As a Mum and a teacher, planning is never far from my mind. Not that I’m a control freak…. I hope. I just like to be organised and not be panicking about ridiculous things like what to wear in the morning, so since having the kids I’ve always just set it out the night before.
Until recently. E, my eldest, turned 6 a couple of weeks ago and for the past few weeks he’s been a lot more conscious about what he’s wearing. The following conversation has become fairly typical in our household recently:
“Mum… I know you’ve got these jeans out and this nice t shirt… but could I just wear…. (fill in blank with inappropriate clothing choice)”
There was also a monumental breakdown during the Easter holidays because his favourite (frankly quite hideously chavvy) tracksuit bottoms were in the wash. I thought I had years before the teenager clothing related moods hit?!
So I’ve tried to relax a bit and let him choose, guiding where possible* and hoping that we will strike a balance between him expressing himself, and not wearing something entirely inappropriate.
C, my nearly 4 year old, is the same to an extent. Given free reign she would choose the most colourful (dare I say garish) outfit available, which consists of about as many layers as humanly possible – think leggings / shorts / dress / cardigan combo and hear my washing basket groan – and she loves an accessory, no matter how much I’ve tried to steer her away from the girly stuff.
So when M&Co contacted me asking if I would like to work with them on their new product range “Kite and Cosmic” by television presenter Kate Garraway (find it here http://www.mandco.com/kids/kite-and-cosmic/), it seemed like a good opportunity to give them chance to make their own choices. We sat down with the online catalogue together, I told E how much he could spend and told C how many items she could choose and let them come up with a list together.
It was really intriguing to watch and taught them some lessons about the value of clothes and considering when and how often they might wear them. I had to rein them in a bit as there was a lot of choice and they loved it all. I also really liked that the brand supports the charity “I can“, helping children develop the speech, language and communication skills.
Here are C’s choices:
When the parcel arrived I’ve rarely seen a more excited pair, running upstairs to hang up their clothes. and then in true Instagram-kids style, E said “We need to take some photos of us in these!”. Well, of course we did, so some planning took place as to where might be a good place to visit. My two love the woods and with the bluebells just coming into season we decided we would take a wander up to our local beauty spot one sunny Saturday and then head to the beach for some chips (chips on the beach is possibly my favourite thing… ever).
So wander we did and we spent a couple of hours in the woods, with an obligatory stop for a snack (them) and a cuppa (me), wishing on dandelion clocks, spotting robins and ladybirds and allllll the bluebells. The kids were clearly comfy in what they were wearing and I was confident that the clothes were durable enough to stand up to climbing and general grubbiness. Exploring done, we headed to the beach for some chips in our favorite pub in the sunshine.
- Kids can be responsible and independent enough to make decisions for themselves if you give them the tools and trust to do so.
- They can also plan some pretty good instagram posts in the process.
- I’ll never like the aforementioned tracksuit bottoms.
- I’ll never be relaxed about the close proximity of ketchup and white shirt..
*which is hardly ever
Disclaimer: I worked in collaboration with M&Co on this post and was sent clothes for free. But I would never endorse anything I didn’t love.