12 articles Tag mental health

The Healing Power of Looking Forward

The future seems bleak right now. The present ain’t so rosy either. Yet, even the darkest clouds has a sliver of silver lining. We just need to be of the right mindset to be able to see it. Every time we turn on our TV or scroll through our social media feeds, we’re met with images of tragedy and prognostications of doom and gloom. In this context is it any wonder that we’re all cooped up feeling depressed, anxious and frustrated? We’re naturally inclined to catastrophise- to jump to the worst case scenario and feel despair. Believe it or not, it’s a psychological defense mechanism. However, I think we can all agree that it’s not a terribly helpful instinct under the current circumstances.

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We can acknowledge the troubles of the present while still keeping a hopeful eye on the future. Indeed, a healthy sense of anticipation can actually have a profoundly positive effect on our mental state. Having something to look forward to can make your outlook and disposition much cheerier. It can help you to focus on positive outcomes rather than getting dragged into despondency. Here are some things you might want to concentrate on looking forward to…

Helping out in your community

All over the country, we’re seeing a revived sense of community. This is our opportunity to be the best versions of ourselves and help our neighbours, our vulnerable and the NHS. From picking up shopping or medicine for eldely neighbours to sewing scrub bags for nurses, there are lots of ways in which you can help out.

Making improvements around the home

Another thing we can get excited about is making some improvements to the home which might have been put off under different circumstances. Rather than bemoaning how long we have to spend at home, we can focus on making our homes the best they’ve ever been!

Planning your next holiday

One thing’s for sure, the next holiday you take as a family will be the most satisfying and exciting you’ve ever taken. Whether you’re planning on jetting off to a far flung country or simply considering taking the family for a weekend by the beach, the air will smell that much sweeter, the food will taste that much better and your memories will be that much more vivid as a result of your prior quarantine.

Buying a new car

While, of course, we shouldn’t rely on material possessions to make us happy… there’s no denying the satisfaction of treating the family to a big purchase. And looking forward to buying a new car may be something that the whole family can get behind. Head on over to Choosemycar.com to look at car finance deals. You may be surprised by how many great deals there are, even if you don’t have outstanding credit.

Having a fun day out as a family

Finally, it’s not just the big things that we’re all missing. It’s the little things too. We’re all looking forward to spending a day in the park without wondering if we’re spending too long there. Or heading to the cinema on a rainy Saturday afternoon. Or enjoying a meal in a restaurant together. All the little things that make for treasured lifelong memories.

Having something to look forward to doesn’t mean you’re burying your head in the sand or refusing to acknowledge the severity of the situation. It simply means that you’re choosing to hope. And that can make a huge difference to the person you choose to be right now.

Managing Financial Stress This Christmas

Christmas is typically a time of joy and love, giving and receiving, peace to all men and all the lovely things that we look forward to around this time of year, from tasty treats and delicious Christmas dinners to meeting up with immediate family and having a laugh.

There is a darker side of Christmas however, one that parents usually keep wrapped up in their own mind; financial stress. Too often do people believe they need to go over the top every year and have a bigger, better Christmas than years before. This can quickly lead to debt which casts a dark cloud over the New Year celebrations when you are more focused on saving the pennies to make it through the typically longer pay period between Christmas and January.

If you are concerned about the effect financial stress is having on your mental health and home environment, here are some tips to make your Christmas less about the cost and more about the sentiment.

Reduce Santa Presents

A modern trend that is causing more harm to children than good is the increase in cost and number of presents from Santa children get each year. While in your own home it might be wonderful to see the joy on your child’s face as they open their gifts from Father Christmas, however, this is often the greatest cause of financial stress for parents, who see no appreciation or gratitude for the presents they get from Santa.

Not only does this cause financial worry in the household (which your children can and will pick up on), but this can have a knock-on effect on less-fortunate children when they go back to school and see the disparity between what Santa brought one child when compared to them. Of course, while no family needs to curb their spending to protect somebody else’s feelings, your child won’t be worse off from one less gift.

Introduce Secret Santa Amongst the Adults

Secret Santa is typically a gift giving activity that takes place in offices and between large friend groups, however, with bills ever increasing and the cost of goods going up, buying decent gifts for the adults in your family can soon get expensive. Consider introducing the opportunity for Secret Santa in your family. Each person puts together a list of different things they would like to receive below a certain budget, choosing multiple items so the gift giver can offer a surprise rather than an expected gift. Names are then put into a hat and picked at random, just make sure nobody picks themselves out!

