Thursday, 8 February 2018

Pull Up a Pew #7 Meet Beverly Stevens - The Woman Behind Regina Magazine


Anyone who's been inhabiting the Catholic internet in the last few years will not have failed to notice the arrival of an innovative and unique new media presence in the shape of Regina Magazine. Fascinating articles and stories interspersed with beautiful photography and a combative style in the comments section blend to make Beverly Stevens's brainchild one of the most distinctive and attractive new Catholic media outlets. I had the honour of interviewing this inspiring Catholic wife, mother and magazine editor on my virtual yellow sofa to find out more...






Tell us a bit about yourself? What is your Catholic background?
I was brought up Catholic, in an Italian immigrant family in New York. I had great Dominican teachers, up until their Community imploded in the wake of Vatican II. Then, like most young Catholics, I dropped the Church. After learning the lessons that living in the world without the Faith teaches one, I returned. Just in time to accidentally stumble over a beautiful indult Latin Mass in the Connecticut suburb where I lived. I was blessed to be able to raise my kids in the Faith.


What inspired you to create Regina Magazine?
I was teaching Finance on an MBA program on an RAF base in England, and the idea of creating a Magazine wouldn't leave me. I think it was Our Lady. I finally gave in, though I didn't tell my husband for a good three months. We became a 501C3 organization in 2016, so now we can accept tax-deductible donations from US taxpayers. 



What would you say is unique about Regina?
If you're talking about the Magazine, people tell us it's the stunning visuals. I also think it's the intelligent, non-specialist writing. For example, we show ordinary Catholics that it's possible to have beautiful, deep liturgy without getting into the weeds in the partisan liturgical wars. And beyond liturgy, REGINA shows beauty that is possible, unique to the Catholic way of life.
If you're talking about REGINA's popular Facebook Page, I think it's the policing. Social media attracts all kinds, and we are often warning and banning people who cannot behave themselves. This creates an atmosphere where normal people can feel free to comment, learn from what we post and from each other. It's pretty unique.
For both, I would say it's the international perspective. We have fans and readers from over 50 countries.




Tell us about the team behind Regina Magazine?
First, everyone is a volunteer. Second, our writers, photographers, editors, film-makers, social media support and designers have come from all over the world. Third, while some are professionals, most are amateurs who simply love the Faith and want to see its beauty demonstrated. 


Who is Regina Magazine aimed at?
I started out thinking I was creating a Magazine for Catholic women over 50. I now have a Magazine and a Facebook Page where the median age is 35 -- about equally male and female, and about 80% Catholic. 
REGINA Trips, on the other hand, focuses exclusively on Catholics aged 21-35. 


Let’s face it, Catholic media has not exactly been at the forefront of art and design for a long time, while Regina is full of beautiful images. What inspired you to put so much effort into the visual aspect of the magazine?
Well, I am Italian-American, and Italians are possibly the most visually-oriented culture in the West. Also, I lived and traveled around Europe -- old Christendom -- for seven years, until recently. It struck me that the most evocative and beautiful sites are inevitably connected with the Church and the culture she inspired around her. 
In contrast, moderns are surrounded by ugliness. Almost everything built after WWII, in most of the world, is ugly. Now, this ugliness ranges from the banal and depressing all the way to the over-the-top grotesque. This especially applies to Catholic churches.
The architects of the Counter-Reformation knew what they were about. Beauty draws people. In a world such as the one we inhabit today, showing people Catholic beauty is bound to draw them to the Faith.
And the best thing is -- there are SO MANY Catholics out there creating the Good, the Beautiful and the True. All REGINA does is give them a platform.





What publications, Catholic and secular have been most influential in your editorial formation?
Well, I liked the intelligent perspective of First Things and the Wall Street Journal. But too much dense type turns people off, especially online. 
I also remembered how easy it was to read People and Rolling Stone back in the day, because of their interview format.
Finally, the old LIFE Magazine was a huge hit, because of the photos.
So I came up with a Catholic LIFE Magazine, chock full of images and interviews with interesting people.


