KATIE'S BLOG: Blowing out someone else’s candle

Last week I was interviewed by a journalist for a womans magazine about what the last 50 years of life have taught me. She also asked me what my one pet hate was.  That was an easy one to answer, quite simply I replied – BULLYING.

I went on to talk about my own experience of being bullied at school and how the words of the 11 year old child who told me I was ‘fat, ugly and stupid’ had stayed with me throughout my life.

How I went for years believing that to be the truth.

That I ignored the thousands of other messages from friends and family who would tell me otherwise.

How it’s taken me until only recently to show myself some compassion, to accept that those words were a reflection of her self worth, not of mine.

But I’m so glad I didn’t grow up in this social media world that our kids are living in now, as frankly I don’t think I could’ve coped. These days it's even easier to be bullied because it can all be done online, hidden behind a screen and often anonymously.

In fact I was woken up in the middle of the night quite recently, to find out that one of my kids had become a victim of online bullying and I have to say it brought back some very bad memories and left me shaking in anger all day.

Thankfully when I get like this, I’m grateful to be able to turn to my de-stressing vice – the trusty laptop, where I can offload my anger onto a screen.

As a mum of four, I know the parental challenges we face day in day out , because with kids' screen time increasing, it's hard to know what they are getting up to and who they may be hurting.

But I also know that it is our job to protect our kids, to stand up for them, and teach them how to respond to these situations and help to build up their resilience too.

We need to teach kids to be safe and sensible on line and to realise the harm that their words or images could cause to another child's mental health, not just at the time, but possibly for many years to come.

So the message I gave to my child this week and in fact the message I would give to ALL victims of bullying is this:

When people say bad things about you, it’s usually because they are insecure about themselves.

Next time someone does, or says, something unkind remember it has NOTHING to do with you and EVERYTHING to do with them.

I also told my child that when someone makes you feel bad about yourself, its usually a sign that they are unhappy in their own lives or perhaps are just jealous of you.

But they need to know that putting people down does not make them a powerful or strong person, it makes them a bully and a coward.

"Blowing out someone else’s candle, doesn’t make yours shine any brighter".

If  your child has been a victim of bullying, please don't stay silent.  

You can report it to the school and/or to the police and there are lots of amazing helplines and resources out there too, that can help both with support and with building resilience: 

http://Www.lattelounge.co/helplines/

 

 

Share this article

Katie Taylor's blog posts

Getting your kids through UCAS: U CAN!

The end of Year 12 and the summer leading up to Year 13 can be a surprisingly stressful time. Exams might have been shelved but the pressure is still very much on for 17 year olds all over the country. Current Year 12s are not only striving to get great predictions for their UCAS forms […]

Read More

KATIE'S BLOG: Not so sweet 16

They say your teenage years are the best years of your life, but in these frightening and unprecedented times, we are no longer able to live as teenagers and there is nothing we can do about it. With everything going on, the world we live in is rapidly becoming an extremely daunting place and truthfully, […]

Read More

Discover More

Menopause Resources

Find a menopause specialist, download our symptom checker, tips on preparing for your GP visit and so much more.

HRT and Tailored Menopause Support

Speak to the team at The Latte Lounge+ powered by Stella

Menopause Support for Employers

Speak to us about how we can help you support employees affected by menopause symptoms.

Join our Facebook Community

The original home of The Latte Lounge - our private group of more than 25,000 women discussing all things midlife.

magnifiercross-circle