'I feel I am somehow failing the children': Jeff Brazier admits struggle to deal with sons' anger over mother Jade Goody's death
14:41 GMT, 25 September 2012
It's been three and a half years since Jeff Brazier's sons Bobby and Freddie were tragically robbed of their mother Jade Goody to cancer.
However, the TV presenter admits it's still an ongoing struggle to be a single father to two boys still grieving the loss of their mother.
Writing in his blog, This Morning presenter Jeff, 33, admits he feels like he is 'somehow failing the children' after both have been playing up in school.
Protective: Jeff Brazier with his sons Bobby (left) and Freddie (right) in 2009, shortly before their mother's death
Jeff has bringing up both boys after a single parent since his ex-girlfriend Jade lost her battle with cervical cancer in March 2009, when she was just 27.
Although eldest son Bobby, nine, has always been well-behaved at school over the past few years, in recent weeks, his behaviour in the classroom has changed.
Jeff admitted Bobby usually takes out his frustrations over Jade's death out at home, so was surprised to hear he had been misbehaving.
In contrast, his youngest Freddie, who turned eight last week, has struggled in school for a while, but has always been well-behaved at home.
A loving mother: Jeff hopes to provide the boys with an outlet for their anger over their mother's death
Writing in his blog for The Huffington Post, Jeff said: 'I was shocked and upset that Bobby had
behaved as badly as she (the teacher) stated, it's really not like him, and this is
where I go back to my initial comment about failing him.
'Because if it
is the anger and frustration of his loss that fuels this rebellious
streak, which in my view is more of a cry for help than any long term
intent to be disruptive, then I am not doing enough to disperse these
emotions so that they don't affect him or hold him back elsewhere.'
And when it comes to Freddie, Jeff was hopeful they had turned a corner last year following a disruptive few years.
Difficult: Jeff and Jade were only a couple for a year, but had two children
He said: 'Freddy has started the year a little hot
and cold, he seems to be great for half the day and then he gets tired,
loses focus and then the calling out begins and seemingly doesn't stop.
'He too is sitting on a desk on his own at the moment which makes me
feel guilty, guilty because I put a lot of pressure on myself to steer
these children through their education, managing their grief as we go so
that they go on to great things as great people.'
While Jeff has praised the teachers for their support and patience, he ultimately believes their behaviour is down to him and has taken steps to remedy the issues.
He has decided to send Bobby back to bereavement counsellors Grief Encounter and has enrolled both boys in some boxing classes so they have an outlet for their frustrations.
Jeff goes on to admit, very honestly, that he does let himself get angry or upset over Bobby's remarks and has to work hard at detaching himself.
He explained: 'He can say some very cutting remarks and knows only
too well how to get a reaction from me. I need to work harder on
ignoring this, staying calm as I tell him what the punishment is and why
he's getting it and ignoring the verbal abuse that comes off the back
'I must simply switch off from what I know he doesn't mean and
hear only the things that he does.'
Jeff and Jade meet in late 2002 after she leaped to fame in Big Brother. After just three months of dating, they found she was pregnant with Bobby.
Both openly admitted the relationship had been volatile, and ended up splitting when Bobby was nine months old.
It was shortly afterwards, they found out Jade was pregnant was Freddie.
Jeff admitted they had a difficult relationship following Freddie's birth as they shared custody of the boys and it only improved when she was diagnosed with cancer just six months before she died.
Since Jade's death, Jeff has asked for the media to protect his sons' privacy and no longer photograph them.
The full blog can be read at The Huffington Post.