Sell Things Around the Home You Don’t Need or Use

Sometimes things pop up that are unexpected, and you may find that an expensive bill or expenditure is going to leave you short for the season. To make a quick bit of cash without taking up more of your precious time (like getting a second job would do), consider having a look around your home for bits you can sell, popular items that sell well second hand include; children’s toys, baby and toddler clothing, working homewares and unblemished furniture. If you are crafty, consider putting together some homemade Christmas cards or decorations, you can even work with your local shop to sell your creations or create an online store via Amazon, eBay or Etsy.

Other Small Areas to Make Savings

There are few things we typically do at Christmas that can be changed up in order to save money, for example, rather than sending out physical cards, put some effort into creating a digital card and email this around your friends and family. Rather than give gifts that don’t offer anything value, like gag gifts and silly presents, you could instead give the gift of a charity donation, adopt an animal or even sponsor an orphan. These sorts of gifts can make the receiver feel like they’ve helped a bigger cause and save getting something cheap and plastic that will be thrown out in the next house clearing.

 

If you are worried about funding Christmas this year, think about the places you can cut back and consider setting rules, a popular one going around at the moment is a “ban on unnecessary gifts” where you reduce the giving circle to immediate family only. This stops people thinking they need to give you a gift in return, just make sure to discuss with friends and colleagues before hand so you don’t receive a gift and feel obligated to give back.

Christmas shouldn’t be about the monetary aspect, so spend more time with the people you care about and let them know how special they are to you with your words and actions, rather than your wallet and if you do find yourself struggling from month to month, without the extra cost of holidays, consider talking to your employer about a pay review.

How to Deal With Baby Blues and Post Partum Depression

It is true that the birth of a child is a joyful news. Unfortunately, at the same time, the process takes a huge physical, mental, and emotional toll on the new mother. Every mother and every single childbirth is different and therefore, every mother responds differently to this overwhelming experience. While some women comfortably manage to go with the flow and get the hang of it, others go through phases of emotional meltdowns, mood swings, and unexplained depression. In some cases, they might also feel detached from their baby and in extreme cases, they might also feel suicidal. These are classic signs of baby blues and postpartum depression (PPD).

Every 1 in 7 women in the United States has been known to suffer through PPD to some extent. Unfortunately, the existence of PPD is not a common knowledge among most people and as a result, the situation gets worse in many cases and can even affect other relationships of the patient. If you or any new mother around you is suffering from any such symptoms, here are a few ways in which you can deal with the problem.

Healthy Diet

Childbirth makes a woman’s body ultra sensitive to your surrounding. Her hormones are messed up and her body responds instantaneously to whatever she consumes. This response could be either positive or negative depending on what kind of energy is she exposed to. The best thing that a woman can do to herself due to this time is to eat the healthy diet that helps in her healing process. Increase intake of vitamin-rich foods that helps the body sustain its energy levels and keeps the mood swings under control.

Postpartum Exercises and Meditation

We are not talking about a rigorous cardio or weight lifting at the gym. However, there are certain yoga moves and meditation that can help repel all the negative energy and channelize the positive energy around you. Yoga and meditation can work wonders to heal your mind, body, and soul and help your emotional meltdowns.

Positive Support System

Nothing can help a new mother than a group of supportive loved ones who can understand her situation and help her heal during this time. It has been observed that new mothers who have a strong and positive support system around them who help her with child care while they can rest and sleep heal much faster and are happier, healthier mothers. Involve a father, grandparent or uncles, and aunts who can help to share the stress and let you take some time off so that you can relax while they also get to develop their bond with the child.

Psychotherapy

Baby blues are fairly common in the initial three weeks and can be dealt with by maintaining a healthy lifestyle, mental relaxation, and positive support system. Unfortunately, in some cases, the symptoms fail to go away and the situation aggravates to the worst kind of depression. In worst case scenario the patient may even feel suicidal and can also take a toll on her relationship with the partner. Therefore, if the symptoms persist after four weeks of childbirth, it is best to consult a psychotherapy. You can find some of the most competent psychotherapists at claritychi.com who can talk to you and help you cope up with your depression so that you are able to enjoy your journey and take care of your child in a better way.

Don’t Let Anything Stop You from Getting Back to Your Normal

Have you not been feeling yourself as of late? Have you, for whatever reason, felt a bit different to how you normally feel? Whether it’s a mental or a physical plight that is making you feel a bit off you can rest assured that there is help out there. There are services that willing and waiting to help you. All you have to do is accept their help.

