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Old 01-21-2007, 10:24 PM   #11
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Re: Developing racial awareness, need advice!

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Originally Posted by Marielblewis View Post
For the sake of this thread I am going to simplify and say I am "white", my DH is "black" and so my girls are, umm, what's the current term? Bi-Racial?Mixed?

First I want to point out that all of this labeling is VERY ingrained in American culture. My husband and I find that when we are in other countries we are both Americans, but here we are "Black" and "White".

I am constantly asked ridiculous questions about our relationship. Depending on the intent of the person asking my answers vary. When someone looks at my children and asks "What are they?" I say "Girls." If the person presses further and asks what race their dad is or if he is black, I say "He's American." My children know that Daddy is dark brown, Mommy is pink, and they are brown "like peanut butter". This is not the least bit odd to them. They also know that mommy has black hair and Uncle Khris has blonde hair and a red beard. To them it's all the same thing.

Back to the point of the post, if you make a big deal out of it your son will wonder why you are over correcting. He is four. It might not have even been for the reason you are thinking. Maybe thought the boy was older or younger? Who knows? Kids do weird things. I will say if you make a big deal out of it he will start to wonder why it is a big deal. Live your life, be a good model, and I'm sure he will be fine. No need for long speeches.

HTH,

Marie
that's what I was trying to say

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Old 01-21-2007, 11:38 PM   #12
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Re: Developing racial awareness, need advice!

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Originally Posted by ShayneLeMaster View Post
I personally think that if this is the first time with him having this type of reaction I wouldnt make a big deal out of it and make your son think it is a big deal.. kwim? we are just like you ( based on the OP ) and we try to make sure my daughter doesnt consider skin color when chosing who to try to make freinds with, but she is five and sometimes I think they just have that reaction, there have been times that my daughter didnt want to play with a little girl becuase she didnt like her dress, by the end of the playdate they were " best freinds" but the experience I have had with this kind of behavior is that maybe it's normal.. Allison didnt treat the child with any dis-respect other than being hesitant to play at first. we just explain to her than everyone is different, and not every one likes everyone else but that's just the way the world is and that in the end no one wants to be around people who treat people " ugly " my DH side of the family is quick to spit out racial slurs and other neg comments and my side of the family is Native American and many in the famiy based on the areas of the US they have lived have unfortunatly had to live with the way some people are ignorant to different races even to the extent of calling them names ( but the joke was on them becuase they were wrong we are'nt stupid mexicans , we are stupid indians lol )


but back on topic, if it becomes an everyday thing I would then seriously address it but I think that just a simple talk about how he could have been alot of fun, and things like that are all you can really do for now.

good luck

Right on! In my family, we come in all sorts of shades from very dark brown to blond with what I call "BurnsifIthinkaboutsun" skin. My older son, who is 4, asked my brother (who is fair) how come he didn't look "normal" ('cause most of us are quite dark), and DB just replied "'Cause that's how Creator made me." Honestly, at 4, that's the kind of response that will satisfy them. As the pp said, kids come up with some super odd thoughts, and it's no use getting yourself upset about this. Just keep on raising him to see the beauty of the world, which is acknowledging the beauty in all shades and colours of people rather than to hate it or ignore it .
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Old 01-22-2007, 12:21 AM   #13
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Re: Developing racial awareness, need advice!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marielblewis View Post
For the sake of this thread I am going to simplify and say I am "white", my DH is "black" and so my girls are, umm, what's the current term? Bi-Racial?Mixed?

First I want to point out that all of this labeling is VERY ingrained in American culture. My husband and I find that when we are in other countries we are both Americans, but here we are "Black" and "White".

I am constantly asked ridiculous questions about our relationship. Depending on the intent of the person asking my answers vary. When someone looks at my children and asks "What are they?" I say "Girls." If the person presses further and asks what race their dad is or if he is black, I say "He's American." My children know that Daddy is dark brown, Mommy is pink, and they are brown "like peanut butter". This is not the least bit odd to them. They also know that mommy has black hair and Uncle Khris has blonde hair and a red beard. To them it's all the same thing.

Back to the point of the post, if you make a big deal out of it your son will wonder why you are over correcting. He is four. It might not have even been for the reason you are thinking. Maybe thought the boy was older or younger? Who knows? Kids do weird things. I will say if you make a big deal out of it he will start to wonder why it is a big deal. Live your life, be a good model, and I'm sure he will be fine. No need for long speeches.

HTH,

Marie
ITA- I am biracial/ mixed or whatever. Honestly, I don't feel like I "fit in" to either cultural group, but I am American. "He's a nice boy just like you" is as much energy as I would give to that. He'll gleen how to act from you mostly.... he'll be fine.
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Old 01-22-2007, 11:13 AM   #14
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Re: Developing racial awareness, need advice!

I agree with Marie

Hopefully this is not something I'll ever have to deal with for my DC since we live in a melting pot over here My DS's best friends in his former daycare were African American and a friend of mine has two adopted African American children. My DS knows this is something normal I never mention the color of someone's skin around him (or in any converstaion with anyone for that matter) because in my eyes it's not important. The person is the important thing.

I wouldn't make a big deal out of it. Hopefully it was just a one time thing.
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Old 01-22-2007, 11:36 AM   #15
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Re: Developing racial awareness, need advice!

I haven't read the other responses, so forgive me if this is a repeat of what other posters have said--

I think it's developmentally appropriate. Kids your son's age are very
'into' like me/not like me thinking. He'd likely have refused to play with a girl, too. He's not racist.

Maybe you could use the incident as a springboard for a discussion, yk? I'd be willing to bet that those diversity messages will be more far-reaching than his 5 year old mindset, yk?
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