Advertorial · Education · Family · Happiness

Is Cyberbullying a Problem for Your Child?

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A survey commissioned by the Anti-Bullying Alliance has uncovered some very worrying statistics. 60.5% of UK parents believe that cyberbullying is part of everyday life for their children. The survey also asked parents whether they felt they were equipped to deal with the problems raised by cyberbullying. 40% of parents stated that they did not know how to handle cyberbulling issues, whilst 44% of teachers admitted that they didn’t know how to cope with instances of cyberbullying.

These are worrying statistics, but is the problem really as significant as parents and teachers think? The parenting advice website investigates…

Is cyberbulling a widespread problem?

So it’s clearly a concern for parents and teachers, but does reality reflect these grown up worries about cyberbullying? In England at least it looks like the problem is not being overstated. 55% of kids surveyed claimed that they see cyberbulling as part of everyday life.

But the facts and figures vary. In March 2013, the NSPCC came out with research which suggested that 38% of children have been affected by the practice. It’s a very difficult thing to monitor. Children have very different perceptions of the issue – for those only indirectly involved, it may not seem like bullying. For the perpetrators of this type of online abuse, speaking honestly about the problem is not possible. Meanwhile, the media are always ready with shock stories which can trigger parental fears and cause more of a panic than necessary.

It does look like there is some disparity between the concerns of adults and the concerns of children on the issue. Just 40% of kids think that cyberbullying and how to deal with it should be included on the national curriculum. Meanwhile 69% of teachers believe that the issue should be incorporated into mandatory lessons at school.

Whatever the percentage of affected children – the figures are still too high. No children should experience persecution online. Whether you’re looking at the highest figure (60.5%) or the lower statistics (38%), these are not negligible figures. The problem needs to be tackled.

Is my child affected by cyberbulling?

In this climate it is understandable for parents to be concerned about their children online. It is difficult for children to speak out about cyberbullying and they may not even recognise that this is a problem affecting them. If you are worried that your child may be a victim of cyberbullying, there are a few warning signs to look out for:

  • Visible nervousness when receiving text and email alerts
  • Hides or closes computer and phone screens when you’re around
  • Withdrawal from friends and peers
  • Impaired academic performance
  • Loss of appetite, volatile moods, noticeable change in behaviour

Of course a lot of these signs are normal teenage behaviour associated with hormonal changes and teenage life. That’s why it’s important to talk to your child about cyberbullying and what’s going on in their life.

How to address the issue

Talk to your children. Make sure they know that you will be supportive no matter what people are saying online. Let them know you are in their corner and will do everything you can to protect them from online bullies.

If your child is evasive, it may be time to take a closer look at browser histories, emails and text messages. This is a drastic step as it constitutes as invasion of privacy, but if you find evidence of cyberbullying it’s crucial not to be angry and present a supportive shoulder for your child. The next step is taking the issue to a trusted teacher or, in extreme cases, to the police.

Advertorial · Christmas · Shopping

Tesco Boost Christmas Wish List

We’re big fans of Tesco Clubcard in this house, having used our points in the past to exchange for vouchers for various things, from furniture to days out, so it’s great to see that Tesco is doing Tesco Clubcard Boost for the festive season, allowing you to exchange your vouchers for more to spend on selected items. Every £5 of Clubcard vouchers will buy you £10 of Clubcard Boost vouchers,  and there’s a whole load of great items to spend them on.

Tesco asked me if I’d like to put together a wish-list of things that the Mum’s the Word family would like for Christmas, so here’s what us 4 (soon to be 5!) would like:


Kenwood Chef

I know it’s probably not very feminist to ask for a kitchen appliance for Christmas, but I think feminism is about the freedom to be yourself, so what I really want for Christmas is this Kenwood Chef (£239.00). I love baking and this would be perfect for that and I fully intend for the baby to eat the same as us once she’s weaned, so I’ll be doing a lot of blending next year, making this the perfect appliance for me.


Canon EOS 60D

My Husband has a really good eye for photography – you could give us the same cameras, same lighting and the same thing to shoot and his photos would still come out a thousand times better than mine, so I’d love him to have a really awesome camera to use. I know lots of people who recommend the Canon EOS 60D (£829) and as it’s part of the Tesco Boost deals, this is what I’d choose for him.


Furby Boom

If you’ve got little ones, you probably know that Furby (£49.99) is THE gift of choice this year, and Sausage is no exception. She’s been asking us for a Furby since she saw the adverts a couple of months ago and we’ve been steadfastly using the “Well, you’ll have to see what Santa brings you..” line, so this will definitely be on her list. I remember Furby when I was a kid but it’s a whole different creature now, as it can be linked with a tablet PC and controlled with an app!



When Sausage was little, we had some great toys for her, which aided physical and mental development, and as soon as I saw this Fisher-Price Discover ‘N Grow Jumperoo Bouncer (£85.00), I knew it was something that we’d want for the baby. Sausage absolutely loved being upright as much as possible and was trying to stand up from about 3 weeks old, so the new baby will probably get a real kick out of this toy, and it’s suitable from birth too, which is just fab!



