My youngest starts school this week.
It's the end of an era.
I've been fortunate enough to give up my job in the corporate world, to look after my three children and set up my own business helping children and teenagers be confident and happy.
How did the time go by so fast?
Image: Author's Own
As I think about my daughter, Eden, heading towards the school gates, I want to soak up the memories of the fun times we've had together. The cuddles, the days out, the stories and just being able to see her grow into the amazing little girl she is today.
Even those difficult times - I wouldn't change them for the world. The crying - because I didn't butter her toast the right way, the tantrums - because she wanted something she couldn't have and the times when she fell over and hurt herself. They've made us both stronger and brought us closer together.
I've got mixed emotions about my little girl starting school.
On the one hand, I could cry. I know I probably will. She's far too young and, as much as I love the school she's going to and know it's full of amazing teachers, I feel that the current education system is broken. It focuses on teaching children to memorise facts and diminish their creativity, so that they'll end up as hard-working 'yes' adults.
I don't want her to change.
I don't want Eden to be hurt by what other children say or do to her. I can't bear the thought of her tying her worth to her exam results. Having to do homework when she should be out playing. Wearing a uniform when she wants to dress as a fairy pirate.
At the same time, I know that every experience she faces will make her stronger. She'll learn how to deal with other people and will make friends. She'll get to try new things and find out what she loves to do. We can be creative together at home and play dress up on a weekend.
So, all I can do is hope.
I hope my daughter develops a love of learning and is inspired by her teachers.
I hope she finds her gifts and passions and doesn't listen to anyone who says she 'can't' achieve her dreams.
I hope that she doesn't place her worth on the exam results she gets and instead, knows that she is amazing just as she is. That she realises we each have our own unique gifts and it's our job to develop them and not worry about what other people are doing with theirs.
I hope that she'll still be the independent and determined girl I've encouraged her to be, so that she questions everything.
Finally, I hope that the teachers nurture her and care for her like I have and that the politicians see her as a person, instead of just a number on a league table.
So, to my amazing Eden - please keep on being you, as you're perfect just as you are. I don't need you to achieve this grade and that grade. I love you and am proud of you, no matter what.
The person you're becoming is kind, loyal, loving, cheeky, independent, curious and determined. You still see the magic and beauty of life. You know that that magic and beauty is part of you.
Don't change for anyone.
Image: Author's Own
Thank you so much for all the lovely times we've had together so far. It's been a pleasure and I'm a better person because of it.
I look forward to helping you through all that's still to come.
If your son, or daughter is struggling with their confidence, please check out 'The Happy Child: Fun Book' or 'The Happy Teenager: Fun Book'. You can also visit Jaelithe's website to see the meditations and coaching she's created to help children and teenagers see how amazing they are.
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