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Advice Urgently Needed


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We had a child today (a 3 year old) make a comment about another child's skin colour - it wasn't a very nice comment but I also feel that it might have been said in the same way that children say 'you're not my best friend', 'you can't play here because you're a boy'


We're really not sure how to handle this, the parents are absolutely devastated that there child would say something derogatory so it seemed clear this wasn't an attitude adopted from home.


Any advice on what to say to parents to help them feel less horrified would be great!


We also thought that lots of comparison activities about what we are like, what we enjoy, what we look like would be good, as well as books, stories, etc.


I would really appreciate any feedback on this.


Many thanks,

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Hi there

we had a very similar situation recently. I spoke phoned the parents before the end of the day as I did not want to bring this up in front of the other parents (not that I would have - but wanted to avoid the 'can I have a quick word' scenario as I would need to talk in the office and going into the office always signals something quite serious!)


Anyway, the parent was naturally horrified and took everything on board. I started with telling the parents exactly what they child has said and what the context was. That way you are stating facts. I also asked them why they think their child might have said something like this - so giving the parents a chance to think about where the child might have heard this. In their case if was from a conversation the older sibling had been having with the parents and the little one had overheard and misinterpreted what was said....

I bought a book online that I though may be helpful for the family to borrow and to explain our likenesses and differences. We have not heard anything else from the child in question but we are monitoring the situation very carefully.

the book is called the colour of us



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We use a book called 'something else' which talks about differences. It's a lovely book and uses feelings and friendships as a good base for a story. How about painting some portraits and mixing skin tones - that way you can have a really good chat about the issue.


A few years ago we had some resources from somewhere - can't remember where - and one of the activities was to paint 'Miss Hoolie' and we mixed loads of different skin and hair colours and then painted loads of different variations and then decided that she was still Miss Hoolie whatever colour everything was!

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