Hello!

My name is Lily-Sue, but my mummy calls me Munchkin (or 'Munch' for short!) I am 8 years old, and this is where my mummy will help me write all about all the fun things we do together. I hope you enjoy reading about the adventures of my mummy and me, Munchkin, with the occasional appearance from the siblings - Beastie and Plumlet.

Sunday, 14 January 2018

It's NOT ok! Just #BeKind

What do you do when you feel as though you are compromising the safety of your child every day?

Our Beastie acquired her nickname at less than 24 hours old. 4 years on, and this nickname becomes more appropriate every day. She is a Beast! But ... she is a sweet little monster who forever wears her heart on her sleeve. She loves to please and loves to be loved. This is why it breaks my heart when someone takes advantage of her gentle side. • So, I have a plea to all parents out there. If you find that your child is unkind to another, be it physically or emotionally (or both!), whether this be one time or regularly, PLEASE don't ignore it. Please let go of the 'kids will be kids' attitude and gently educate your child as to why their actions aren't the best. Don't force your child to apologise to their 'target', especially in front of others ... this apology is not genuine. Don't laugh it off thinking it's just a phase ... this 'phase' could be causing another child to go home sad and unsure as to what they're doing wrong, this 'phase' could become more serious than you think. #ukparentbloggers #bullyingisnotok #bullyingisnotaphase #raisekindchildren #educate
A post shared by Liz Tumbridge (@munchkinhart) on

I get you out of your bed every morning and smile as you jump up with excitement for the day that lies ahead.

We stick to a routine to ensure everything gets done and nothing gets missed before we walk up the road, hand in hand, as you tell me about the things you're excited to achieve during your day.

As we reach the top of the road, you break free from my hold and run happily towards D, the Lollipop Man, who is smiling as you approach. You bounce around in front of him whilst he makes you giggle.

We cross the road as you give D a high five in the middle of the road (this makes his morning!) and we enter the school gates. 

You greet everyone you pass with a smile, a chirpy "good morning", prompting your passers by to smile at me and often comment about your seemingly unshakable happy mood (if only they knew!)

The four of us walk to your classroom and enter the cloakroom where you cannot get your coat off quickly enough. Kisses and cuddles for your sister and brother whom you leave standing patiently in the cloakroom whilst I assist you into the class.

This is my moment to snatch a kiss and a hug from you as you wriggle your way through the mingling children calling out "Love you, mummy!" 

Then you reach your goal. That thing that makes you bubble with joy every morning. You grab your two little best friends, hug them tight, and just like that, you're ready to start your day. 

This is the moment part of my world has been falling apart a little recently. I catch the eye of your teacher. She understands. She knows what I'm going through right now. Catching her eye is essential for me at the moment. It's the one thing that holds me together as I walk away and leave you. Like I'm passing the baton to her and urging her to please keep it safe and not drop it. Drop that baton, and it's all over.

We make our way around the school and walk your sister to her classroom door. 

This all seems like a pretty normal school morning routine. So why is it, I've been feeling far from 'normal' every day when leaving you? Why am I fighting back the tears as I'm leaving the school gates each day? Why am I crippled with the feeling of incredible guilt?

Maybe it's because I question how safe you really are within those 4 secure walls of the classroom?

Maybe it's because the realisation of what has been happening to you since the very first day you started school has suddenly become a harsh reality?

Maybe it's because I know that magical smile of yours may have already faded before I've even left the school grounds?

Maybe it's not any one of the above ... Because it's actually ALL of the above.

One day you'll read this, Beastie, and it's important to us that you understand. You're such a sweet soul. You want to be friends with everyone and we're told at every parent's evening that you're popular amongst your peers and have no problem attracting new people with the help of your comical sense of humour and your magnetic personality. 

However, sadly, not everyone will see the best in these qualities of yours.

You're no angel, I know that. You've been nicknamed 'Beastie' since you were less than 24 hours old, and every single day, you equip us with brand new reasons that confirm we chose the perfect nickname for you. You're a Beast, but you're the most loveable Beast I know, and one that wears her heart on her sleeve. 

Sadly, at the young age of just five years old, you've had to encounter individuals that will take advantage of your fun, adorable side. They will seem almost threatened by your ability to befriend others and will take a dislike to the close relationships that you form.

This happens in life everyday. And that's fine. That feeling of envy is not yours and should certainly not be your problem.

What is not fine is that you're being harmed.

Harmed by another child. A child that pretended to be your friend. A child that joined the school knowing no one and whom you took by the hand on your first day in Reception and promised she wouldn't need to be on her own.

How part of me wishes that encounter had never taken place. If only I had known that this child would, within a matter of weeks, be causing physical harm to you on a regular basis. 

