Start the week with kindness

Regular followers will know I often write about kindness and how it is a strength and not a weakness.  As children we were taught to be considerate of others and their feelings and how simple acts of kindness can go along way.

Somewhere in the midst of modern media the kindness factor seems to have disappeared and replaced with bullying as though it is ok to be unkind, rude and insensitive. I encourage mothers of teens to get them off of social media and out in the community.  Working with families I see on a regular basis just how damaging the ‘modern techno fun’ really is. Cyber bullying is causing all sorts of health and emotional issues for students and at a time when they are really vulnerable.

‘It’s a generation thing’ I am constantly told..sorry that doesn’t ring true it’s either right or wrong and hiding behind technology is no excuse.

I consider myself so lucky to have had a great mentor and friend in my own mother who quoted positively on a daily basis.  ‘A Mother’s Love’ Gospels according to Dorothy is available to download from Amazon Kindle which includes her story and mine and simple parenting advice.

Mother-s love (1)

Being kind can be cool you know kids!! 


We are all human after all…

All credit this week to various public figures and celebrities for speaking out about their anxiety and depression issues in support of Mental Health Awareness Week.

When we are suffering in silence we have the misconception that we are alone in these emotional battles when in fact people in our inner circle or even family may be suffering too.

It is easy to see confident people or famous figures as ‘having it all’ when this is not the case. We all have a public face we like to show and unless we take the positive step to drop our guard, open up and talk our family or friends won’t know we need their support and therefore cannot help.

Talking, is, and, always has been, the best cure and as many who have shared this week talking to others with similar hurdles to overcome can be cathartic.

We know from statistics that men are far more likely to have suicidal thoughts and many act on those feelings. Please, please share your fears with somebody you trust before your thoughts spiral beyond your own control…it will help I promise.

Listening to others, a few words of kindness and understanding go a long way.

Bullying in schools

At last we see the subject of bullying tackled in our various soap programmes, dramas and day time chat shows. What worries me is how much of this still goes on in schools without the victims of bullying and their parents seemingly powerless to stop it.

Aside of the 24/7 bullying via the various types of media available to our children to misuse and become the target of bullying on site bullying still goes on too. What a lot of people do not realise is that even bullying taking place outside of school hours and away from the school premises can have repercussions for the bullies. Students can be excluded from school and from taking exams a point some may need to be reminded of and that they must take responsibilities for actions

If a student’s wellbeing is being affected and his/her school work and attendance suffers then the school have the power to take the bullies to task. Moreover schools must be seen to be taking bullying seriously and following the guidelines and procedures and if you feel your school is failing your child, first point of call after the Head teacher would be the Governors.

Sadly so many children who are being bullied remain silent but there are signs as parents and teachers to look out, the NSPCC and Childline websites list the signs including becoming isolated, change in sleep or eating patterns. Often children who selfharm or who have eating disorders are doing so because of bullying. It is not just children with SEN’s that are bullied though they are often targeted.

Please read my article on Innovate My School’s website:-


The bereavement journey

I am mindful that those in early stages of the bereavement process often feel isolated in their grief. This is often compounded by those around them, maybe family members also suffering in silence and close friends not knowing what to say.

There are no right words and this continues to be apparrent even many years after the loss of a loved one has passed. As I was saying earlier this week to a friend coping with another sad anniversary, nobody knows you are drowning in your grief unless you tell them..they just think you are waving. Often we can feel almost disappointed with those close for ‘not knowing/realising’ but two pieces of advice I offer is not to be to hard on one’s self and not have too high an expectation of others to do or say the right thing!

Bereavement is painful and there are no quick routes, but as I say the times we seem consumed by grief are times when we are letting it come to the surface rather than pretend we are ‘fine’. Emotions need to be released not surpressed and talking about our feelings, which may include anger or even misplaced blame in some cases really does help.

Don’t struggle alone seek help and for those thinking ‘I don’t go to church regularly so I can’t talk to my local minister’…think again you may be surprised how helpful and supportive they can be. There are many excellent support charities around too so take advantage of any groups locally.

Don’t forget writing can be extermely therapeutic even if nobody ever reads it but you. I know when I ran my writers group my members really benefited from using this way to share and reveal their feelings.


Be kind



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!!

Cyber bullying

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.


Male depression

At last there is more public interest and awareness f or support and acknowledging male depression. As discussed during ‘This Morning’ TV show phone in there are so many men who find it hard to approach friends when suffering emotional problems.

It is not a weakness but a strength to open up and ask for help, that in itself takes real courage. The old tradition of men not discussing problems needs to change to allow those in need to feel able to seek help from friends and family.

Those who are feeling troubled and having suicidal thoughts should talk to a professional if they can, seek out help from local support groups and not be afraid to admit they are not coping. Giving the option those that love you really want to know how you are feeling and have the opportunity to help.

It has always been a case of a problem shared and vocalising how one feels rather than just remaining in a dark place alone in one’s mind really helps. Changes don’t happen over night but tiny steps to a more positive place is far easier than most imagine.



True reflection of society

I know that many of the writers for soaps will feel justified in their story lines as being a true reflection of today’s society…if this is the case for last night’s Eastenders then things have become very dark. In just one episode we saw attempted suicide, self-harming and drug abuse. Sadly these are all things which many people  are struggling to control.

I often write about suicide on my blog especially in young men which is where the large proportion of stats lay. I am not therefore criticising the soap writers but all credit to them for being brave enough to tackle these issues albeit it sad viewing.

I am a great advocate in awareness of any type rather than for the troubles facing the young remaining taboo.We ignore them at our own peril.

However, I would like to see our young feeling happier about their life and  focusing on the opportunities that present themselves rather than being dragged down by what they may feel are their failings..more often than not people in depression just need to talk and feel heard.

My blog message today is cherish those around you and if a family member needs help then encourage them to get it, don’t leave them struggling. Life is good but sometimes in the rush of life we just get lost along the way and simply forget.

I wish all my fellow bloggers and followers a very healthy and happy new year and if financial rewards come too all well and good.

For those who have had a difficult 2016 I say go all out in 2017, follow your dreams and kick some butt! Have fun and remember laughing is as good as a tonic and for those that like the occasional Gin add in a measure of that too!



Teenage stress

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.



Remembering loved ones

The past few months have been extremely emotive for many relatives and friends in my circle. There’s always such a pressure at Christmas to be happy, when perhaps one is not. Samaritans are bringing awareness to this fact today confirming that such a large percentage of us are sad at Christmas but do things to make others happy.

We all cope with our emotions in our own way and life is constantly busy which sometimes prevents people from releasing maybe their grief openly. As I remind people going through bereavement there are no rules, or schedule or one size fits all.

However, we should all be able to grieve the way we want to, privately if that’s what we prefer and remembering those we have loved and lost in a way we feel is appropriate to respect that person and in our own way.

We can go many months moving forward and suddenly something will trigger a memory and we will feel the loss again, this may be a song, or a smell or a nonsensical memory. If this trigger makes us cry it’s no bad thing either these controlled emotions need to be released. Hanging on to emotions only leads to stress related illness or sleepless nights.

My message today is talk to people about how you feel and remember nobody has the right to dictate to others how they choose to grieve. Finally, remember that those we love and have lost would want us to go on living and loving as that’s the best tribute to their memory. We keep them alive in our hearts and that’s all anyone can expect.