Obviously, Chuck is an important part of our family, so he doesn’t get left out at Christmas. Now that he’s getting older, he needs a comfy place to sleep that’s also warm – he’s a short-haired breed so he gets chilly at night when we turn the heating off. This House of Paws Dog Bed (£74.14) would be perfect for him, giving him both comfort and warmth, and I love the tweed pattern it comes in too.

So, that’s what we’d choose – what’s on your list this year?

Advertorial · Charity · Home

Brighten Up Your Kitchen in Aid of Children in Need

The exclusive polka dot retro fridge freezer available from Crampton & Moore in aid of Children in Need.An independent electrical retailer is hoping to raise hundreds of pounds for charity with a ‘cool’ unique online auction.

Sheffield based electrical retailer Crampton & Moore and white goods manufacturer Servis, have designed a one-of-a-kind Pudsey Bear inspired retro fridge to auction off, with all proceeds going to this year’s Children in Need. Consumers can make their bid on eBay for a chance to win the unique polka dot retro fridge freezer.

Bidding will start from 9am on Monday 11 November and will run until 8pm on Friday 15 November, the official Children In Need day.

Steve Lineton, E-Commerce Developer of Crampton & Moore commented: “Having worked with six different charities in the past, we are really excited to be part of this year’s Children in Need. Crampton & Moore has recently partnered with Servis and we thought an eye-catching product such as the retro fridge freezer would be ideal to help us raise money for the charity.

“We are proud to support such a worthy cause and hope consumers will join us next week and make their bid for the chance to win this exclusive fridge freezer.”

The limited edition fridge, in Classic Cream with Children in Need style polka dots, will be in Crampton & Moore’s Sheffield store on Wednesday 13 November to encourage consumers to make their bid online.

Servis’ retro collection fuses vintage style with modern cooling technology and is ideal for a household looking for extra food space. The retro fridge freezer boasts a practical capacity of up to 335 litres of fridge and freezer space, giving plenty of room to stock up ahead of the Christmas period.

In addition to the retro collection, Servis’ dishwashing, laundry and cooking appliances are also available from Crampton & Moore.

For more information or to place your bid visit

(No money was received for the publication of this advertorial)
Advertorial · Family

A Game of Dress Up

A few weeks ago, we gave Sausage’s bedroom a bit of a makeover; now that she’s a big girl, she needs a room befitting, so we bought her a new wardrobe and storage, as well as some pictures and a proper wooden desk with a pink swivel chair for her to use to do her homework. Of course, new furniture meant a lot of sorting out, and in the process of this I realised that my daughter owns an astounding amount of fancy dress costumes, so much in fact, that we’ve had to give it its very own storage box as there’s just not enough space for it to all hang in her wardrobe!

Whilst looking through her stash, mad as I am, I started thinking about costumes that she didn’t have, and though that I’d like to add some children’s superhero fancy dress to her collection. A couple of years ago, we had a conversation and she revealed to me that she didn’t think that girls could be superheroes, she thought it was solely the domain of males to save the world, and Husband and I embarked upon a mission to introduce her to Wonder Woman, Super Girl and the many awesome female X-Men characters that she was unaware of.

Elliots fancy dress shop in Belfast offers some great options for both superhero and villain costumes (I think my favourite is the Minions costume, as we’re huge fans of Despicable Me in our house), but I’m seriously considering investing in a Super Girl costume for my little hero, so give her a sense of empowerment. That’s what super heroes should be about, as far as I’m concerned – a regular person who’s able to do masses of good for the world with their individual strengths. Maybe the ‘S’ on the front of the costume could stand for ‘Sausage’?!

Advertorial · Christmas · Family

A Room Somewhere…

I’m a bit of a musicals fan, and this time of year always reminds me of the inimitable Eliza Doolittle:

All I want is a room somewhere,
Far away from the cold night air.
With one enormous chair,
Aow, wouldn’t it be loverly?
Lots of choc’lates for me to eat,
Lots of coal makin’ lots of ‘eat.
Warm face, warm ‘ands, warm feet,
Aow, wouldn’t it be loverly?

I’m a real creature of comfort and I love winter because I can hibernate indoors, get snuggly and shut out the chilly outside world. What I’d really love is a modern wall hung gas fire to heat the house and chill out in front of on winter nights. Our house is chilly at the best of times and a fireplace would be the perfect decorative addition, as well as giving our central heating a bit of a helping hand!

I also love traditional gas fires, and the thought of being able to have a proper fire place is very appealing – there’s nothing that looks nicer at Christmas than a mantelpiece, laden with garlands and wooden festive decorations, around a roaring fire. I like to think I’m a fairly modern gal, but there’s a bit of me that hankers after tradition, and I love the image of my girls opening their presents on a thick rug in front of the fireplace. Who knew there was a 50’s housewife hiding inside me?!

I know someone else who’d love a fireplace too – my dog Chuck is an epic snuggler and now that he’s 9, he loves nothing better than curling up in front of a radiator. It’s just not the same as laying in front of a fire, and I’d love to be able to give him somewhere to lay in his old age. They say that dogs are like their owners – well, we’re definitely both creatures of comfort!