Back to School

I feel so fortunate to have a bunch of friends who are also mothers to share this parenting journey with. From our days breastfeeding babies and sleepless nights (oh the sleepless nights!) to growing toddlers and now small children, it's amazing to have a support network like this. 

As my friends went on to have second children and with myself being due with another in a few months time I'm sure I will be asking for their advice all over again. Wilf is actually the youngest of his friends in this friendship group and so with his last year at home before school I invited them over for tea to discuss all things that comes with having 4 & almost 5 year olds (and for my friend Nichola 6 and 8 year olds too!). I can't believe my little boy will be starting school next year, where on earth did that time go?

My friend Jess says ' I've found that it's really important to start every moment with a clean slate. I've found Cherry aged four can wake up every day in a different mood!'

Nichola who is mum to a 4 year old a 6 year old and an 8 year old 'say's one thing is that uniform ALWAYS sells out so fast and it's good to buy them as soon as possible, especially so you can get a wide range of sizes and styles. It's good to buy an extra pack of shirts or polos as they're constantly coming back from painting or messy play or just lunch with stains and it's good not to put yourself under washing pressure!

It's also good to be prepared for all seasons so for girls the summer dresses are great but if you're looking for something to last through the year then to buy a skirt and shirt that can then be teamed with tights and cardigan in winter but be worn with socks in summer means it can go all through the year.'

A great tip she shared is to get uniform as early as possible but shoes later as they always grow out of those faster. Something I wouldn't have thought of before.

Having a not quite four year old I'm already seeing how much of his own person Wilf is becoming. I'm currently working out how to nurture that as best I can whilst still ensuring boundaries, I mean he's not going to be allowed yet another biscuit not matter how much he believes its his right ;) I feel lucky that he's still allowing me to choose his outfits for him as I realise his sense of personality will probably mean he'll want his say over these things pretty soon.

Another good point I hadn't even considered was to remember to name everything....when they're getting themselves changed for PE etc clothes can get muddled up so make sure they're well labelled.

For Adele having a four year old is realising the need to let her little girl discover things herself. 'When she sets the pace for learning or doing something it happens so easily. She is also testing boundaries a lot so I'm learning to respectfully hold on to the ones that are important and help her make good decisions in general. I try to do a lot of listening and talking. It's hard work and I don't get it right a lot of the time. Quite often she just wants to chat, which is nice. I remember things that happened from when I was four so I'm very aware that we're making conscious memories.'

What advice would you give to nurturing a child of these ages? Do you have any tips for when the time comes to start school? I'd love to know your thoughts!

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