While many print magazines and newspapers are floundering or moving online, you’ve taken the revolutionary step of starting a print edition of Regina magazine, what was behind that decision?
Honestly, because we were hounded into it. I got tired of the emails complaining that people wanted to hold REGINA in their hands. So after four years, we decided to take the risk. 
Now, whether people will support the Magazine is still an open question. We will have to see how sales go for this edition, before taking any more steps. (The Magazine can be purchased HERE)






Many of the most famous and successful magazine editors have been women, what do you think the feminine genius brings to a role like yours?
I have no idea. It's just natural for me to do this. Possibly because it's creative work that doesn't require much in the way of confrontation, unlike my days on Wall Street. It gives me great satisfaction to be able to showcase what others are doing, and to spread the real Faith.



Monday, 8 January 2018

Pull Up a Pew #6 ~ The Answer to a Calling ~ Jenna and the 'Blessed is She' Ministry




Next week I will be hosting the third 'Blessed Brunch' in London. I am really looking forward to getting to know the ladies who have signed up,  many of whom I will be meeting for the first time...

Growing up I always used to avoid hanging out with girls as much as I could... I went to an all girls convent school so every day I had no choice, but once the school day ended most of my friends were boys as I enjoyed their company much more and most of all (unlike most of my female friends) I enjoyed playing all sorts of sports. 

Looking back at my life I see God's incredible sense of humour. 

Today my life is very different... I don't do much sport... and not only has God sent me 4 daughters... I am constantly surrounded by women, and what is more I now feel the NEED to be in contact with like-minded women.

Being a mother and especially a Catholic mother in a secular country can be even more isolating...

We are in this beautiful world but we are not of this world and for that reason we Christians  are drawn towards each other and feel the need to form communities where we can grow in faith and help one another to focus on our ultimate goal... Heaven.

Although the world keeps on insisting that there is no difference between men and women, and everyone seems to play along with this 'Emperor's New Clothes' scenario... I've discovered that women's spiritually is quite different from men's and that it is vitally important to build a community of spiritual sisters.

The 'Blessed is She' community was introduced to me by a friend and has already given many of us food for our souls, great material to deepen our knowledge as we explored Scripture and the Catechism of the Catholic Church and has provided many opportunities to live, experience and form little communities of sisters brought together in Christ.

Sitting on my virtual yellow sofa today is Jenna Guizar, the lady who was inspired to start it all...


                             


Tell us briefly about yourself and your faith journey so far.

I am a wife and mother of four girls (one in the womb!). I saw Jesus' face for the first time looking straight at me when I was 16 years old, and I haven't been able to rid myself of that memory since then. He has moved me and transformed my life and who I am in so many ways. The Lord has blessed both my husband and me with free spirits, and we love moving in whatever direction we feel called to as a family. Blessed is She is one of those examples.






What is 'Blessed is She' and what inspired you to start it? 

Blessed is She is a women's ministry that began in September 2014. I was looking around the Catholic Church and wanting to find a good, solid, welcoming women's community, and I kept coming up dry. Where do I fit in? was one of my main questions -- as a young wife and mother, as someone who doesn't work in young adult ministry but also doesn't fit in with beautiful ministries for older women. So the Lord opened my eyes to start something. I reached out to about twenty other writers and bloggers I knew and asked them if they'd like to start this women's ministry with me. A few said no, but a lot said yes, and then Blessed is She was born.

                     
  When I picture God I always see Him sitting on a throne and I can’t lift my eyes to His face. I tend to keep my head bent just gazing at his feet. I always thought of it as reverence, but lately I question if something else is holding me back—Fear? Self-doubt? Guilt of past sins?I don’t want my prayers to God to feel distant or awkward. I want to be able to imagine myself holding the hand of my Heavenly Father and pouring my heart out to Him. I want to know in my heart, and not just my head, that God loves me as a precious daughter..Read today's #BISdailydevotion written by @bobbi_rol on the site.


How does Blessed is She work? 

Blessed is She sends out daily devotions every single day on our website and in your email, along with the daily readings from the Lectionary every day. We have over 40 writers, and they all read the readings, pray about it, and write based on 1. How the Lord is speaking to them through the readings, 2. their stage and phase in life (we have college students, single women, married women, mothers, grandmothers, and sisters on the writing team!), and 3. How this applies to women everywhere.


Who are the women behind Blessed is She and how were they chosen? 

All of the women are right here: https://blessedisshe.net/the-authors/. They are either the initial group I reached out to three years ago (just ladies I friended on the internet), friends of friends, or women who are writing beautiful words online. I found Erica Tighe, our designer, on Instagram!


