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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi, I am new to this forum, and this is my first post here, so please be gentle with me.
I have just posted this on the Cyprus forum also.
I am considering a move to either France or Cyprus in the next year, I have already moved from the UK once only to find that after doing all the research into things I thought were most important, there are issues which we did not even consider questioning, so I will be asking different questions than I did first time around. Not that they were not important last time, I just did not think that these would cause an issue.
One of my main concerns is the family life. How do the French treat their children? Do they lavish them with expensive gifts and every time they ask for the new one of this or the latest one of that do they run out and buy it for them. Or do they try to fill the childrens lives with time spent with them doing things together, etc.
My reasons for asking is that the latter attitude is what I am looking for and sadly it seems that because Swedish people often compensate for their absence by induldging their children with everything they ask for, they are breeding a generation who's attitude is I want everything now. The children here have so much to offer them, they have snow for 5 months of the year, giving opportunities to ski, skate, snowboarding etc and in the summer, there are so many beautiful lakes and forests to explore, and yet they continue to crave all the material things.
Schools also, I knew that they would be much more laid back than England, and also they do not start till the year they turn 7. But I was shocked at the difference in developement, and how they really do not encourage children to achieve the best they are capable of, as long as they attain a certain level, that seems to be accepted. The christmas production by the school last year compared to our English primary was comparable to kindergarten. Please don't misunderstand me, the school and the teachers are fantastic, and the children have done things in primary that would not be offered until high school in UK eg woodwork, metalwork and sewing, but although I want the children to be allowed to be children, I also would like some encouragement for them to stretch their strengths and abilities, and not to be taught that average is best. Please could someone tell me if this is also the case in Cyprus.
I would also like to say the above are only my experiences of moving here. There are a great many positive things about the country.
These are just a couple of my questions, I am testing the water to see what you good people feed back to me. What I am looking for also is to know whether perhaps I am chasing an ideal that does not exist anymore.
Thank you in anticipation for your sensible answers
 

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Your question makes sense to all of us.

It is rather difficult to answer and I would like to take necessary caution in doing so:
- comparing education expectations and development expectations in different countries might be illusive as it is a rather personal analysis matrix
- this said, in countries where social protection is high, France or Sweden, it is most likely that children development expectations will not be as high as in the UK, or Mexico
- in countries where job competition is low and the educative system extremely selective and repressive: take Switzerland, school expectations might be low as well: only the good ones will go to university and this is publicly known. Those who go for vocational or technical training will nevertheless find a job easily (no fierce competition).
- your kids are what you make them become or assist them to become, agreed. Let them become is also an option.....
- some teachers are good in sport, some excel in IT, an other group in manual works , comparisons might be biased


- I have noticed that French people treat their children with rather low expectations, because in France it is who you know and not who you Are that that will help you secure a job.
- I have also noticed that well educated people in position of power have rather high expectation, but sometimes all goes wrong. In the contrary I have noticed poorly educated people with poor jobs who have outstanding expectations and assist their children in developing in a conducive manner. they do not constitute the majority in this later case.
- In France, where you stay matters: if you live a posh area of Paris or Reims (Champagne) or Anjou, you will be able to secure a sit in the best educational facilities, with the best results and best teachers. Isn't it the same in the UK and everywhere?
- the attitude of lavishing children with repetitious treats : gadgets, money or entertainment, ice cream has also become trendy. Why not?

Aren't we treating you nicely?
 

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OK, as always, I'll preface this with a disclaimer: I have no kids of my own and can only comment based on observing what I see around me.

France is a very family-centered society. By that, I mean that people tend to socialize within their family group rather than with work colleagues or neighbors. That can mean that if you live in France, but have no family there, you're condemned to a certain level of "loneliness" - if only because your friends' family will always come first.

On the other hand, kids here play mostly with their brothers and sisters, and socialize on weekends with cousins, etc. It can be tough on an only, but with multiple children, you're pretty much all set.

As far as material things go, that's one of those variables. It can depend on the region, the neighborhood and the families involved. But I don't see anything like the variety of high tech toys around that I've seen in the US. Kids seem happy with bikes and toy trucks and the sort of basic playthings I remember from my childhood (long, long ago).

School in France lasts all day, with homework, and if your kids are suited to the system, it can be really quite demanding - especially as they approach the all-important bac. But I understand there is still lots of memorization, and less concern with initiative, creativity and open ended problem solving. Then again, in France there is a "right" way and a "wrong" way for just about everything, an attitude I suspect is fostered in the schools.
Cheers,
Bev
 
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Agree with Bev, just differing a little on the materialist I-want-everything-now-trend. I reckon that's pretty much a global phenomenon, at least in the developed world.

Interesting that you mention winter sports and nature in Sweden. I did notice, spending five years in the French Alps, that those kids heavily involved in competitive sport, ski racing etc, were far less dependent than their more laid-back friends on X boxes, etc.

Beg to differ with Gallus, when he writes "I have noticed that French people treat their children with rather low expectations, because in France it is who you know and not who you Are that that will help you secure a job." The first part is certainly not my experience, and the second part I would suggest is only partly accurate, as it is pretty much the same anywhere in the world, come to that. Talent, knowledge, personal communication skills and contacts will take you far virtually anywhere. (Except when applying for a job as a French fonctionnaire, where most of these qualities would be a considerable handicap ;))
 
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