I went skating with ds1 yesterday (indoor session at local high school). At one point I ended up chatting with a little girl (Jessie, 7? 8?) who was upset becuse her little sister had been calling her names ("stinky" this or that kind of stuff).
I said, "Whatever she said you know it isn't true". "She's just making things up to get your attention."
Jessie said that she told her sis that the name-calling hurt, but little sis said that she didn't care.
Eventually I suggested that maybe Jessie could reply next time with really lovely things, like "You look wonderful", "I love you", etc. "She can't keep calling you nasty names if you're being so nice to her, can she?"
Am not really sure that would work, though. Felt rather inadquate, basically. I could see that it had cheered her up that I was talking to her, at least. I got the impression Jessie & sis are in foster care, didn't probe, so may not be a consistent parental figure on the scene to sort things out.
Assuming I might encounter this situation next time I go skating, is there something better I could say to Jessie?
All you can do is be kind and reassuring without saying anything unpleasant about the other child! - Oh dear, that must be upsetting / Well, I can't smell anything / You seem like a very nice person to me / Oh dear, sisters can argue with each other sometimes but it doesn't mean you don't love each other / I'm sure your sister will be sorry when she's thought about it, etc etc. What else can you do? You don't know the kids or their situation (and you don't know what Jessie says to her sister - kids are great at telling you half a story!!)
Zebra, really kind of you to try to reassure this little girl and think up a plan to help her if you see her again. Can't think of anything that hasn't already been mentioned, but think you are lovely.