So pleased to see the increased awareness and publicity encouraging kindness and for children to speak up about being bullied. Too many children suffer in silence.
Sadly most bullies suffer from low self-esteem, may have been bullied themselves and statistically often go on to suffer from depression in later life when they finally reflect on their actions. Banter rarely is banter it’s bullying – questionable teasing is only funny when people are laughing not crying or far worse.
Please read my articles on Innovate My School’s Website including:-
When I tuned into This Morning earlier I was thrilled to see their guest counsellors and parents were there to promote their latest campaign; ‘be kind’ details of which can be found on their website. They are asking for a video linked to be shared so please visit the website in support.
For more years than I care to remember I have been flying the flag of kindness and how it is a strength and not a weakness. Whilst I write about anti-bullying I am happy to promote ‘be kind’ to stop the first we need to remind children to be the second!
Today’s children as we know full victim to cyber-bullying 24/7 and it is down to everyone to encourage our own children not to be a bully and be aware of the consequence of their actions including words within all media, though my generation thought this was normal to parenting. I agree with the brave parent of a child who sadly paid the ultimate price of bullying (Lucy Alexander) it is ‘collective responsibility’.
So today’s awareness blog gives me another opportunity to provide a link for my own article on Innovate My School’s website which has amazing advice articles provided by professionals within the education and support sectors.
At a recent birthday party I spoke to a few Dads of five year olds and reminded them to encourage their children to talk about things which worry them, as too often children who are bullied do not tell anyone…and yes Dads that includes boys!!
I know a lot of people will object to announcements of sex education within schools at such an early age. However, I am often reminding mothers of young children to talk about how they protect them and why and reminding them that private parts are just that.
Sadly people in various positions of trust take advantage of our children and awareness should be addressed but handled in the correct way. Every child is different and there is never a one size fits all.
Of course as parents and/or professionals we have the benefit of great support charities with the best of advice readily available online or by contacting them by phone. NSPCC and Childline are only to pleased to discuss any concerns and gie advice.
If you are worried or concerned about anything don’t ignore your instincts but seek help. Whether that be your GP, Minister – Safeguarding teams are in place to help investigate such issues.
If your child has access to phone, tablets or laptops ensure you know what they are viewing and accessing, moreover who has access to them. Preventative rather than cure is always the best way to keep your child safe.
I am going to again mention the subject of cyber bullying as we continual to hear extremely sad cases on too regular a basis to ignore.Teens self harm, develop eating problems and many cases are leading to child suicide.
As I often write when I was younger bullying at school may just be during the school day (that was bad enough) nowadays the bullies have access to their victims 24/7. I am reminding parents who follow my blog that schools can still act upon bullying outside the school environment if it is affecting a child’s wellbeing at school and/or being a cause for them to be absent from school.
Please tell the school if your child in having bullying of any description so they can take the relevant action and stamp out bullying. School life, especially for teens is stressful enough without the added cruelty of online bullying. Modern media enables bullying to take a life of its own as people quickly join in, often ,without realising, just how much agony they are causing to the subject of their adverse attention.
I remind the culprits in life it’s not a joke if the victim isn’t laughing…think would you like it happening to you?
If I were a parent of a child who bullies in this way the phone would go for good.
My regular followers will know I like to help with awareness of seeking support for bullying. The worrying fact being very few victims of bullying actually find the courage to talk to somebody, thus giving the bullies ultimate control.
Speaking earlier this week to a well-respected childminder she agreed that bullying can start at a very early age in school and if parents are made aware they must take this up with their children’s school.
Yesterday they had a phone-in on the subject of bullying on Good Morning TV programme with a heartbreaking story from a parent with a seven year old son being the subject of horrendous bullying. At whatever age we fall prey to bullying it has a detrimental affect on not just our wellbeing but our self-esteem.
Bullies themselves are unhappy children/adults and those that grow out of this cowardly act often go on to suffer with depression. Please visit Anti-Bullying Alliance’s website for advice and online courses.
Please read my article on Innovate my School’s website.
