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Bullying has been a topic discussed quite alot in our house lately. There have been a few heartbreaking stories in the press of children that have been so affected by it and have even been driven to commit suicide as a result of bullying. In an age of technology and mobile phones the importance of keeping an open and close relationship with our children is paramount in every respect, perhaps not least these days by monitoring their social media and phones, where it may lead to bullying. For example, by keeping an eye on changes in their personality and attitude to see if there are any tell tale signs. All of these I do with my children, particularly the twins who are ten and just got their first mobile phones with Instagram accounts. The twins know that at any stage I will look through their phones, check their accounts and they know never to send any pics of themselves to anyone that I dont know. Another rule I insist on, mainly because the thought of it drives me mad, is no ‘tarty’ selfies! No duck faces or pouts or anything that makes you look like a prize twat!! For my family, I tend to take a very clear approach to bullying and one that it seems is not often discussed. Personally, I think it is important to understand that all children, even your little angels are sometimes capable of being nasty fools, they are children after all. They will do or say things when you aren’t around that would make you cringe and your blood boil. Without realising what hurt it may cause, they might say things to other children that would also break even your own heart. By taking this approach doesn’t make you a bad parent, but knowing about it and ignoring it, in my opinion, does! Are you sure that it is not your baby  causing another child’s misery, whether knowingly or not? All kids are capable of changing their normally kind nature, often depending on their various changing friends and surroundings and we can’t be with them all the time. With 5, soon to be six children, we talk about this at home just as much as being the victim of bullying where it might even happen in our own house. When the twins were in year 3 I found out that one of them had ‘dumped’ their girlfriend. He told his pal it was because she had a pig nose. I imagine, innocently, his ‘pal’ then told the little girl this. What I did next, when I heard this (grassed up by his twin) may seem a little over the top, particularly as he never intended to hurt her or for her to even hear this, but I felt a gentle but clear point needed to be made. After having a chat with him about how much things like that could hurt her feelings I asked him to talk to her when he got to school and explain that he did not realise that it might have upset her and that was never his intention and just to explain that he didn’t mean it. In fact when it came to it, he could not face her. Instead, I agreed for him to write a letter to her instead. He promised he would give it to her the next day. Who knows? May be this had more benefit for both of them. I drove him to her house and watched while he hand delivered the note. I like to hope that my kids know to make the right decision when it comes to bullying and being mean to people. We talk about how words can be hurtful and damaging. We talk about what they should do if they see other children being picked on, singled out or hurt in anyway. But I am not naive, and if I find out my children have been mean, hurt or bullied anyone, trust me, will they will be dealt with and they know it!  I will not raise bullies! After all this, the point of my post is simply that when you are talking to your children about what to do if they are the victim of bullying, maybe it is worth you trying to explain to them the the consequences of being a bully. Please share this post on your social media,  help stop bullying at its root. Lots of love 😘😘😘😘 Kate

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