I’ve got a short post today from the NSPCC. It’s just a little reminder for parents who might be worried about bullying, both on and offline.

Bullying affects almost every child in some way – whether they’re bullied themselves, they bully others or they see someone being bullied.

All children who are affected by bullying suffer harm, and in some cases the devastating effects can last into adulthood.

While there are no concrete stats on the number of children who are bullied, during 2015-16 Childline handled 25,740 counselling sessions nationally in which a young person mentioned bullying or cyberbullying as their biggest worry.

It can be really distressing for a parent to find out that their child is being bullied, or is picking on others, but it’s important to stay calm and not jump to conclusions.

There are so many reasons why children bully others and it’s not always straightforward. They might not even realise what they’re doing is bullying.

It can be really difficult for an adult, including parents, carers and teachers, to know whether or not a child is being bullied, especially because the child might not want to tell them in case it gets worse.

Signs to look out for could include the child becoming withdrawn, nervous, anxious or even depressed.

Having trouble sleeping, not doing well at school and being scared to go to school are also possible signs. View Post

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This post was created In Association With Baby Dove

I’m in London this week, and as I was coming through Waterloo station yesterday I saw the new Baby Dove ad.  It showed an eerily flawless looking mum and included a question:  Is there a perfect mum? which quickly became a topic of conversation on social media.

The ‘Perfect Mum’ image is the epitome of perfection – clear skinned, sparkly eyed, shining with the happiness that is the early months of parenting. She’s full of energy and zest for life, with not a splash of baby vomit in sight. She’s got parenting NAILED.

Baby Dove perfect mum

I mean it COULD be me right?

Sure. View Post

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I’m not going to lie, this week has been a toughie. Not least because we’ve been taking part in a challenge set by Robinsons, as part of Nutrition and Hydration Week, to get Belle to drink more.

As I described in my introductory post about the challenge, Belle is not naturally drawn to water as a concept. I’m not sure whether she just forgets, or whether the tap feels just too far away at 14 years old? I had one comment on the first post that made me laugh a lot, and which does sound a bit like Belle:

‘I vividly remember being in my early teens at school,’ commented Alice, ‘and not wanting to drink loads because I couldn’t be bothered to go to the toilet!’

Ha!

I can totally imagine that. I don’t remember my school toilets exactly being a thing of luxury. Plus at school you kind of want to avoid doing anything that draws attention to yourself, like putting your hand up in class to ask to go to the loo, so that could be a factor too. Whatever the reasons behind it, Belle doesn’t drink enough. I want this to change, and so does Robinsons. Hence the challenge.

Robinson's Squash'd

Belle last week, looking intrigued as to what her hydration challenge might entail…

So, after our week of trying to get Belle to drink more, what have we learnt? What top tips do we have to help you get your teenagers to drink more? Has Robinsons Squash’d helped Belle to drink more and, if so, has that changed how she feels?

Read on my intrigued chums…

 

1. Get yourself some Robinsons Squash’d

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Before we start, I know that actually I should be calling it Mothering Sunday, but it really annoys Fiancé when I call it Mother’s Day, and so now I do it deliberately, just because that’s the sort of annoying, belligerent girlfriend I am.

(Also, I think that’s the first time I’ve ever typed the word belligerent, which is nice, because it’s good to try new things.)

Mother’s Day then. What do you normally buy your mum for Mother’s Day? Now that we’re grown ups we can’t get away with glueing some dry macaroni and glitter to a piece of card and calling it art, so if you’re anything like me, it will be something from this list:

  • A card – one that doesn’t scream ‘I just went to the supermarket this morning and this was all they had’. (A couple of years ago I got my mum a card that said ‘Best Mum in Somerset’, which I think she appreciated.)
  • Chocolates – mid-range, unless you went SUPER FANCY and made the effort to go to Hotel Chocolat. (Get you, trying to make the rest of us look bad.)
  • Flowers – small bunch of.
  • A homemade ‘cheese stew’ – I received this rather than gave it. If you’re intrigued, you can read more about it in this article I wrote recently for Prima Magazine.

Not a very inspiring list is it? (Apart from the cheese stew.) Sorry Mum.

cheese platter

Just getting my ingredients ready to make my Mothers’ Day gift.

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I saw a tweet recently that made me laugh a lot:

https://twitter.com/EmmainWndrland/status/836118930506805248

With Belle, it would be the other way round:

(Apologies Emma for blatantly copying your tweet for this blog post.)

I would say that getting her to drink enough is the source of about 87% of my parental stress, alongside getting her to go to school and her refusal to eat any foods that aren’t beige. She has a smoothie for breakfast, but she’ll often come home from school, having had about three sips out of her water bottle, and nothing else for the entire day. I honestly don’t know how she does it. If I don’t drink water throughout the day I feel noticeably different – headachey, sick, and generally awful. I don’t understand how she can go through a whole day without it even occurring to her to have a drink.

Are all teenagers this terrible at drinking water?? View Post

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