If your physical wellbeing is in fact bringing you down, and causing you a great discomfort at that, then why stand for it any longer? There are host of professional services out there just waiting to right any wrongs in your body, so use them! You don’t have to spend all of your hard earned cash on bills, food and treats for your family, you know. It is absolutely not a waste of money to spend your cash on a bout of treatment for YOUR aches and pains. Whether this be in the form of a local chiropractor in order to ease your back and neck troubles or a professional massage parlour to relax your muscles, you do it. There’s no point continuing with your everyday life if you feel any discomfort, and there’s no need to do so either. No matter how big you think your problem is you should get it sorted in order to retain the standard of living that you deserve. Even the slightest of pains can be treated, and they really should be before they escalate any further.

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There’s also no shame in taking care of your appearance if that does indeed ever make you feel anything less than normal. Now, you can’t hide your face away at all times which means you do have to subject it to things that will damage it. But you can still take care of your skin, you know. Similarly, you can’t realistically protect your mind from being stretched or frazzled at some points in the day if you live a hectic life. Sometimes life will throw stressful situations your way which will leave you feeling less than normal. But what’s stopping you from getting back to normal once the ordeal is over? If you are feeling nowhere near 100% in your own mind you should never be tentative to tell others. You should never be afraid to say ‘I won’t be coming out tonight’ if you don’t feel mentally up to it. Mental health is sometimes not given the care it deserves, so why don’t you buck the trend by bettering your mental wellbeing.

Mental health

Everybody deserves to feel brilliant every single day. Granted, there are a load of everyday plights that seemingly try their best to stop this. But it’s not about stopping with these plights it’s about managing them to suit you. For example, you can’t stop taking your kids to school in the winter and subjecting your face to the blistering winds. You can, however, fight the effects caused by these winds and keep your skin ‘normal’. Whatever ‘normal’ is for you, you should never let anything stop you from getting back to it!

 

How Video Games Affect Your Child’s Brain

The studies have proved that children’s minds are subjected to the influence of the external environment to much higher degree compared to adults. Today, when television and Internet have invaded practically every house and family in the world, the problem has turned to be extremely pressing. But if adults can still demonstrate their strong will and say no to the best online slots to stay out of troubles, children possess no qualities to do the same. More and more often we hear of the aggressive behavior among teenagers whose parents provide little control over their children’s hobbies and interests. Sometimes, this leads to problems in school and interpersonal relations. And sometimes… the consequences are much more severe than one can imagine.

Effect of video games on brain functions

To know how video games affect the brain activity, one simply needs to watch some kid play a game or a young man zealously hit the arcade/slot machine buttons. The words they usually murmur to themselves and face expressions during the ‘hard levels’ can tell you a lot of what’s going on in a head of a gamer. To understand what we are talking about you can just click here to find more about the games described and try them if you’re brave enough to conduct an experiment on yourself.

Think for a minute what will happen to a person who plays those slots/arcades for a while. All those moving pictures on the screen sink deep into one’s mind and break the established way of thinking. In case with children, they become irritated and depressed when distracted or dragged from a game, which becomes the first sign of the mental problems development.

Video games and mental health

According to the psychologists, children who play video games rarely use the prefrontal regions of their brains. They get used to exploiting the regions responsible for reaction and reflexes to higher extent. Thus, anger and deficit of concentration becomes a common mental disorder among these kids. The insufficient use of the prefrontal brain zone also tends to provoke an altered emotional state. This explains while hostile behavior becomes so widespread among the young gamers.

The occurring physical changes

It’s been proved that the cardiovascular system is subjected to a huge impact during the playing process. The dynamic game scenes make both heart rate and blood pressure raise forcing the vessels run ragged. The brain starts believing that body is in actual danger and responds adequately. Such physical changes act as premise to violent behavior as well. This physical and emotional state continues to develop even after a game is stopped since the pictures keep flashing making one recollect all of the fragments of a recent battle… Children stop noticing anything around them and live inside the world created by their own imagination. This, surely, looks menacing unless one puts limits to using electronics by their child.