Why did you feel it was important to spread this ministry to Europe? 

The Lord really just took it there. It wasn't intentional by any means (not a lot of this was, at the start). We just kept moving where the Lord wanted us, created products women were asking for, helping them find resources to build Catholic female friendships in their own cities and towns.



Why do us women need each other on this journey towards Heaven? 

Catholic female friendships have been life-changing for me. Whenever I am going through a really rough time in my life, I am continually loved on and picked up by my friends. They know me sometimes better than I know myself, they can speak life into me when I though hope was lost, they pray with and for me. Female relationships rooted in Christ are truly going to change our lives, and I deeply desire those friendships for every woman.



Tell us about the new study course ‘Blessed Conversations’. 

Blessed Conversations studies were made out of our desire as a Blessed is She team to meet women in real life. We do not want to be just an online ministry, we want women to meet, to pray together, to hear each other's stories, to be in relationship with each other. We created studies to help facilitate small or large group get togethers for a deepening relationships with the Lord and with each other.

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What would you say to every woman who feels called to starting/leading a BiS group but feels inadequate for the task? 

I am the last person I would have asked to start a women's ministry, let me tell you! I lack organizational skills, I am SO not type-A, I have always sort of started things and then not followed through, I am simple and not so heady with theology and catechetical knowledge. The list goes on and on. The same is true for you, in your own personality that the Lord gave you. You may feel or seem different than what the "perfect" person for the job would be. But nope. If He set it on your heart, then it's for YOU. Not for the girl next to you or in front of you. It's for YOU. He will equip you, just like he did the apostles, just like he did the Saints. None of us will ever feel perfectly adequate. So we take our inadequacies, and we say, "Lord, do with me what You will!"





Are there any plans for a future Blessed is She Conference in Europe, perhaps in London? 

That would be amazing! We are organizing six retreats throughout our main regions of the US for 2018, but it would be a dream to come to Europe! It's just a matter of God opening up the right doors to make it happen. We are always open to where He'd like us to go next.

Monday, 11 December 2017

Our Hopes and Dreams for 2018








Driving with the girls towards Brighton to visit some good friends of ours, I asked to Pierpaolo the question he hates me to ask him: "So Pier... what are our hopes and wishes for the new year?". He briefly looks at me as if to say' this can't be a serious question', laughs and the list starts...


  • A bigger house
  • A new car
  • More money
  • Affording music lessons for the children
  • A dog for Ettore 
  • Rest

The not so serious list carries on and starts verging on the ridiculous... The house described not only becomes huge but has an indoor/outdoor swimming pool, a sauna...ah! A gym and of course a fully equipped recording studio, an art room, a few horses, a unicorn for Virginia... and Maria, our 18 month old chips in to the conversation in her really funny way of speaking ... "mnmn have some?" (which we think means can I have some) what ever is that the children are saying she would like to have some. Without mentioning the amazing gadgets our new car would possess... tables that come out of the floor, sweet dispensers, a mini cinema... and a compart for the dog of course.

The nonsense finishes, the car goes quiet, my mind wanders and my list begins... yes... I start wishing for a bigger place... with a MASSIVE laundry room and yeah... why not a new car too... though I am sentimentally attached to our Big Blue van and I would miss not having to kick the door to open the boot. (I don't ALWAYS do it... so Pier don't worry ;) ).

Pierpaolo puts up the volume of 'All I want for Christmas is You' and the noise is restored ... The girls sing at the top of their voices and that joyful thrill of the season is more present than ever.

The boys phone to let us know they have woken up and that they will spend  Saturday afternoon building the Christmas crib. 
                                    

                                    
                            
Everyone is happy! There is nothing we lack.


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This post is part of the Catholic Women Blogging Network Blog Hop.  Click on the picture for more posts on this topic.


What can I desire for? What can I hope for next year? What do I wish for? I look around me... I have more than I deserve. A husband who has given everything up for me and us, loving and obedient children, a roof, clothes and above all we have God in our life! 

Straight away everything becomes clear and my wishes and hopes for the coming year are obvious. I want to be grateful at all times, especially when it gets hard, I lose focus on what's really important,  when things don't go as I want them to go and are not perfect before my eyes! I want to be able to trust in the Lord fully, from the beginning. I want to trust in His Providence without ever doubting that perhaps this time He won't help us out. I want  to love without reservations. I want our children to have confirmation that God is Love.




