How do you cope with bullying at school?

On Friday, two of my three children got off the school bus in tears. They reported that their hair was pulled and they were sworn at.

My older son has now reported that one boy in particular is spreading rumours that our family is “lowlife” and that we are “tramps with no money”.

I have contacted the school about this. It is not the first time I have let the school know about incidents where I find my children got at by other pupils.

I can imagine that I am seen as a total pain. I know there is a school of thought that it is just playground banter and part of learning about life.

However, my oldest boy really takes things to heart and did not want to go to school this morning. He is having headaches for which the GP cannot find a cause. Is it stress?

As a mother, I am left again not quite knowing what to do or how much of a fuss to make. I do not want my children to be hurt either physically or mentally. Does that make me odd? Over-protective? Unrealistic?

One thing I do know is that I would be very ashamed if my children judged people by how much money they may or may not have. The reality is that my husband is in a good job with a reasonable wage. We are not wealthy but we are not poor either. If we were poor, it would not make us bad people either nor would it justify my children being bullied. If we are tramps, I do wonder why my washing machine is used quite so often.

My oldest boy is very bright. His teachers report that his general knowledge is vast. He is good at all subjects although struggles with handwriting and presenting his work. Is being intelligent still the sin that it was when I was at school? Will that ever change? I think it should and that there are learning tools that could make that happen in our education system.

We need to get to a point where being different (whether a newcomer to an area, someone who rents rather than owns a house, someone who is bright or has learning disabilities, someone who is black or white) is acceptable.

That is the bigger picture of course. Right now, I am just a Mum who hates my children being made unhappy, who does not know what to do for the best and who wishes there was a rulebook for motherhood (not for the first time either).

What I am relying on is that the blogosphere will come up with the wisdom it usually does.

Corned beef hash recipe

Serves: 4

Ingredients

1 x 340g can Princes corned beef, diced
120g unsalted butter
1 large onion, chopped
900g potatoes, boiled and diced
Oil for frying
1 egg per person (optional)

How to make it

1. Melt 40g of unsalted butter in frying pan and fry one large onion, chopped.

2. Cut 340g of Princes corned beef into 1cm cubes and add to pan.

3. Empty mixture into a bowl. Add 900g of cooked, diced potato, another 40g unsalted butter and black pepper.

4. Fry in a little oil and 40g of unsalted butter.

5. For a traditional twist, poach one fresh egg per person for 2 minutes and place on corned beef hash. Serve immediately with green beans.

 

 

Here are my blogging resolutions for 2012.

1. To focus all my blogging efforts here on Kate on Thin Ice And Groovy Mums.

2. To contribute strongly to seeing real mums valued for the contribution they make.

3. To offer guest posting and interview opportunities to real mums talking about issues that affect 21st century mums.

4. To continue to host the Groovy Mums initiative where bloggers are encouaged to make steps towards positive changes in their lives and to support others on their individual journeys.

5. To offer free coverage to good causes and charitable campaigns. To get involved in a deeper way with them if possible and I am very open to ideas on this one.

6. To redesign this blog in terms of colour and look. Actually, I have already done most of the work on this in the first week of January. Well done me.
Feedback is welcome.

7. To ensure I read a diverse range of blogs as they all provide opportunities for learning, laughter and blogger love.

8. To get to meet a real-life blogger in the flesh or perhaps lots of them in one place.

9. To only carry reviews if they are appropriate to the style and content of my blog.

10. To look at ways of monetising my blog or other writing efforts.

11. To support other bloggers including those are new to it all.

12. To not get sucked into the chasing of awards. If they come, wonderful but if they don’t, it does not mean that my blog is not valid in its own right just as I am.

What do you think to that lot? Do they form a good plan? What are you blogging intentions for 2012?

Do you like to win? Are you lucky?

Largely though wanting to engage with other mummy bloggers, I joined in competitions in the last year or so via the Britmums website.

The first win was a surprise and others followed in pleasing numbers. It is worth having a go and you can get some lovely parcels through the post to brighten your day.

My best win of the year was via Netmums where I won a family ticket to the Jack in the Beanstalk Pantomime. I liked this as everyone got to enjoy it.

So what am I saying? Well, in cash-strapped times, perhaps a little treat via competition wins now and again is a very good thing. You have to be in it to win it of course.

According to money-saving sites, some people set time aside to apply for competitions almost as if it is a job in itself. That is not for me but it might be for you.

With this new and improved blog, I hope to offer regular competitions so do keep checking back.

If you are a promoting a product or service, why not consider asking me to run a competition or reader offer? Just check out the “How To Contact Me” page at the top of this site. My readers are mainly mums based in the UK.

Wishing you all lots of luck on all fronts in 2012.

Do you do competitions? What is your experience of them?

Roscon de Reyes – Three Kings Cake recipe

(Makes a 15” cake)
Ingredients:
400g flour
3 eggs
100g butter
100g sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 litre milk

zest of 1 lemon
dried mixed peel for decorating

glace cherries for decorating
salt

250ml whipping cream for filling

Model king / small toy / butterbean for decoration (optional)

Method

1. Mix the baking powder 4 tbsp of the milk add this to 100g of the flour. Mix together until it forms a dough type mixture – cover with a clean tea towel and set aside until it doubles in size.

2. Place the rest of the flour (300g) in a bowl and add the eggs, sugar, pinch of salt, the rest of the milk and zest of the lemon. Mix well then add the butter and continue mixing for a further 2 mins then add the dough mixture – once a smooth dough has been achieved cover and set aside for 2 hours.

3. After 2hrs knead the mixture then put it in a ring shape on a greased baking tray. Decorate with the dried mixed peel and glace cherries. Brush with milk and bake in an oven at 160 degrees for 15-20 mins.

4. When cool, whip the cream and slice the bun in half. Fill it with whipped cream (you can hide the toy, model king or butter bean in the cream). Slice and serve.