Parenting Groups: Five Reasons for Quitting

parenting groupsFor a fair while, I’ve been part of a few different parenting groups on Facebook, places where mums and dads can go to ask questions about anything from “does this rash look like chickenpox?” to “which shops have Hatchimals in stock?” and largely it’s been good. I’ve asked plenty of questions myself and try to help others where I can. But, as of yesterday, I’ve removed myself from these groups (all but The Motherload) because it’s just messing with my head. There are questions which get asked over and over and OVER again and they’re things which make me so cross that I can actually FEEL my blood pressure rising. Here’s just 5 of those questions:

1. Vaccinations

This was the one which prompted me to remove myself yesterday and it’s probably the one which makes me the MOST angry. Someone asked “Have any other parents refused vaccinations for their kids and has is caused them problems with school and nursery?”. The comments are full of people who think they know better than the World Health Organisation (despite the fact that they get their info from American websites with URLs like VacTruth.com and nothing with any basis in actual science). Just in the last month, I’ve seen people cite the inclusion of mercury and aluminium in vaccines as a reason not to give them as well as one woman who claimed that the flu vaccine contained MSG which is, WAIT FOR IT…WORSE THAN GIVING HER CHILD COCAINE. (FML)Another woman claimed that she knew all about herd immunity and it meant that her child didn’t need vaccinations, thus proving that she actually knew nothing about fucking herd immunity.  I was one step shy of spamming the group of pictures of kids with smallpox, so I decided it was best to step away.

2. Baby Names

I’m aware that what people on random parenting groups name their kids is absolutely NONE of my business, but every time there was a “can I have suggestions of names for my unborn child?” thread, I’d read through with my head in my hands, feeling really sorry for the future generation of children who were going to have names like “Aliviyah” (pronounced Olivia, just in case you were wondering) and feeling like I was living in a real life Idiocracy.

3. Nub Theory

“Oh hi everyone. Can you look at this scan picture of my baby (who is probably too young to have even properly developed reproductive organs yet) and guess what their gender might be based on a totally theoretical and unproven method of working it out?”. Nub theory is a THEORY. Asking strangers to guess the gender of your unborn child is stupid.

4. Keeping Up with The Jonses

Do you know what I found myself Googling the other day? Matching Christmas dresses for me and the girls. Thanks to the people on Facebook parenting groups who go absolutely fucking OVERBOARD every Christmas with their EXPERIENCES and their CHRISTMAS EVE BOXES and their “BOOK-A-DAY” ADVENT CALENDARS and ALLLLLLL the other overblown shit that everyone MUST do and MUST talk about at length so that they can lord it over everyone else, I am seriously considering matching outfits for myself, my eight year old and my two year old for Christmas Day. And I’m pretty sure that makes me a massive twat.

5. Nastiness

I’m aware that what I’ve written above may seem like a bit of nastiness but this is NOTHING compared with some of the vile behaviour I’ve seen from grown people in parenting groups. There’s a LOT of stuff which gets discussed that I don’t agree with but I always try to be respectful and give replies to people based on actual knowledge and not just knee-jerk reactions. Often though (I assume on days when there’s a full moon and everyone’s menstrual cycle is syncronised) things can get NASTY. Simple threads about bottle feeding can lead to struggling Mums being called c*nts and being left wishing they hadn’t asked in the first place and it’s that kind of behaviour that I just don’t want to be a part of.

Are you a member of any of these kid of online groups? Do you find that they enhance your life or do you step away from your phone or PC feeling like your head is going to explode? I’d love to hear from you!

Simple Tricks to Improve Your Mood

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We all have off days. You know those days when everything goes wrong? Traffic is bad and you spill your coffee down your blouse. Work is a treadmill of meetings and emails. And then someone says something a bit offhand and it feels like the end of the world. What can you do to cheer yourself up when the world seems to be conspiring against you?

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1.Treat Yourself

A little pick-me-up in the form of a gift is an instant way to boost your mood. You don’t need to spend a lot of money. It could as simple as a bar of chocolate or a record. For some people, a trip to the florists is a sure fire way of cheering themselves up. Flowers last for days and it always feels like a treat when you buy them for yourself.

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2.Take a Break

If your low mood is due to work, then take a break. Get away from your desk for an hour when lunchtime comes. Get some fresh air, walk around, and rest your brain for a while. If you feel like you need a longer break, then book a holiday. Grab some brochures and travel guides and plan somewhere exciting to visit.

3.Relax

Being constantly busy can make you feel low. If this is a problem for you, then plan in some relaxation time. Book a manicure, massage, or spa day. Take some time to sit and read your book. Catch up on your favourite programmes. Go for a run or a swim. However, you like to relax, schedule some time to do it.

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4. Plan Something Spontaneous

Phone your friends and see if they’re available this evening. Do something fun and spontaneous that doesn’t take any planning. Sometimes the unplanned nights are the most memorable.

