Joy to the glorious world! It has been a whole week since school has started back up here in Scotland. Or rather in our case; nursery. And OH MY GOD! It is bliss! It has been a long old 7 weeks of unbearable heat. Add the chaos of keeping your children entertained and you’ve got a good old-fashioned recipe for stress. Serving suggestion of pulling one’s hair out to stay sane. HA! It definitely makes you appreciate those golden hours your child is away in education, a lot! The summer holidays does nothing but remind you of how seconds can drag on for hours. But it isn’t all doom and gloom as memories are made and you get some one on one time with your little monsters. Before too long you will be chasing them to spend time with you, as quoted in one of my favourite films; Hook.
“Your children love you, they want to play with you. How long do you think that lasts? Soon Jack may not even want you to come to his games. We have a few special years with our children, when they’re the ones that want us around. After that you’re going to be running after them for a bit of attention. It’s so fast Peter. It’s a few years, and it’s over. And you are not being careful. And you are missing it.”
At the start of this year we had in mind that our eldest would be starting school. Big. Scary. School. However we didn’t realise that given when his birthday is, he had the option to do an extra year of nursery. A very common thing apparently in Scotland (not sure if it is in England but both me and my husband had never heard of it) and after speaking to other parents who had done this with their children, it had worked wonders for them. We had a meeting with the nursery staff and went over his progress before deciding that it was indeed the best thing for him. His speech was still developing as he was attending speech and language therapy and we didn’t want to add the extra pressure of starting school on top of that. Plus he was also still potty training. That’s a HELL of a lot of pressure to put on a 4-year-old. We didn’t want him to struggle when he could have another year to find his feet. There is far too much pressure on kids to tick all the boxes these days. High expectations and the like are just unnecessary. Let them be kids and not performing monkeys. Let them play, explore, discover in their own time and not to a time limit. Let them have FUN! Remember fun? When nothing else mattered but “Oooh pretty bubbles!” and fluffy candy-floss melting on your tongue. Childhood. In the blink of an eye it’s gone. Way too fast.
Now, at first dear reader I was terrified at this suggestion of an extra year, I have to be honest; and wasn’t entirely sure about it. My reason being that I knew he could do it, that he would be fine and would love school. I didn’t want him to look back and feel stupid or idiotic. I hated the thought of him asking me when he was older why I didn’t believe in him enough to move ahead with his classmates, to trust that he would be capable. To resent me and forever hold a grudge for ‘holding him back.’ It was the classic mum guilt setting in. Was I a bad mother for not wanting my child to be left behind? To succeed and prove everyone wrong, that he is good enough to go forward with school? I was blinded by my own past of never feeling good enough that I didn’t want my son to feel the same way. I wanted to protect him and let him know just how amazing he truly is. But then I started to really, really think about it and realised that if I pushed for him to go to school, I would be adding to the pressure. Something else I was far too familiar with and wanted to shield him from. I didn’t want him to struggle and give up because he wasn’t ready. I wanted what was best for him and again, no child should have that much pressure shoved on them. As I looked at my son, I pushed my stubbornness aside and agreed that him attending another year of nursery was the best option. I felt a weight lifted off of his and my own shoulders now that he had the time to develop at his own pace. I could relax and so could he. He could be a kid! I could stop stressing and worrying because in the end, his happiness and health is all that matters.
And WOW what a difference so far it has made. His progress has been outstanding. The nursery staff has noticed how much more confident he is with his speech, that he is going to the toilet by himself and just being a happy confident little chappy. We are extremely proud of him, always have been. I am so glad that I took the time to listen and really think about this decision. I could have made a big mistake. He never has to prove to me or anyone else that he can do it. I know he can and will always support him. He has such a magical journey of self discovery ahead of him. Adventure is out there!
Hop hop wiggle wiggle