OPINION: Educate kids to stop the bullying cycle
THE teenage years aren't easy.
I went through an incredibly shy period in my life throughout high school.
I was not confident in myself.
I was still learning who I was as a person.
The teenage me was so different to who I am today.
Going through the teenage years the second time around as a parent doesn't make it easier either.
Now you don't know where to start to protect your kids.
Although I had the occasional teasing experience I was lucky to have escaped the attention of bullies.
Not all of my friends fared the same.
The world has changed so much and now the bullying is not only verbal and physical but through the online world as well.
It is in your face but also via Facebook, via text message and it can be blatantly obvious or it can be subtle and suggestive.
But it all does damage.
Watching your kids struggle through life has to be heartbreaking.
We have the power to stop the cycle of hate.
A good way to start is through education.
And I don't just mean in schools, with things like the Safe Schools program.
I mean educating your kids at home too.
Teach them to be accepting of other people.
What right do we have to judge someone by their looks, their nationality, their religion or their sexuality?
I prefer to judge someone by their behaviour.
Don't forget, teenage bullies can grow up to be adult bullies.
And then the cycle continues.