5. Do Something Creative

Doing something creative will focus your mind. If you work in a non-creative role, it will also access a different area of your brain. There are lots of ways to explore your creativity including, painting, colouring, and sewing. Others prefer playing musical instruments or taking photos. Whatever you decide, let it absorb you and distract you from the strains of the day.

6. Establish a Ritual

Establish a ritual and follow it each day. This will be the cut-off point from work. Once you complete the ritual, you should stop thinking about work and focus on your home life. The ritual could be taking a shower, changing your clothes, etc. It may take some practice to get this right. But eventually, your brain will learn that at this point in the day, work is left behind.

7. Find Some Quotes

Go online and search for some quotes that fit your mood. Some people collect quotations and keep them in a journal to refer to over again.

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Keep a Gratitude Journal

There is scientific evidence to prove that focusing on three positive things each day will improve your wellbeing. A gratitude journal is a notebook where you can record the things you are grateful for each day. Many people report that they find this beneficial. It allows them to focus on the positives, rather than dwelling on negatives.

Of course, if you find that you’re having lots of bad days, you may need to take action. But for the odd bleurgh day, these tips might help. What tricks and pick-me-ups do you use when you’ve had a bad day?

Is It Possible For Your Kids To Make It Through Your Divorce Unscathed?

One of the very worst things that can happen in a child’s life is their parents getting a divorce. For a lot of kids, mum and day breaking up can seem like the end of the world. Because of this, a lot of parents choose to stay in an unhappy relationship, to ensure their kids are happy. However, this is never a good idea, as sooner or later, the cracks will start to show.

The best thing that you can do if you’re unhappy in your marriage is separate from your partner. Despite what you might have heard, it’s possible for your children to make it through your divorce relatively unscathed. The most important thing is how you handle your separation and explain it to your kids.

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To help make your divorce easier and less stressful for your kids, here’s what you need to do:

Don’t try to hide things from them

The most important thing when it comes to family breakups is not to hide things from your children. Whether they’re five years old or 15, being honest with them is important. Do you really want your child to hear the ins and outs of your divorce from someone else? No – then make sure to talk to them about things.

Be open and honest from the start

If you want to help your children get through your divorce without being too affected by it, you need to be honest with them, from the start. Of course, it’s all about age and what’s appropriate, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be truthful.

Your six-year-old may not need to know that their father cheated on you, but they do need to understand that he wasn’t happy with you. When it comes to divorce, honesty is always the best policy. Allow them to ask any questions that they want and do your best to answer truthfully.

Hire a lawyer and undergo mediation

The worst thing for children is seeing their parents argue and being stuck in the middle of it. If you want to ensure that your divorce doesn’t have a lasting impact on your kids, it’s important to make sure that you get things dealt with quickly.

For dealing with divorce when kids are involved, it’s always best to consult a family law solicitors for advice. This will allow you to get your divorce dealt with and finalised as quickly as possible. It may also be worth undergoing mediation with your ex-partner. To ensure that you’re both on the same page about the children and custody agreements. There’s nothing more damaging to a child than custody battles.

Put your child in therapy

Even if your kids seem fine, it’s worth putting them into therapy. Often, children don’t feel comfortable talking to their parents about everything that’s worrying them. That’s why therapy can be a great option. It will allow your children to open up about how they’re feeling and will make things easier to deal with for them.

If you go about your divorce in the right way, it is possible for your kids to make it through it unharmed. It might be hard at times, but with the right care and help, they can come out the other side.

On Days Like Today…

stressOn days like today, I struggle to cope.

On days like today, when the baby is crying, the house is a mess, my head is banging, I’m feeling guilty for not being able to give Sausage as much attention as I should, the dog is whinging, every noise from our neighbours makes me feel as though my head will explode and I struggle to cope.

On days like today, when the baby is inconsolable, it doesn’t matter if I pick her up or put her down or cuddle her or give her a time-out, I struggle to cope.

On days like today when there simply aren’t enough hours in the day, where I have to choose between writing or housework or getting the exercise I so desperately need, I struggle to cope.

On days like today, all I want to do is hide my head under a duvet but I can’t because bedtime isn’t for another two hours and I struggle to cope.

On days like today, I end up hating myself because I question whether having another baby was the right thing to do, and I’m struggling to cope.

On days like today, I’m counting down the minutes until the evening routine – bath, pyjamas, inhaler for Sausage, bottle for Burrito Baby, lights down, all quiet, because until that time, I struggle to cope.

