back-to-school-first-dayTana started big school this term – aged just 10 years old. Nerve-wracking for us all as his first years at the local primary school were tough. He was bullied by older kids for wanting to join in with their games and ignored by others who didn’t dare upset the bullies.

Which is why we decided not to send Tana to the local ‘collège’ but to a small, private, Catholic (yes, really) school in the next town. What attracted us was reports of strong discipline and pastoral care. A laissez-faire, “kids will be kids” approach does not, in my opinion, help children learn how to get along in life. They need adults, both parents and teachers, for that. Tana lost some of his self-confidence for a while but happily bounced back and learned some valuable lessons.

A month in at his new school and Tana’s teachers and classmates love him. They describe him as funny, kind, enthusiastic and charming. Tana is back. We are so lucky that this option was open to us as school can make or break a child. I’m not talking about grades – as long as our children do their best most of the time we’ll be happy – but children must feel safe. We are lucky too that private school in France costs just 40€ a month. There are no luxuries for that price so facilities are basic and pretty tatty. But Tana is not only happy to be himself, he is applauded for it. And that is priceless.

Filed under: Happy Coulson

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