Book Review – The Golden Child by Wendy James

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This book is about looking into how bullying can effect a family but more so from the family of the bully rather than the other side.  Funnily enough I bought this book before I even watched 13 Reasons Why and so two heavy story lines in row.  This book is more around cyber bullying and the extent of it and off course the repercussions.

Beth and Dan have it all, a great life in America with their two girls, who are doing well in school, they seem to have it all.  Their girls are Lucy and Charlotte.  Lucy is the oldest daughter, she isn’t remotely close to being popular at school compared to her sister Charlotte who is the youngest.  Lucy does great at school, is truly the perfect child in the eyes of anyone really. Charlotte the younger, outspoken daughter, for her it’s all about being seen with the right crowd.

There has been a couple of bullying incidents involving Charlotte, the first saw the family leave America and head back home to Australia for a fresh start.  Off course Beth was a bit shocked at first but realised it was all an accident, and not intentional.  Soon they settled in Newcastle, they found a house and the girls started at a private all girls school.  It was all going well, Beth who is a blogger, found a job at a local politicians office, the girls were enjoying school, Charlotte was once again the popular girl, and Lucy was well Lucy, who throughout the book always seemed to be in the background.

Beth and Andi another mum from school, became friends in the hope of their daughters also becoming friends.  Andi’s daughter Sophie didn’t really have any friends, and wanted to fit in with everyone else.  The idea of being friends with Charlotte was beyond her wildest dreams!  She was ecstatic, except, Charlotte didn’t think being with Sophie was great for her reputation but their mum’s constantly had caught up forcing the girls together.

Then things once again went downhill, with Sophie being bullied over social media sites by lot’s of other kids in her school, including Charlotte.  In one of these post’s someone said to Sophie, “Why don’t you just go and kill yourself?”  Well, Sophie who was only 13 decided to try exactly that, she overdosed on sleeping pills.  Luckily she survived. But the incident, opened a can of worms.  Beth was beyond shocked, she was at the point were she believed she didn’t even know her own child, and she questioned herself as a parent where did she go wrong or where did she fail!  This not only effected their family but her friendship with Andi.

Sophie survived and had a new look on life, and she saw things a bit clearer now.  Slowly she started to notice things about her friends, including Charlotte and Lucy, and she put the pieces together.

Well the book bloody ended so abruptly, that I even asked my kindle WTF? Is that it? There is quite the twist at the end and I really wanted to know what happened next! But alas the book ended.

Happy reading!

Ronell x

 

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Social Media Detox

I have been meaning to do this post for a while now and I’m not sure what has held me back but I am doing it now.  The whole thing might sound like I am just having a big rant and maybe I am.  I signed up to Facebook many years ago whilst living in Australia, and for me it was a great way to stay connected to my family and friends back home in South Africa.  However, over the years how we use social media has completely changed and I’m at the point where I am kinda getting over it.  To me it seems like now you have to disconnect to actually connect with people.  Make real connections.

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, you name it, it all just seems to have become a bit competitive.  At one stage I too was a social media addict and posted photos of everything and anything, like seriously who cares what I eat for dinner not many people to be honest.  I eat food just like everyone else.

People just seem so superficial now and that’s just my opinion, you can choose to agree or disagree that’s your choice.  When people post stuff now,  I don’t even know if it’s real, or is it just there so everyone else can think that their lives are just so amazing and awesome, compared to everyone else’s normal lives.  I think it has become a platform for people to show off a bit, look at my kids dressed in “Country Road” clothes or whatever designer wear, seriously I dress my kids in Warehouse, Kmart or Cotton on and even hand me downs, really whats the point dressing them up in expensive stuff when they grow so fast!

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If you look at your “friends” on Facebook, how many of them are truly your friends, and when was the last time you actually spoke to any of them?  I know there are some that I have not spoken to in years!  Every so often I go and do a clean out of who I actually share things with and now I am going to do an even bigger clean out, please don’t be offended if I remove you, it’s nothing personal, but if we haven’t engaged in a long time then it makes sense.

Here’s a great little video that you should watch!  Can We Auto-Correct Humanity?

I think there is definitely a place for Facebook, it can be very good for community pages, businesses, support groups, school groups.  Those are exceptionally useful.

