Sticks and Stones: help your daughter deal with teasing and bullying

Sticks and Stones: help your daughter deal with teasing and bullying

During adolescence, girls are hypersensitive about their appearance and body changes during puberty, and may be more susceptible to teasing and bullying. Help your daughter feel confident about her changing body – and be more sensitive to the feelings of others – with the Sticks and Stones video and action checklist.

We know that growing up can be tough, and that young people can feel hurt and upset by others' comments. That's why we developed Sticks and Stones, to help girls understand that what people say isn’t always what they mean, and to make them more aware of how others may be feeling.

Confronting body image issues

When your daughter’s body starts to develop into that of a young woman, it’s not only physical changes she has to deal with, but emotional ones too. Because every girl’s body develops at a different rate, most worry they’re either developing too fast or too slowly, making them incredibly self-conscious.

It’s natural for adolescent girls to compare themselves to their peers, which is why they may be more sensitive to 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, it's a way of covering up how they’re feeling themselves.

What people say isn’t always what they mean

None of us can read minds. Without knowing what’s going on in someone else’s head, we might make a silly joke or careless comment about the way they look that really hurts them. We might be teasing or even bullying them without knowing it. This video shows how easy it is to say the wrong thing.

By sharing the Sticks and Stones video and discussing it with your daughter, you'll help her understand the impact of her comments – and the comments of others – on her peer’s body confidence and self-esteem. You'll also make her better equipped to handle situations that could knock her own confidence.

Sticks and Stones video

Dove Sticks and Stones
  • 1

    Show the Sticks and Stones video to your daughter

    How did it make her feel? Could she relate to the comments?

  • 2

    Share your experiences

    Did anything like this happen to you when you were younger? Has anything similar happened between her and her friends? What might people in the group have really been thinking?

  • 3

    Discuss different scenarios

    How would the situation in the video have been different if all the girls had been more honest about their feelings?

  • 4

    Suggest she send the video to her friends

    It could make them more aware of the impact of their remarks on others. They may feel more able to stand up for someone when they are being teased about the way they look as a result

next steps

  • Talk to your daughter about teasing and bullying. Ask her if she’s ever been teased, or even if she’s teased someone herself, and discuss how it made her feel
  • Get your daughter talking with her friends, encouraging them to be open with one another about how others' words can make them feel and how small comments can have a big impact

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