I tackled it, along with the help of your teachers, and was assured it was all over and these malicious actions had stopped. And yes, every single part of it has been malicious. 

But it hasn't stopped. It never stopped. Your kind heart just chose to ignore it for a while.

This isn't 'kids being kids'. This is one child picking her moments carefully, knowing when she's being watched and when she's not, finding you at vulnerable moments and hurting you. This is manipulation to the point that she'll hurt you one minute and hand you a carefully penned letter or card the next, telling you she loves your friendship whilst she watches you accept her 'token' gracefully and eagerly, thinking this person is a friend after all and that everything is right with the world again.

That's your kind heart that thinks that, all the while your head knows the truth.

Friends are meant to leave marks in your heart, not footprints on your back when they decide to deliberately kick you as you're sitting on the carpet, listening to the teacher.

Friends don't corner you in the bathroom and give physical digs when no one is watching.

Friends don't push you off your chair or push your seat in so far that it squashes your chest against the wooden table, and then laugh when you ask to be released. They don't pull your hair, hit you, push you over on the playground or trample on your belongings. Friends don't tell you who you are 'allowed' to be friends with or try to dictate that you and your best friend from nursery have been friends for too long and are no longer allowed to play together. Friends don't force your favourite playmates to leave you at playtime by using threats of a morbid and extremely worrying nature, whilst instructing you to go sit on a bench and spend your playtime alone with no company. Above all, friends do not cause you to feel frightened at the thought of confiding in the very people who have a job to keep you safe, because you're promised that if you tell, you'll get into trouble. 

Friends don't do all of these things and then think a piece of paper with a feeble, less than genuine "sorry" scribbled in pretty colours takes away what they have just done.

This is why my world falls apart every time I leave you at school. Your two best friends are amazing. The sweetest girls in the world. And their soft little souls are affected in ways that make you sad too. None of you should go through this. You're five! Your teacher is incredible. Almost too incredible sometimes! She's sad too. She's sad that this has been happening under her nose and has gone completely undetected. She's sad that you've been made to feel scared in her care and have felt unable to speak to her for fear of getting into trouble. She's sad that this child has changed something in you recently - she's taken away a certain sparkle that you had - and your teacher has mistaken this for something else. She had thought that you had simply returned to school this term with an extra focus and determination to learn ... which you have. But that's not all she's been seeing. She's been witnessing something much more disturbing, but she had no idea. 

Why? 

Because this child made sure of it. 

Another upset, another letter thrust into your hands last week. Only this time was different. This time, I was there when she passed you the envelope covered in "I love you" and friendship stickers. And do you know what? You'll never see that letter. Not this time. A "Sorry for hitting you" (yes, that was the entirety of this letter) simply comes nowhere close to cutting through the damage she's done. You deserve better than that, beautiful girl, and I'm not letting you see another letter like that, which makes your kind, adorable heart think that it's all ok again.

It's not ok. It's never ok. It's bullying.

Bullying is NOT ok!

If you suspect your child is being victimised or bullied in any way, please check out the #BeKind campaign initiated by the team at ITV's This Morning and pledge to watch their appeal video with your children. Speak up, and stop the bullies!

31 comments:

  1. It's never ok is it and it is such a shame that this sot of behaviour comes from children of such a young age. I hope you get this sorted ASAP!

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  2. Bullying is never ok at any age and I'm so sad it's happening to little Rosie.
    Kids are so cruel at times but this seems so much worse.

    I'm so glad the teacher is now aware and the school are helping. If not stopped early on this child will go through life thinking that is The way to go about things and will forever be a bully.....it needs to stop.

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  3. Bullying is not ok at any age and it’s our job as parents to teach our children what is acceptable behavior in treating others... Shell

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  4. This is so sad . As a mummy i worry about bullying everyday. Im so glad you're addressing this

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  5. Bullying can really destroy a person. And it is a shame that so many adult just keep a blind eye!

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  6. Not a mother, but hate any type of bulling. It is not ok and the earlier children learn it, the better.

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  7. Why children can be so cruel... what a sad reality... you wanna make sure your angel, sweet little and cute will be totally safe out there... in the big world!

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  8. Bullying is something we take very seriously in our house, my children know it would never be tolerated for them to be a bully or for someone to bully them.

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  9. No one at any age deserves to be bullied and it breaks my heart that there are children out there who know how to be bullies. Your daughter deserves much more than that. I sincerly hopes that this gets better for you and her. Sounds like she has a very strong mama to help her through this.

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  10. I was bullied as a child and I've sat down and told my children about it. I have said that I love you and support you in most things that you do, but if you choose to bully others, you will not have me on your side. I will scold them if I even hear what I think is bullying and explain why it's unacceptable. I'm sorry about your little one and I hope things get better soon!