But cope, I do.

Even though I feel like I won’t, like my brain is going to melt and my heart is going to stop beating, I make it to bedtime. Even though I feel like I won’t.

And I look at my girls with their sleepy eyes and my Husband who’s got the same haunted expression as me, mentally patting himself on the back for getting through another day whilst simultaneously trying to forget that we have to do it all again tomorrow, and I know that on days like today when I struggle to cope, things will be alright in the end and for every day like today, there’s a dozen good days that I struggle to remember through the stress and sleeplessness.

On days like today, I may struggle to cope, but I still consider myself the luckiest person in the world.

Guest Post: Mummy, Why are They Being so Mean to Me?

On the blog today, we have a guest post from Helen Neale, who writes at both kiddycharts.com, a parenting advice and tools site offering free personalised kids charts, and stickersstarsandsmiles.com, a much more personal blog where she promises to tidy up, but never quite gets around to it. She can be found far too much on social media, particularly Twitter.

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As the teacher passed, she could hear sobbing. She looked across the wooden hall floor, but couldn’t find where it was coming from. She tilted her head to try and concentrate. In the corner of the hall was a gym mat, positioned delicately against the climbing frames that the school children used in PE. She moved silently towards the sound, and as she approached the noise got louder. Leaning in, she peered behind the mat.

Standing pressed against the wall, tears streaming down her face, was a small girl.”

Thirty-five years ago, that was me.

Even after all this time, I can still remember vividly the teacher who found me, and helped me. But even now, I can sometimes still feel like that little girl, hiding from harsh and cutting words.

My time at school has shaped me into the woman I am today, I am sure of it. It has made me into someone who hates confrontation, so much that I will apologise for anything just to move on, and not create tension.

It has made me desperate to be liked. I turned to bribery in secondary school. Eventually, a close friend told me that I didn’t have to use my dinner money to buy her sweets to get her to speak to me. It was only then that I finally came to realise that I didn’t have to pay for friendship. Friendship was something that is freely given, and gratefully received.

Despite finally finding a wonderful friend, I was still singled out by some of the older girls as the weaker one; sensitive to criticism. I often wondered if I “just had the face for it” as I grew up.

I avoided catching the school bus home to my village if I could. When I did brave the ride on the first bus home, I would sit near the front away from the other children. I would then spend 45 minutes listening to the kids behind me, talking about me, calling me names, deliberately waking past, and flicking my hair, throwing my bag down the bus…anything to upset me. Never physical, but the constant niggles were enough to cut deep.

Suddenly though, it stopped.

The main culprit left the school; as simple as that.

The other players didn’t have their heart in it. Having finally told my mum, she helped too; giving me the confidence to stand up to them, to speak to the teachers and not to try and handle everything on my own. After the bully left, my bus trips started again. However, my anxiety and my wish to be liked has remained ever since.

If I had my time again, I do sincerely wish that it hadn’t happened, any of it. Of course I do. Thinking about those times, still stings my eyes.

But, the sensitivity it has instilled in my heart; how we should listen, and love, has made me into someone who has understood many of my friend’s darkest moments. Once, it helped save a life.

The determination to carry on despite being bullied lives on in me now too; that survival instinct has moulded me both personally and professionally.

I made it.

I was able to come out the other side. That has given me a confidence in myself that I didn’t think, as that little six-year old, hiding behind a gym mat, I would ever have. I am still desperate to seek approval from others, but it isn’t as all encompassing as it was when I was a child. It doesn’t choke me, it doesn’t mean I feel that every friend I have is just here for a while until they find someone else more exciting, funnier, or with more money for sweets….

However, I realised this week that I find myself seeking approval from my kids in a way that I wish I didn’t. Anything from the simple questions about whether their birthday party was any good, to whether they liked the dinner I made them. This even extends to the friends they invite to those parties, or sit down to have that dinner with them.

Despite all that I have achieved, there is still a wee six year old in there, desperate to be liked.

How have you overcome this need for approval if you have it too? Is there anyway to do so? Shall I just give up and have a biscuit?

If you or your children are experiencing bullying, please seek help. There are some wonderful organisations out there. Relevant sites in the UK include:

http://www.bullying.co.uk/

http://www.beatbullying.org/

http://www.anti-bullyingalliance.org.uk/

It would be wonderful if we can lend a little support to these and other organisations supporting anti-bullying campaigns, including this campaign from fellow blogger, Gammon and Chips, in the memory of a wonderful 16-year old girl, Izzy.