Psalm 31
 In thee, O Lord, do I put my trust; let me never be ashamed: deliver me in thy righteousness.
Bow down thine ear to me; deliver me speedily: be thou my strong rock, for an house of defence to save me.
For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name's sake lead me, and guide me.
Pull me out of the net that they have laid privily for me: for thou art my strength.
Into thine hand I commit my spirit: thou hast redeemed me, O LordGod of truth.
I have hated them that regard lying vanities: but I trust in the Lord.
I will be glad and rejoice in thy mercy: for thou hast considered my trouble; thou hast known my soul in adversities;
And hast not shut me up into the hand of the enemy: thou hast set my feet in a large room.
Have mercy upon me, O Lord, for I am in trouble: mine eye is consumed with grief, yea, my soul and my belly.
10 For my life is spent with grief, and my years with sighing: my strength faileth because of mine iniquity, and my bones are consumed.
11 I was a reproach among all mine enemies, but especially among my neighbours, and a fear to mine acquaintance: they that did see me without fled from me.
12 I am forgotten as a dead man out of mind: I am like a broken vessel.
13 For I have heard the slander of many: fear was on every side: while they took counsel together against me, they devised to take away my life.
14 But I trusted in thee, O Lord: I said, Thou art my God.
15 My times are in thy hand: deliver me from the hand of mine enemies, and from them that persecute me.
16 Make thy face to shine upon thy servant: save me for thy mercies' sake.
17 Let me not be ashamed, O Lord; for I have called upon thee: let the wicked be ashamed, and let them be silent in the grave.
18 Let the lying lips be put to silence; which speak grievous things proudly and contemptuously against the righteous.
19 Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men!
20 Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence from the pride of man: thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues.
21 Blessed be the Lord: for he hath shewed me his marvellous kindness in a strong city.
22 For I said in my haste, I am cut off from before thine eyes: nevertheless thou heardest the voice of my supplications when I cried unto thee.
23 O love the Lord, all ye his saints: for the Lord preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth the proud doer.
24 Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord.




Friday, 8 December 2017

Pull Up a Pew #5 - A Catholic Voice -




In 2013 Pope Benedict referred to the digital social media as the new 'agora' , the new open space where thoughts, opinions and information is exchanged, an open square in which new relationships and communities are created.

"These spaces, when engaged in a wise and balanced way, help to foster forms of dialogue and debate which, if conducted respectfully and with concern for privacy, responsibility and truthfulness, can reinforce the bonds of unity between individuals and effectively promote the harmony of the human family. The exchange of information can become true communication, links ripen into friendships, and connections facilitate communion. If the networks are called to realize this great potential, the people involved in them must make an effort to be authentic since, in these spaces, it is not only ideas and information that are shared, but ultimately our very selves.
The development of social networks calls for commitment: people are engaged in building relationships and making friends, in looking for answers to their questions and being entertained, but also in finding intellectual stimulation and sharing knowledge and know-how. The networks are increasingly becoming part of the very fabric of society, inasmuch as they bring people together on the basis of these fundamental needs. Social networks are thus nourished by aspirations rooted in the human heart." (Pope Benedict XVI Message for World Communications Day 2013)

Caroline Farrow, woman, wife, mother and journalist has truly embraced the calling to speak out and witness to the Truth openly in the virtual sphere. She is an ever-present Catholic voice in the media who is not afraid of being in the spotlight and faithfully communicating the Church's viewpoint.

Though we've never met in person I have had the great pleasure of  following Caroline's social and traditional media output over a number of years and today I have the great pleasure of introducing her to you on my little virtual cosy space. 

Meet Caroline Farrow.


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Tell us a little bit about yourself and your Catholic background.

While I was baptised into the Catholic church as a baby and while I was always aware of this during childhood, my upbringing was, to borrow the phrase of Father Ted, ‘an ecumenical matter’. My father is an Anglican and was the organist at our local church, which is where my sister and myself attended every Sunday both for the morning and service and for Evensong where we sung in the choir. We also used to enjoy earning 50p, which was then the going rate for singing in the choir at weddings!

