We know that growing up can be tough sometimes and that we can feel hurt and upset by other people’s comments. This is why we’ve developed Sticks and Stones, to help girls understand that what people say isn’t always what they mean and to help your daughter become more aware of how others may be feeling.
When your girl’s body starts to develop into that of a young woman, it’s not only the physical changes she has to deal with; it’s the emotional ones too. Because every girl’s body develops at a different rate, most girls worry that they’re either developing too fast or too slow, making them incredibly self-conscious.
It’s natural for girls to compare themselves to their peers at this time, which is why they are often more sensitive to the comments made by others. It’s also easy for girls to slip into teasing which can come across as mean or nasty, sometimes without even realising they’re doing it. In many cases, this is just a way of covering up how they’re feeling themselves.
None of us can read minds. Without knowing what’s going on in someone else’s head, a careless comment we make or a silly joke about the way someone looks can actually really hurt. Sometimes people don’t realise they are being a bully, and this activity shows how easy it is to say the wrong thing.
By sharing the Sticks and Stones video and discussing it together with your daughter, you can help her to understand the impact of her comments and the comments of others on body confidence and self-esteem. And she will feel better equipped to handle a situation where her own confidence may be at risk.
Show this video to your daughter or watch it together: how did it make her feel? What comments were made?
Share experiences with your daughter: did you have experiences like this when you were younger? Has anything similar ever happened with her and her friends? What might people in the group have really been thinking?
Talk to your daughter: discuss how things might have turned out differently in the video if they’d all had the courage to be more honest about their feelings.
Suggest she send the video to her friends: so they can all be a little more aware of the impact of their remarks on others. Ask her if they feel more able to stand up for someone when they are being teased about the way they look as a result.
No Place for Bullying
Bullying definition by Stopbullying.gov
NSPCC statistics on bullying
NSPCC bullying resources
Lisa Lister Founder of Sassyology.com, writer and author
Article date: 03 July 2013
Review date: 03 July 2014
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Understanding the bullies
Keeping an eye on family teasing
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