Comparing kids of similar heritage? Also, "Your baby looks NOTHING like you!" comments - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 07-05-2010, 12:57 PM - Thread Starter
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A "friend" (more than an acquaintance, not quite a friend) is Caucasian and is married to a Filipino man. I am Caucasian and married to a Japanese/Guamanian man. We both had little boys about 6 weeks apart. My son is about 10 weeks old.*

I'm not sure how to respond to her. She is CONSTANTLY comparing our boys. At first it was Facebook comments on how much my son looks JUST LIKE her son. True, in the infant stage, there appeared to be some resemblance, but don't most newborns look alike? I'm not exaggerating, nearly every posted photo was met with, "He looks just like my son!!"*I saw pictures of her boy and thought, "Um, not really". But she has way fewer photos posted. **

We've seen each other twice in the last few weeks. Our boys really don't look alike AT ALL. Both times she's nearly tossed her baby in my stroller for comparison. The whole time we're around each other (picnic or birthday party, etc) she's saying, "Oh, they have the same this" or "They have a different that."

I'm really trying to hold back but really feel like saying, "No $**t! They aren't related! Just because we sort of share some vague classification of interracial marriage doesn't mean are kids are going to look the same!!"

Anyone else deal with this? How should I respond?

Also, any good comebacks for the CONSTANT "He doesn't look anything like you!!!" comments? The truth is, if people could look past his dark brown hair and eyes, he looks remarkably like me. My lips, my ears, my cheekbones, my face-shape. Should I carry around my baby picture for comparison? He looks a lot like me.*

I feel like saying, "If you weren't so distracted by his color, you'd see that he really is half mine."

Any tips?

Aurora , happy wife to C., mama to 3 : and , lost 12/08 & our 4/24/10
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#2 of 7 Old 07-06-2010, 09:35 AM
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The comparison thing is annoying, but also fairly typical for some parents. I bet with other babies, she's comparing things like first smiles and rolling over. Some people can't help themselves. If you stay in touch with this family, in a few years she'll probably be comparing running and reading skills. Depending on how often you see her and how annoying you find it, you can talk to her about it. I'd address it in terms of enjoying children for their individual characteristics and how unhealthy it can be to focus on appearance and make constant comparisons.

I don't have an answer for your second issue. My children look nothing like me. DS could be a clone of his father, right down to colouring. Some people say that DD looks like me, but I don't see it at all. When they make comments, that's how I respond. Usually though, when someone comments about appearance, I try to deflect the attention onto their accomplishments or interests.
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#3 of 7 Old 07-06-2010, 11:31 AM
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I'd just ignore the comments and change the subject when they come.

Our kids are also biracial. One child looks like me, but has his daddy's dark skin and hair. The other child looks like my husband, but has light skin and blond hair. Their appearance is something of an obsession for some people who don't know them well. It is an easy thing to comment on. Once people get to know the kids well, it almost never comes up. Once your kids are a little older and their unique personalities are easier to see, I'll bet she'll stop commenting, too.
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#4 of 7 Old 07-06-2010, 11:44 AM
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If it bothered me, I'd ignore her and change the subject.

FWIW, I'm married to an arab and I've met many other families of the same assortment. Our kids DO look similar, and we often joke that they could be siblings.

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#5 of 7 Old 07-07-2010, 05:51 PM
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Oh I hate that. I'm white, and my husband's brown, and everyone says he looks "just like" my husband. No one ever mentions any of the features that look like me. I try not to let it bother me, because it seems silly to fret over. BUT after hearing it over and Over and OVER again, it gets really old.

Sure he has brown skin and hair, but his ears are shaped like mine, his eyes are shaped like mine, and his nose and lips are still too babyish to really tell. Although I do think they'll take after his daddy. Also he has my hair pattern, not his dads, but whatever.

I even did the picture comparison on the computer where it analyzes the features of all parties and tells you who the baby is closer too. It was only on DHs side by a few points. He really is like a perfect mix of the two of us. I just wish people would say he looks like my baby every now and again.
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#6 of 7 Old 07-07-2010, 06:12 PM
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I wonder if she's doing this because for whatever reason she feel self-conscious about her kid? Not in the sense that she's unhappy with the looks but maybe she lives in an area that is not an diverse, or at least doens't have as many interracial marriages and she enjoys having someone with the same experience? Just a thought...

Ironically, we have the opposite here! DD looks EXACTLY like DH. I've seen his baby pics and she's a clone, it's sort of scary! However, I've been getting a lot of comments lately about how much she looks just like me? I always say thanks (and, well, this has only happened once when the person has seen both DH and myself) and figure people just have to comment on something. Also, how old is your son? It could be that he's too young for people to see that. I've only gotten these comments really in the last month or so...

ETA: I just saw the age of your son, definitely wait a bit!!! DD didn't look a single bit like me at that age (I even got a question if i was the nanny when she was a year old). So not until she was about 17months did people start saying she looked like me.
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#7 of 7 Old 07-08-2010, 01:03 AM
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I bet she is just anxious that her child will grow up feeling like he doesn't belong anywhere. It is a common thing you hear about from multiracial adults. By asserting that your DS looks like her DS she is finding him a group he can belong to. She will probably relax about it as her anxiety eases.

As your DS grows the you in him may start to show more. When DS was born he looked so much like me and not much like DH, except for his chocolate brown eyes that he kept tightly shut unless we were alone. Now that he is 4 yo, he looks so much more like a mix of DH and I. He really looks much more like his dad now than he did when he was a newborn.

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