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  11. bullying is never ok. i hope this world becomes safe for every child

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  12. This is such a heartbreaking post and one I am both sorry to read but very glad you are raising awareness. I agree with you whole heartedly, that is not kids being kids. This 'friend' is going to grow up incredibly lonely and thats through their own actions and the responsability of their parents. Five is old enough to know that these actions are wrong, it is disgraceful. I hope your little one doesn't let it bring her down, I remember being bullied as young as five and at that age I really couldn't understand why it was happening. Keep reminding her how wonderful she is that that she's a wonderful person for not acting the way this other girl does. I hope that it stops for her.

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  13. Wow, I cannot believe someone that young is being such a bully! That kids' parents should be ashamed. Kids that young are not naturally that mean.

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  14. I hate bullying and even though awareness is raised it still goes on which is unacceptable - lets hope one day it will STOP for good x

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  15. Beastie is so lucky to have you in her life. And yes, rudeness can often be sign of a problem so it is important to find out if something is wrong or has happened. God bless your little girl!

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  16. Oh Liz. I'm so sorry this is happening to Beastie. This broke my heart :( Yes, I hate it too when people say "Oh they're just kids being kids" . I wish in this day and age people wouldn't say those careless words anymore. My husband and I always said that once T is not happy in school and if she's being bullied. We'd take her out! She's the smallest in her class you see (Well, of course she is! She has me as her mum :) and obviously looks different from all the rest and so at an early age we've always told her to stand her ground and not to let anyone undermine her. Like Beastie she also has bestfriends who care and love her... If only we could protect our kids 24/7. Sending hugs over blogsphere. xxx

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  17. Awe I am so sorry about what happened:( Bullying is a real issue our Kids are facing today and it’s so important to bring awareness to it.

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  18. I'm praying Beastie will be able to keep her sweet, friendly personality in the midst of all of this. I also pray for the little girl that is bullying, because I believe that is a learned behavior.

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  19. I am so sorry that Beastie has to go through this! It is astonishing and heart-breaking how cruel kids can be. And what adds to the problem, usually there is little use of talking to the parents because they will refuse to believe that their little darling can do anything wrong.
    I hope you'll be able to put an end to this situation. I have a little sis in elementary school, so I can relate. You'll be in my thoughts.

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  20. Bullying is really bad. It has a lot to say about the kind of environment a child is nurtured in.

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  21. I am not a mother so I may not be knowing the true feelings of a child but I am a woman and I fully understand your pain and the anguish of the little baby. You are bravely taking care, all will be fine with her

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  22. I literally held back my tears while reading this post as i have the utmost love for kids and children as they are so pure and kind...and when some of these kids prefer to cross over to the other side and become mean..i cannot stand the gentle and kind children being taken advantage of...Especially when i feel how they must be feeling inside and becoming more and more conscious day by day of interacting with other kids..they go into a shell slowly..this is why it is very important to teach your kids how to not take anything lying down but treating it with kindness..

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  23. I'm so sorry that both you and your daughter are going through this, it's absolutely heartbreaking to read. Bullying is never okay and I hope the bully sees the error of their ways really soon!

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  24. This post made me feel so sad for you little one. Children can be so cruel sometimes. I hope things get sorted ASAP.

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  25. Bullying is happening all over the world and it must stop! I also believe that It ain't a joke. Because far from the physical pain it cause, the emotional pain will be carried by the child until he or she grows up. So we must put an awareness to this.

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  26. Bullying is such a bad thing....I was bullied myself at school and nobody did nothing...it can be very isolating for a child so young. Hope the situation gets sorted soon!

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  27. It's not okay to be a bully. Unfortunately bullying has been around for so long but it's just not right for a child that young to be a bully and a master manipulator....so sad. Glad you are giving your Beastie the support she needs.

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  28. Its sad to have such story. Bullying is never fine, it causes depression that leads to something serious in a long run. Kids should learn the proper manners and virtues at a very young age and its the parents duties to educate their kids. I have a baby now and I know she'll grow into a kid soon and I would never want her treat any kid rude or in a way that will hurt other kids. I would want her to learn the right things while shes still so young.

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  29. Bullying is never okay any time any place. I am so sorry this happened to your precious little girl. I hope this all gets sorted out soon, she sure is a little cutie.

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  30. Bullying is never okay. I wish happy days ahead for you and your little girl!

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  31. It is so true. Bulling makes so much harm, something grownups still have to work through to overcome even after years. You might think you finally got rid of consequences only to suddenly find another broken moment or fear or simply odd reaction

    Lyosha
    Inside and Outside Blog

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