Instagram holy moly, I mean there were days that I spent ages trying to bloody do a flat lay photo, or raid the house for black and white stuff so I could do a monochrome photo. It all has just become far to time consuming.  Again, these little tiles of square can sometimes get you feeling a bit down, because you look at other people’s feed’s and think wow look at the stuff they have or the places they go (admit it you feel that way too, it’s called being human), but then reality slaps you in the face, and reminds you once again, it’s all styled and edited.  We cannot go through life with everything being styled or in the perfect light, and don’t get me started about Instagram stories and Snapchat…for fucks sake, like seriously, how long do some of these people spend recording themselves talk???

Imagine, if people actually didn’t spend hours looking at themselves talk all day about what they are doing, and how they wish their hair was straighter or had more body, or about them getting their eyebrows feathered.  They will be astounded at the amount of spare time they have up their sleeves, try it people you might be surprised.

The worst one is when people are out walking/exercising and they are videoing themselves talking for such a long time and I think to myself, have they ever thought what they look like to onlookers, here they are walking holding a phone out in front of them talking!  It’s fucking hilarious and ridiculous.  I am so sick of seeing people constantly going on about all the packages that are arriving at their doorsteps, I got a few things given to me to promote by brands, but I am so glad I don’t get a shit load of stuff, because quite frankly I can’t be arsed. There are some people who spend all day running from one PR event to another, it’s just crazy to me, but hey they love it and so that’s their thing.

It sort of all came to me when I was at Adele’s concert and I was standing there in the rain and spending so much time taking videos of her singing, and I am watching her through my phone screen.  I thought to myself like seriously what the hell is wrong with me, I didn’t pay $150 to watch Adele through my phone screen.  I put my phone away and was completely present, and I sang and danced with my daughter for the rest of the time.

I have slowly stopped posting much on Instagram and yes I might have lost some followers but I am at the point now where I don’t really care, I don’t post much on my private Facebook account now either, because I want my life to be mine, and not for everyone else to have a look in on.

Instead now I spend more time reading, listening to music, and dancing it out with my girls!

Happy detoxing!

Ronell x

 

 

 

My view on 13 Reason’s Why! 

There has been a lot of hype around this new show on Netflix and there’s probably a 100 articles and views on it so I’m gonna pile mine on too.

We binge watched the whole season in a few days luckily the kids were away so we literally watched it for an entire day!!! As a parent it grips you even more.

It is quite confronting with the incidents that happen in the show like rape, drugs, alcohol and suicide.

It just goes to show how one small lie or rumour at the beginning starts a whole ripple effect in the main characters life who is Hannah. The whole time watching the show the thing I was thinking about the most is how oblivious the parents where to what was going on in each of their kids lives.

Some of the kids had great relationships with their parents but even so the parents didn’t pick up on the deep issues that their kids faced. I know kids especially teenagers are pretty clever when it comes to hiding things and putting on a show that everything’s fine, so if they do that and still have good relationships with their parents, how do we as parents find out if anything more serious is going on?

Off course you can’t interrogate them which will just make things worse. I suppose it just comes down to being open with them, being present when they do actually talk to you and try to pick up on any cues they may give you that something is wrong.

It was also interesting to see how the kids involved responded to everything once they found out how their behaviour added to the situation. Almost everyone one of them deflected the blame, only a couple actually stood up to the other kids and accepted how their actions together with everyone else’s contributed to Hannah taking her life.

Now the show got a lot of backlash from people everywhere, going on about it being to graphic, it shouldn’t be on TV and it’s so full on, the usual PC bullshit in my eyes.  The thing is we don’t live in the dark ages, we know that this sort of thing happens and we should be talking about it and helping people rather than pretending it doesn’t happen. I watched an interview on TV with the main characters and they said, that their main purpose of this show is to get people talking about mental illness and I think they have achieved it, because everyone is talking about it and is more aware of it.

Unfortunately, bullying these days in school start’s much earlier than high school.  Last year personally for our family we went through a tough year with our oldest daughter at school having the worst year and she was only 10.  Kids can be very mean and I have seen it and experienced it.  So for me watching this show I learnt a few more things.  Since our experiences last year, we have all become more open with each other and I am glad that my daughter knows she can come to me about anything, because she knows that we will always help her no matter what.

Selena Gomez who is one of the executive producer’s of the show has confirmed that the show will be returning for season 2 next year!  It will pick up in the aftermath of Hannah Baker’s death and the start of the characters’ complicated journeys toward healing and recovery.

No parent or child should go through this, so yes I would encourage, especially parents to watch this show, whether you want to watch it with your teenagers that’s your call, but definitely watch it.

Ronell x