Repairing the relationship
Restorative practices need to be fashioned carefully to focus on the relationship dislocation and the obligations one has within relationships to repair damage or dislocation. Where there has been an incident of harm or conflict, you will want to ask questions to find out exactly what happened. How you do it is important.
- Asking ‘what’ questions only
- Believing what you are told (the telling of the story is essential for the person involved. They need to feel they have been heard. Be patient and listen intently.
- Take careful notes. They should be available to all sides, so make sure they are constructive.
- Ask “What were you feeling at the time?”
- Ask “ What do you think the other person/s were feeling at the time?
- “What was the purpose of your action?”
- Ask “What impact did your action have on the other person AND on you?”
- Ask “What can we do to get to work together to overcome the harm that has occurred?”
- Then begin the relationship education…”What can we do now to begin to help ourselves and the other/s to repair our relationship…..what can I do to help?”
- Ask “What outcome do you think we can achieve? And what will we all have to do to achieve this?”
Example: Restorative practices at Prahran High School
Prahran High School in Melbourne has adopted the Restorative Practices model. This document outlines how they make it work.