An age of understanding
There was a bit of a 'lull' with poppy wearing during the last decade or two, with people shunning them for whatever reason, deeming it politically incorrect, pointless or simply uncool; so it's great that so many of us have taken to wearing them with pride again.
With my own kids growing older, I feel I can now explain properly what the wearing of a poppy signifies and my son especially was keen to listen this year.
A developing interest in why we wear poppies
This was made easier by the fact that he's enjoying learning all about WWII in history at school but what he enjoys most are real accounts of the war so he was full of questions.
Luckily, his nanny is still around to share her stories.
Telling kids tales from a time gone by
My son's gran is a great point of reference for him as she was around his age when the war ended. She always makes stories fun, with tales of nights raids and bombs falling on her school (very appealing to any kid!), midnight dashes down to the Anderson shelter, hoping you didn't get a boot-full of cold muddy water when you jumped in because someone had forgotten to bail it out (ugh, imagine that on a cold winter's night!).
Then there was rationing, making and mending all your clothes, no computers or TVs, just books and radio - all giving a real life account of how life really was back then and how relatively easy life is now.
My son's late grandfather served just after the war too, so he was always really interested to hear about his deployment to Germany as a sniper. He would sit quietly and agog (rare indeed) as he was transported back in time, listening to proper 'Action Man' tales of ducking in and out of derelict, bombed out buildings, 5 am army drills in the snow, being constantly hungry and eating 'meat' pies when there was no meat around.
Dad saw some awful things too, but he always managed to get across how wonderful the comradeship of Army life was and despite how hard it was it really taught him the value of life and he looked back fondly.
How the past relates today for our children
There was also some great coverage on TV about our present day war heroes. This gave an excellent insight and contrast between how easy life is for everyone today because of those who fight, past and present for the freedoms we now enjoy.
All in all, I think it's so important to drill in to kids how tough life has been in the past for people and if it weren't for them we would still have it tough now. There is so much 'entitlement' running through the veins of younger generations, mine included, so it's good to remind ourselves of how thankful we should all be.
Jayne, Working Mum and Freelance Editor