Singer Peter Andre has opened up about the bullying he faced as a child, and confessed he refuses to let his children use social media.
The star spoke to The Mirror, as part of their Light Up Christmas For Children campaign, which is raising money for Childline – the NSPCC ’s counselling service.
The 44-year-old dad of four spoke out about his concerns about mental health issues in young people, and claimed cyber bullying can have a negative impact on children’s well being.
He is father to Junior and Princess with ex-wife Katie Price, and to Amelia and Theo with Emily MacDonagh.
The singer spoke about the psychological trauma he faced as a child, and his determination to protect his own children.
“The bullying I went through wasn’t like someone calling you names,” he said. “I was beaten up pretty bad.”
Peter talked about how important it is to him to keep his own children safe from the kind of trauma he dealt with.
“I don’t let Princess or Junior go on social media or things like that yet.
“I worry about cyber bullying – all these things kids are going through, worrying about what they look like, worrying about what someone is saying about them.”
He also opened up about how important it is for children to feel they have a support network, claiming he was never able to open up to anyone about what he was going through.
Peter admitted he hadn’t been able to open up to his own parents about his bullying, but if he’d had a number to call or someone to talk to, it would have helped.
His comments come as part of Childline’s push for donations ahead of the Christmas season, which can see a dramatic rise in demand from children who are dealing with bullying and mental health issues, such as depression and the urge to self harm.
Over the holidays a child calls the helpline roughly every 25 seconds, and they depend on donations to keep up with the high demand.
Peter spoke about his efforts to make sure his children know they don’t have to face their problems alone, letting them know they can come to him for support.
He tells them he’s always there for them and admits he worries all the time about them.
Peter and wife Emily are celebrating their son Theo’s first birthday – with Peter sharing pics of a lavish Thomas the Tank Engine themed party online.