The only time we attended a Catholic Church would be during the school holidays when we would go to visit my grandmother who lived in Devon and attended Buckfast Abbey. In fact Buckfast Abbey feels very much like my spiritual home. Not only was I baptised there, but my first memories of Catholic liturgy are there and I remember being transported by the smell of incense, the monks’ chanting and being transfixed by the vibrant stained glass window of the Blessed Sacrament Chapel where we sometimes sat during Mass. One of my earliest memories is of sitting on the floor in that chapel clutching my palm on Palm Sunday.

One great sadness is that despite being baptised, my sister and I never received First Holy Communion. When we began to attend secondary school, the local vicar called my sister and myself to the Rectory one Saturday morning and told us that we needed to make a decision in terms of what denomination we were.

We returned feeling quite confused and reported the conversation to our parents, whereupon my mother sped off to the Catholic secondary school we were attending in order to speak to the headmistress, a nun, who determined that of course we must be Catholic and ought to attend the school Mass every Sunday. (We were day pupils at a Catholic boarding school). I don’t think the sisters were aware we had not received any kind of catechises so we were instructed simply to attend and copy what everyone else was doing at communion. My sister is a few years older than me and I remember my mother teaching her how to make the sign of the cross which she would need at school.

So it’s not surprising that I later lapsed as we had little in the way of instruction either at home or even at school. We went to Mass on Sundays, high days and holy days, but this was in the mid-eighties, the community was dwindling and it was presumed that by the time pupils got to secondary school they already knew all about confession and so on. It was only when I was well into maturity that I learned that you were supposed to go to confession before receiving the Eucharist, or what you were supposed to do with a rosary, or why you genuflected.


When was the crucial point of your reversion to Catholicism and in what way did your life change?

My conversion was a gradual process rather than a dramatic Damascene affair. I’d always had a basic belief in God and Jesus Christ, but had fallen away from going to church and from Catholicism thanks to the difficult teachings on contraception and sex, which I didn’t understand and preferred not to think about.

There were several steps on the journey along the way. One being when my daughter was a tiny baby and I was breastfeeding her to sleep while reading a copy of Brideshead Revisited for the first time. As I reached the end of the story when Charles’ conversion is described, I began to weep and decided that even though I was a miserable sinner who had done everything wrong in life, I was determined that I would not allow the same to happen to my daughter and would do whatever I could to give her the gift of faith that I had lacked as a child.

I started attending a Baptism course and then Mass every Sunday and began to explore the Catholic faith more and more deeply. I had realised through my own experience that the Catholic Church was right about abortion and contraception, therefore I wanted to learn what else she taught and why. I knew I believed in Jesus, but I wanted to understand how best to follow him and know more about the faith into which I had been baptised and to which I felt I intuitively belonged. I had to alter the course of my life which involved making some difficult personal decisions.


Tell us about your job

My vocation is no different to that of any other wife and mother, though being married to a Roman Catholic priest is in and of itself, something of a vocation, meaning that you often have to subordinate your own needs and desires to that of your husband’s ministry. I often find myself cancelling work arrangements and interviews because his vocation takes priority, which wouldn’t necessarily be the case for other Catholic women who work. It’s why I feel strongly that a married clergy is not a panacea, especially in a world which demands that male and female careers are of equal importance. My husband doesn’t have a job, but a vocation which carries incredible spiritual responsibilities, therefore my vocation is to support him, which many contemporary women find hard to understand.

In terms of the job I am most well-known for, I work as a freelance Catholic journalist and media commentator. It involves being very switched on and plugged into the news cycle and being ready to produce an written article or commentary at a moment’s notice, on anything to do with either feminism, motherhood or the Catholic Church at a moment’s notice.

I’m also doing some freelance work with a number of different Catholic media outlets, and am enjoying planning and producing multimedia content, such as forthcoming radio shows, which is giving a fascinating insight into life behind the camera and I’m enjoying honing my interviewing technique which is an entirely different skill set altogether, where you get to showcase a guest. It really helps being involved in Catholic organisations where your faith is taken as a given, celebrated and understood, rather than treated as a curiosity and misrepresented.


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Social media today is a very efficacious means to get your point across and let your voice be heard. You are a very active member of the virtual community, at what point did you decide that was necessary?
 
Social media was an organic development. I never really consciously decided that I was going to become an active member of the virtual community, but I realised by the  number of social media followers I gained and the amount of interaction and responses I was receiving, that this was something I could use productively, without actually taking up too much off my time.

