Good Luck...

to all those studying for bac and brevet exams!

Please note that we will be unable to make any new postings on this site during May but hope to be back sometime in June. Editor

the Highly Sensitive Child

"In the past, this trait was commonly confused with shyness, social anxiety, inhibition, social phobia and introversion."

Imagine an exquisite teacup shatter and then, cartoon-like, collect its pieces together, although the repair is never perfect and the heady aromatic liquid seeping through its cracks, spreads them wider apart until...the cup breaks.
For Highly Sensitive People (HSP), drinking a simple cup of tea can be an overwhelmingly sensitive experience, explains Natalie Duggin, who, as well as her children, is affected. This is because they process sensory data more deeply and thoroughly than usual thanks to a biological difference in their nervous systems.

the birth diaries, Victoria Jelinek

Never go to a doctor whose office plants have died.  Erma Bombeck

The sage-femmes (midwives) at the hospital were great. Through them, I learned to nurse and bathe my child, as well as to take his temperature. They were also the ones who would come and relieve me, or check on us during the night, making me feel that my baby boy and I were tended to. 

But the sage-femme assigned to me by the obstetrician for pre-and-post-birth care was useless. Before my boy was born, my husband and I went into her office and, sitting before her little desk, waited for several moments to see what she would do because we had no idea what we were doing. 

She didn’t say a word. 

Schools – what do we want?

What do we parents want from schools? Are the three Rs taking a backseat in favour of issues like living together and respectingg others? And, if so, is it our fault?

Yes and yes according to outspoken French journalist Natacha Polony who has accused schools of neglecting the basics of education – and parents of having a too "consumerist vision" of schools.

the birth diaries on International Women's Day

by Victoria Jelinek

Before God we are all equally wise – and equally foolish. Albert Einstein 

International Women’s Day is March 8th and it has me thinking about what it means to be a woman in the context of motherhood today. It may be a taboo to write, but I find that the most difficult aspect of motherhood is the fact that I must be less selfish. I think it’s hard enough to be an ambitious woman in this world, much less one who is also a mother.

aagh - exam dates 2014!

Not so long to go now…
the Brevet takes place on June 26 and 27
General education tests for the CAP and BEP will be on June 11 and 12
the Bac in première:
French for the Bac ES and S and literature for Bac L: June 18
Science for Bac ES and L: June 20
History-geography for the Bac S: June 23
Bac in terminale: 
written tests are between June 16-23
And the results: from July 4
Orals for those with borderline marks will take place between the results and July 9

Ready for Children?

Planning on having a baby this year? Or know someone who is?
Of course, having a baby is the most wonderful thing that will happen to you – but are you ready?
To find out, take the Test for Future Parents. 

The Test For Future Parents originally appeared in A beginners guide to fatherhood by Colin Falconer but is now doing the rounds on the internet.

Read the fourteen steps here:

smacking debate reopens

A man from Limoges has been fined €500 for smacking his nine-year-old son because the boy had failed to greet him with a bonjour over the previous few days.

The father, apparently unrepentant, claimed he was victim of "a current fashion that does not want us to discipline children".

The prosecutor, however, said that inflicting physical punishment on children belonged to a "bygone era".

driving lessons bazar

French driving schools have incomprehensible rates and the quality and price of lessons varies enormously.

They also fail to display their costs clearly leading to would-be learner drivers being pressurised to sign up once they have gone inside to ask about prices, according to a survey of nearly 500 driving schools by the consumer organisation Association nationale de défense des consommateurs et usagers (CLCV).

the birth diaries, Victoria Jelinek

‘I like children – fried.’ W.C. Fields

It may be difficult to get a place in the crèche for your child, but it’s even harder to find an assistante maternelle, literally translated as a mother’s assistant, or nanny.

The way the assistante maternelle system works is that she can take from one to three children between the ages of one and three into her home for childcare.