Persona Dolls and the stories they ‘tell’ help children understand that they and everyone else are special and that the differences between them are also special, not a reason to hurt and tease each other about.
Vulnerable children often experience hate crime as identity bullying. It may make them feel so miserable and alone that they can’t eat or sleep. So frightened they don’t want to go to school or go out to play. They may be afraid to tell anyone, scared of what will happen if they do.
Bullies tend to pick on them because they look different from the rest of the group; speak English differently; come from another country; wear different clothes or eat different foods; don’t learn as quickly as the other children or learn more quickly.
Bullies may think it is okay to bully children who are different because they may have heard grown-ups and other children say mean and nasty things about them. They may have been told that they shouldn’t be friends with them and may think that they have the right to hurt, tease and bully them.
Persona Doll storytelling sessions help to spread the message that bullying is unacceptable. The stories aim to touch hearts and change minds and actions.
Many children who bully have low self-esteem and poor communication skills. By actively participating in the sessions they can experience acceptance and approval, voice their ideas, thoughts and feelings and have the space and the time to reflect on their actions and, hopefully, change their behaviour.