I was quite flattered the other day to be called a Catholic opinion former, which is really not how I consider myself and something of a responsibility.


In 2009 Pope Benedict encouraged us to take the Gospel message to the Internet, how do you think that call is progressing?

If I’m honest, I think the internet and social media needs to be used more productively in terms of promoting the Gospel message, which is something all of us, myself included need to give more serious thought to.

There are some fabulous resources out there from trusted names, such as Catholic Answers and EWTN which are so helpful in terms of informing one’s faith and certainly helped me and my husband at various points in our different journeys of faith.

The downside of the internet for Catholics is that it is giving a lot more information and news than was every previously possible about the possible political machinations inside the Vatican and there’s a danger that we become over-invested and obsess about things which we have little of chance of changing or influencing and we begin to fret or even become despondent. It is good that Catholics are becoming more informed, we just need to ensure that we respond productively. Internecine squabbles are never a good witness to the faith.

We need to use the internet first and foremost to develop our own interior and prayer lives, which is vital if we are to be able to effectively evangelise others. It’s sometimes easier said than done.



Social media requires a lot of our attention and there is always the danger of feeling that you have to be engaged all the time or you might miss something. How do you balance that with your family life?

Social media only takes up as much time as you let it. The joy of an app is that it is easy to dip in and out of social media as and when you have a spare five minutes. The danger is that reaching for your phone can become an addictive and time-consuming habit.

It helps that I am a touch typist, able to type very quickly and so I tend to use Facebook, which lends itself to longer posts and more nuanced engagement, mainly when the children are in bed.

I make a habit of putting my phone away whenever I am spending quality time with the children and I’m too busy either first thing in the morning when I am getting the children ready for school, or when I have picked them up and am preoccupied with dinner, homework, bath and bed, to be distracted by the phone. I set myself a time limit in terms of social media and then stick to it.

In terms of catching up with the news cycle I have a few key accounts which I follow to keep in touch with developments and of course if a big story breaks, I will get a notification on my phone, but as I said, if I’m spending time with the family, I just put the phone away in a drawer or somewhere so I can’t be distracted by it.

 
Can you recall the most surreal conversation you had on social media and the most edifying one?
I’ve had so many surreal conversations on Twitter that it’s difficult to single out the most striking one. I think it might have been Ben Cohen from Pink News attempting to claim that my opposition to same-sex marriage rendered me anti-Semitic on the grounds that liberal Jews support it and therefore I was trying to deny them religious freedom!

The most edifying conversations tend to take place privately when people message me with various questions about the faith, or express support for what my public stance on various issues of faith and morals which they feel prevented from speaking out against. I am always delighted when people share their faith experiences with me and it’s gratifying when people who may otherwise be politically opposed to you, accept that you are approaching matters from a perspective of good faith.

I have been humbled that I count two gay men amongst my friends on social media who don’t know me in real life, but have been able to see that I harbour no hatred, animosity or ill will towards them. These types of friendships are crucial and I really appreciate the generosity and open-mindedness of people who do not demand that I abandon my beliefs before friendship, respect and mutual co-operation can be achieved.



What is your family policy on social media especially with regard to your children?

My younger children are all too young to have social media accounts or even want them at this stage. I love sharing photos of my children but am very careful to select ones which won’t cause them any embarrassment when they are older.

Now my eldest is a teenager I do not share any photos of her at all without her explicit consent. As a result of my public profile, I have unfortunately and perhaps inevitably, attracted various cyber-stalkers over the years which has caused my family distress and deterred my daughter from social media as she is worried that she too may be become a target.

To be honest, while the circumstances surrounding this may be unfortunate, my daughter doesn’t feel as though she is missing out in any way, but she is well aware of how to keep safe on the internet if she does change her mind in the future. I’m hoping that she stays away from social media for as long as possible and continues to model this for her younger siblings.

While she does have a tablet which was a school requirement this year, she doesn’t tend to use it, other than to catch up on Strictly Come Dancing and play Candy Crush! Our internet is pre-filtered and there is some excellent software available which monitors and limits children’s device use and the rule is that no technology is allowed in the bedroom after 9pm. We also have software which sends us copies of text messages sent and received. Children are going to have to cope with mobile devices and internet etiquette as adults, therefore it’s beholden on parents to help them learn good habits and to keep use of devices in perspective.