Yesterday a child at school said some things to my son that were potentially offensive. My son and I talked with his teacher and decided together that he needed to address the other child directly. Later, I will post what he said, and show you the strategy behind it so that you can use it with your own children, and yourself, to deal with potentially hurtful or offensive comments.
This is what my 9 year old son said to the other child. “XXX, yesterday lunchtime you said some things about being XXXX. I didn’t know if you were being nice or nasty. What you said made me sad. Please don’t say things like that again.”
So, this is split into 4 parts: (1) The facts of what happened “At lunchtime…you were saying…) (2) Why it was an issue (I didn’t know if you were being nice or nasty) (3) How I felt about it (note: NOT “how YOU made me feel”) (4) What I would like you to do from now on. The approach worked, and the boy in question apologised without any awkwardness. My son did feel awkward saying it – but he is aged 9 and a lot smaller physically than the other boy, but once he’d accepted the apology was able to run off and play quite happily.
Lastly, when we spoke to my son yesterday, both the teacher and I asked him to tell someone about things like this AS SOON as they happen in future, as they can be dealt with much more quickly and easily. Now, we all know that you can’t always deal with things straight away, but if you can, they do tend to be worked out without too much distress. SO, I hope this helps someone else. It was only after it all concluded that I realised this might be a useful strategy and wanted to share