Welcome to expatparent.ch

Hi, my name is Michelle Walz and I am the founder of expatparent.   I offer services to parents, parents-to-be, and new arrivals to Switzerland.  I also lead workshops for perinatal professionals.  From Consultations, to Workshops & Groups, to Online Support, the options are diverse.  I also write blogs that cover topics relevant to expatriate parents (as the page name suggests!).  Take a look through my pages, below at the blogs, or use the search to browse through old topics.

Educationblog: School Supplies 3

school days of the week sampleIt’s that time of year again, BACK TO SCHOOL!  I posted the last few years with information on what parents need for their children who are just starting out in 1P/2P or 3P, this year I post the list for 4P!

So, here is the list of what children in Nyon generally need (this list changes a bit from school to school and district to district, but is mostly accurate for Vaud):

  • Gym Bag with:
    • Indoor unmarking gym shoes (paire de chaussures pour l’interieur)
    • T-Shirt & Shorts ( tenue de gymnastique : t-shirt et short ou bas de training)
  • Pool Bag with:
    • Swimsuit (maillot de bain)
    • Towel (linge)
    • Bathing Cap (for kids with long hair) (bonnet de bain)
  • School Bag with:
    • A pen (for those who were given a pen at the end of 3P) (la plume)
    • Pencil and eraser (un crayon gris et une gomme)
    • Markers (stylos feutres)
    • Glue Stick (stick de colle)
    • Indoor Shoes (des pantoufles)
    • Apron or Smock (un tablier)

The remaining supplies are offered by the school district.   It is not mandatory to cover the agenda and other booklets that are provided, but it is advised.



Coaching Blog: Where am I holding back?

Guest post by Debbie Croft:

At the beginning of summer, I told myself I was going to do the Sprint Triathlon at Nyon as it had been more than 2 years since I had entered an event; yet it was the 3rd week in July and I still hadn’t signed up. I was training but rather half-heartedly. So, what pushed me to sign up and properly commit 2.5 weeks prior to the event? It was my 8 year old daughter. She asked me if she could do the ‘Tri Kids’ having seen a poster at the pool, and at the same time, explained that she was nervous. I heard myself ask her, “what are you nervous about?”. We discussed it and then, I shared the thought that “it’s good to be scared because you feel such a great sense of achievement afterwards”. As she reflected on that, I reflected on my own question, “so, why are you holding back Debbie from signing up?”.

We know the theory – we know that if we truly step out of our comfort zone and do something that scares us, it does gives us the great sense of achievement – it also boosts our confidence, self-esteem and generally puts a ‘spring in our step’ ; we feel empowered. Suddenly, we have more courage and conviction to tackle other challenges too and we ‘grow’ as a result. So, given that we know all these benefits and the positive impact ‘stretching ourselves’ has, what holds us back?

A common theme is that our fear is stronger than our desire for fulfilment. That fear, which leads to self-sabotage comes in a variety of guises – in the coaching world we label it as the voice of an internal Saboteur. The Saboteur may recite an old litany of judgement, rules and limiting beliefs. It says things like “you can’t do this”,” who do you think you are?”, “you need to be much more skilled and specialised to do this”, “you’re wasting your time”, “you’re too young/old/fat/thin”.. In fact, whenever people take the initiative to change their lives, an alarm sounds and the Saboteur will awaken!

Over the summer, you may have started to think about changes you would like to make but they seem ‘impossible’. It could be around fitness, weight loss, re-training or considering a new career which will work around the children. It is likely that the Saboteur is having a party, telling you all the reasons why you should not make any changes! So my request is to please watch this clip and then reflect on the below 2 questions:

  1. Where am I holding myself back?
  2. What is/are my dream/s?

Making time to even consider your dreams and focusing on what you would like allows you to take steps and make commitments to create the future and fulfilment you desire. The desire for fulfilment then becomes stronger than the fear and the voice of the Saboteur!

To conclude my story, both my children ended up doing the TriKids and loving it. My eldest was nervous even though she really wanted to do it, and I could really empathise with her fears because I had them too! Maybe your children are also on the cusp of something new, be it crèche, school, new teacher and they have fears about the pending change. You are probably full of great advice and reassurance. I wonder what opens up for them when you can also say that you are doing something new, making a change and you’re nervous too? It ‘normalises’ the fear and they see their parent facing a fear and doing it anyway.

As for me, I was in the water at 08:30 in the morning on Sunday, as the rain came down, with a nervous, sick feeling in my stomach. I did a couple of strokes to acclimatise to the water and that was my turning point. I thought to myself, “you’re in it now, you know what you will feel like at the end, so enjoy it and know you can do this!”. Of course, at the finishing line, I was delighted and proud of my achievement, although had less of a physical ‘spring in my step’ on this occasion!

Debbie Croft

Certified Professional Co-Active Coach, CPCC, ACC

+41 (0)79 918 8571; croftcoaching@gmail.com
Working days: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday
For workshops & more information: http://www.croftcoaching.com


Note from the blog owner, Michelle:
I was planning on participating in the Triathlon this year too (Geneva or Nyon), but a cuboid injury following the Geneva half-marathon “sabotaged” my dream.  So instead I volunteered, with my son, through Swiss Olympic, and saw Debbie at the finish line with a great big smile on her face: accomplishment.

Water Safety

Drowning doesn't look like drowningAlong with this week’s posts about health and safety and staying safe in the summer heat, comes a repost about ensuring you are safe IN THE WATER. The images about Water Safety go viral every summer season and I’m hoping they go viral again this week, at least in Switzerland, in anticipation of this weekend’s hot weather (after a week of rain I’m sure everyone is desperate to get out into the water!).

Like I say every summer, let the image on the right remind us all that drowning, or what we think of as drowning, REALLY DOESN’T LOOK like drowning at all.  The Instinctive Drowning Response – so named by Francesco A. Pia, Ph.D., is what people do to avoid actual or perceived suffocation in the water. There is very little splashing, no waving, and no yelling or calls for help of any kind.

Drowning, is Silent, Unmoving, easily missed. 

It is easily missed: it is the number two cause of accidental death in children age 15 and under (just behind vehicle accidents) and of the approximately 750 children who will drown next year, about 375 of them will do so within 25 yards of a parent or other adult. In ten percent of those drownings, the adult will actually watch them do it, having no idea it is happening (source: CDC).

So stay close to your kids, make sure you can see them.  Make sure you see them MOVING AROUND, splashing.  Set up swimming buddy and supervision systems.  If you are at a public pool or beach with a lifeguard, remember these lifeguards (garde-bains) are there in case disaster strikes, not to prevent disaster from occurring in the first place (prevention is your job as the parent).  And be careful of hot bodies and COLD water (such as jumping from a hot boat to cold lake water). Another combination that can have awful consequences.

The summer is back, let’s ensure we have fun in the sun!