Sunday, February 26, 2012

The 3 year old expat

Jack's first day of Swiss preschool
I've spent countless hours dedicating blog posts to all the ups and downs of expat life. Before we moved here, I knew there would be problems and I decided to move anyways because I knew that in the long run this would be a great opportunity. But the little unsung hero in our whole adventure is Jack. He was uprooted from all his friends, thrown into a country where no one can understand him and where there are plenty of kids to play with but no one wants to play with him because he doesn't speak french. Being an expat's kid is no easy task. Jack has all the pitfalls of expat life with none of the benefits. For me, I don't mind all the hardships because I love to travel and we've been able to travel a lot. But Jack doesn't care that he's been to over 7 countries and has learned to count to ten in 3 languages. All he knows is that when he tries to play ball with the local kids, they ignore him because he can't speak french.

Sometimes I feel really bad for our little guy. I see how much he wants to play with the other kids but he is always the one who is left out. This wasn't a problem in the beginning of our adventure because at 2 years old most of the kids play together without speaking the same language. But as Jack has grown, so has this problem. At 3 1/2 years old he can no longer play with the other kids. Their games involve lots of rules and talking and Jack is always left out and/or frustrated.

For the first time since we've moved here I've realized that Jack needs to learn french. He can't get by with just english if he wants to make friends. He needs to be able to talk to the other kids and make friends. He needs to learn french so that he doesn't feel like an outcast.

So, we've started sending him to the local preschool. Right now he goes one morning a week, but starting in August he will go three mornings a week. The teachers are very nice and patient with Jack. His first day of preschool was a complete success and he really enjoyed it. Now I just hope that he takes to learning french quicker than I have...

No comments:

Post a Comment