and hello".  Why is saying "bonjour" so important, and to what contexts are these comments referring?

The general impression of respect and obedience was obvious in both responses. I, however, disagree with the American response that well behaved children are quiet. Perhaps, I can say it is the ideal situtuation and not what exists in reality. For example, there is an obvious contradiction when the same Americans say that the child should be able to express himself freely.

I was impressed that the French included actions that reflect altruism such offering his seat to an older person in public, finishing his food, respecting others. I also noticed clear that greeting someone in France is just as important as saying thank you.

Do these rules of saying thank you or good morning refer to public situtations or just private situtations? That is to say, do you walk down the street and say hello to the people who pass you by or are you referring to saying hello to visitors in your home for example?

Just out of curiousity, what age did you have in mind as you described the child?



I find it fascinating that the majority of American responses described "a well behaved child" as being one who follows the rules of common courtesy and is obedient, while the French students were more likely to define the child as one who lives in consideration of others.  <>, is an expression whose English equivalent really did not appear on the American side, yet it was a common reponse among the students at Brest.  I wonder why this is?

I also found it interesting that one French student mentioned the fact that a well-behaved child "does not drink or smoke too much".  In the States, the well behaved child would not smoke at all!  Is the taboo associated with under-age drinking greater in France than that associated with smoking?  I would have thought it the other way around!

Comme vous l'avez souligné pour la pluspart d'entre vous les réponses des français et des américains sont similaires à quelques choses près. La nuance vient peut être du fait que nous n'avons peut être pas assez détaillé et expliqué notre propos.Je pense que nous avons englober dans respect tout ce qui tourne autour du respect et de l'obéissance envers les parents.Ne pensez donc pas que ce point de l'éducation soit négligé par les français.Toute fois j'ai noté que les américains semblent insisté sur l'aide des enfants dans le foyer plus que les Français?Peut être que nous avons encore généraliser en employant le mot" serviable"?Ou peut-etre que les americains prennent ca vraiment pour un point déducation


I agree more with the general, all-encompassing French view of the "well-behaved child" which Jimmy has described, than the seemingly rather narrow definition of obedience and submission put forward on the American side.  I wonder how these differences manifest themselves in society.  In the U.S.,  I would say there is a generally abiding respect for authority - as students, we address professors by their last name, unless instructed otherwise, and try our best to complete work precisely as instructed, by the due date.  But I have been told in recent conversations with students and professors from the UK and Lithuania, that the attitude of young people there is quite the opposite. It seems that in those countries, students feel more comfortable relating to older, established individuals as equals,  and are more likely to challenge their professors' views and complain if they feel the workload is too great.  Is this the case in France as well?

If so, perhaps these very fundamental differences in the way our cultures define propriety are the cause for the stark contrast in the way we relate socially now, as young adults.  Maybe the more flexible, European definition frees young people of some of the social inhibition that is integrated into American culture.

What surprises me more than anything else, is that the American concept of "the well-reared child" is more rigid than that of the French - it would seem to me that the structure of our languages would lead one to the opposite conclusion.  In French, there are two modes of address - familiar and polite, whereas in English, there is but one generic form.  So wouldn't it be reasonable to predict that the society with the more general linguistic structure would have the looser, more general, definition of what constitutes "good behavior"?  The irony...