People who know me and my regular followers will know that I often talk about kindness and its value in today’s society. I also encourage parents to recognise all the skills their children have rather than just focus on their academic success.
I am so thrilled that the younger generation of our Royal family are getting involved with charities and organisations that help people with mental health issues and are pro-active in promoting acts of kindness.
The Duchess of Cambridge yesterday was quoted as recognising kindness and respect as well as academic achievements.
Our teens today are struggling with all sorts of pressures and many suffer in isolation and modern media is of no comfort or substitute for real genuine friendships.
Help and support our youngsters they are a generation in trouble.
Today I discussed with a colleague how times had changed within education. We spoke about how previously teachers could hit children with a cane, throw black board rubbers at their heads and even wash their mouths out with soap for swearing.The latter I witnessed myself… I kid you not!
Thankfully we have come a long way and teachers are better behaved and hopefully so are the children. My colleague was in her 80’s and interested to learn about safeguarding and how staff are not meant to be ‘touching’ children -and those of us who have had safeguarding training know that even when administering first aid one has to be mindful and only act appropriately.
Equally teachers are now coping with far more stress factors than in our day at school aside of league tables; drugs, self-harming and of course cyber-bullying not all changes are for the better and life is not easy for our teenagers. The opportunities are vast but the pressures are too.
The main advice is to keep an open communication line and take an active interest in one’s children not just their friendship groups but their well-being too. Parenting the most rewarding yet difficult assignment you will ever be given.
I sincerely hope our Prime Minister’s intentions to increase budgets for mental health assistance within the NHS and the Education sector comes to fruition. Sadly the things we cannot see are often dissmissed.
I was reminded today on an early morning walk as I approached a rather dense bush which was concealing a number of birds vocalising loudly… I couldn’t see them but they were there. This can be true of people in need of help with emotional problems they are struggling to overcome. If one has a leg in plaster or anything visual we automatically find people engaging and giving us sympathy.
I make a point of asking if somebody is ok whether they have a leg in plaster or not and I am mindful that people that either haven’t had children and/or their’s grew up in a different time seem indifferent to the stress of our teens today. It’s tough, the pace of life and expectations is great and with the added pressure of exams and continuing increase of cyber bullying and self-harming ..they need our help and support not our criticisms.
I watched an interesting yet emotive documentary on TV last week reporting on two teenage girls who tragically self-harmed. There is always a root problem for why girls are self-harming, which may not be obvious even to the most diligent of parents.
As usual I took copious notes but was moved and focused by ‘a experts’ view on what is causing stress amongst teenagers. He said quite succintly:-
‘Teenagers are a mirror of society and society is in distress’
We can of course view this as negative but ignoring the facts won’t help teens of today. The pace of life is faster and great pressure is put on them to succeed. For all their advantages and amazing technology at the touch of finger they are not happy. Indeed technolog,y as I often write, brings new ways of being bullied and is responsible for lower self-esteem particularly in girls.
Keep the lines of communication open with this troubled generation they need our support and understanding more than most of us realise.
Any parent of a teenage son or daughter in today’s society is sadly aware of just how stressful life has become for our children. There are so many stress factors facing today’s teens; exams, acceptance from peers and even pressure to try drugs and huge sensitivity surrounding their visual appearance all increased via the use and scrutiny of media.
The pressures for some, certainly outweigh all the great advantages that modern technology bring, indeed those in suypportive roles are also recognising just how disruptive and cruel modern media can be in terms of cyber bullying.
Please read my article on Innovate My School’s website:-
If you have even the smallest inclination that your child may be struggling, then quite likely they are. Ask the question, be supportive and if necessary speak to their school too as the likelihood being the answer may be easier to fathom than you realise and pastoral and tutors can help your family unit turn things around.
Remember our children are only on loan to us and we owe it to them to look out for their well-being even at times when we may not actually like them…we will always love them.
Remind them how proud we are, don’t just say it to others..this gesture of affirmation may just be what they need if feeling vulnerable or concerned about their achievements and remember not everyone can be a great academic.