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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
ok so i have made i a point to never ever even mention anyones skin color to my dd (shes 2.5 now btw).peopl are just people not their skin color. she has books that are multicultural, all her dolls are multi cultural etc etc. but 2 times now shes identified ppl by their skin color<br>
1st was her melana dolly. shes always called her melana but a few weeks ago she called her 'my black baby' now i know she doenst know what shes saying and she may have been identifying her by her hair..but still<br>
then the other night dh was talking to our neighbor we have always called the nice man that lives next door (b/c we don't know his name ) and dd said to me daddyis talking to the black daddy what the heck man? where is she getting this from?<br>
i know she went through a phase of identifying dolls,ppl,animals what have you by their hair color so im thinking this is just that but how can i get her to stop and explain to her it's not right to do this without making it more enticing for her?
 

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I would highly recommend you read "<a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325&tag=motheringhud-20&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FIm-Chocolate-Youre-Vanilla-Race-Conscious%2Fdp%2F0787941964" target="_blank">I'm Chocolate, You're Vanilla</a>" by Marguerite A. Wright. It's a book about Raising Healthy Black and Biracial Children in a Race-Conscious World but I found it also gave me great insights into how to talk to my Caucasian children about race and understand how kids process race at different ages.<br><br>
At the age of two, your daughter is just noticing the differences she sees in people. She doesn't have any positive or negative connotation associated with either color. Children that age also tent to think that they can change the color of their skin if they want to, grow bigger or smaller, get older or younger. They also tend to think they can be ANY color including purple. The problems come in when adults interpret the innocent remarks of a child discovering differences in people as racist or prejudice. (not that you think that! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> )<br><br>
When my kids make remarks like that, I try to get past my own cultural conditioning and realize that they are noticing things about people. I then try to see if we can't find some <i>other</i> ways so-and-so is different than us, then the ways they are the same. As children get older the pick up all of our cultural baggage about race and they will learn what is appropriate to say and what is not. I wouldn't make a huge deal about it.
 

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I don't see the big deal with that. It doesn't sound like she is being rude.<br><br>
I have a daycare boy with freckles. light blue eyes, and incredibly long blonde eyelashes. The other kids describe him as "That sparkly boy". It's just how they describe him. They know his name, but instead of telling a parent, "Carson" they say "Ya, know that sparkly boy?"<br><br>
There's a girl that my 15 yr old dd walks home from the bus with, and she has a very high forehead. So when they want me to know who they are talking about they pull their bangs back and say "ya know... this girl". I say "Um, you mean Haley?" "Ya... well, she's outside the door"
 

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i agree with pp. dd's just describing a physical trait, she's not attributing any specific characteristics to that trait. ask yourself this. if she had described someone as the "white daddy", would that have bothered you?<br><br>
you haven't done <i>anything</i> wrong!<br><br>
and where is she getting this from? nowhere. she's just describing what she sees.
 

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Yeah, I don't see anything "wrong" here. Kids notice differences. I, personally, like differences and could sit for hours in the mall looking at all the beautiful, difffent, people. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"><br><br>
My 5 yo is of mixed race background and occasionally points out differences as a sort of security thing (wanting to be sure he has the world figured out <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll">). I do try to point out that while "black" and "white" are convenient and commonly used, they're not exactly accurate. He was like "Oh yeah, Baba (my husband) really looks like chocolate, and you're really kind of pink, Mama". <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue">
 

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Your daughter isn't doing anything wrong, she is just identifying colors. It is a great opportunity to explain to her that there are people with all different colored hair, eyes, skin, etc. and go on to explain the rest in whatever is age appropriate. You are doing great so far from what you've said!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>pigpokey</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10753982"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">When my newly 3 year old refers to someone as black he means they are wearing black clothes.</div>
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My 3 1/2 yr old does that too. She'll tell me "I'm a rainbow today" if she's wearing stripes, or red if she has red on.. My 6 yr old, however, is the minority in her school and notices skin color a lot more (didn't really think twice about it before starting in the fall). Anyway, I think that it is totally normal for kids to notice differences, and similarities, at that age. They will also notice weight (especially in public, very loudly), hair length (is that a boy or girl, mommy?), et cetera.<br><br>
dd 6<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/biggrinbounce.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="bgbounce">, dd 3<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/innocent.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shy">, dd 3 weeks<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/uc.jpg" style="border:0px solid;" title=":uc"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/waterbirth.jpg" style="border:0px solid;" title="Waterbirth">:<br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/novaxnocirc.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Novaxnocirc">:<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/lactivist.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Lactivist">:<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/femalesling.GIF" style="border:0px solid;" title="Femalesling">:<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/cd.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Cd">:
 

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Slightly related funny kid story... when I was in preschool (somewhere 3-5yrs) my mom was asking me something about a "black boy" in my class. I just looked at her totally confused- when she finally said enough for me to identify him (name, description, whatever) I looked at her like she was crazy and said, "Mom, he's BROWN, not BLACK"<br><br>
kids and colors...<br><br>
-Angela
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>alegna</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10756755"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Slightly related funny kid story... when I was in preschool (somewhere 3-5yrs) my mom was asking me something about a "black boy" in my class. I just looked at her totally confused- when she finally said enough for me to identify him (name, description, whatever) I looked at her like she was crazy and said, "Mom, he's BROWN, not BLACK"<br><br>
kids and colors...<br><br>
-Angela</div>
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Up until she was in 1st or 2nd grade, my daughter would say if asked to describe someone 'that girl with brown skin and black hair'. I liked her take on it.
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>alegna</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10756755"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Slightly related funny kid story... when I was in preschool (somewhere 3-5yrs) my mom was asking me something about a "black boy" in my class. I just looked at her totally confused- when she finally said enough for me to identify him (name, description, whatever) I looked at her like she was crazy and said, "Mom, he's BROWN, not BLACK"<br><br>
kids and colors...<br><br>
-Angela</div>
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I had the exact same experience in 1st grade. I was talking to a classmate and she was telling me how she was black and I was all "um, no, you're brown, silly". Totally didn't get it.....must say it took me quite a while to figure it out too.
 

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I agree that you didn't do anything wrong and I'd let it go for now.<br><br>
Here's my story - I was at the laudromat in December washing some curtains, tablecloths and backdrops for a club we're in. We have a washer dryer in the house so this is a new experience. But kinda like the laundromat as the great meltingpot without pretense. There is this little African-American Christmas angel sitting on the shelf and she looks at is and says "Mom - Angels are white." I'm mortified. No they're not I say. Angels can be all colors. You have books with angels all kinds of angels in them. That book from Unlce and Auntie. It turns out, she was referring to the color of the dress. This angel was red and all of the other angels were white.
 

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I think that it is probably just her using her knowledge of colors, and that's it. Like she would probably say "the green apple" if it was next to a red one. It's may be just her way of describing who she is talking about? Now, I know that to others that might be offensive, but she is a child, and surely it's innocent. Why would she assume that it would be bad to say that? KWIM? I think maybe having a talk with her about why you don't talk about people's skin colors when you are talking about or to them is probably the answer. Hope this helps a little <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> My little sister when she was 3, met my fathers friend from Africa for the first time. Now, our family is from Jamaica, and we are all dark but not very. My dad's friends skin is very very dark. She was afraid of him! It was totally bizarre and we were all so surprised that she would act that way but really we live in a place where there really are no people with darker skin except for our family so I guess it was just totally different to her. But he thought it was kind of funny and of course after 20 minutes or so she was fine and she never acted that way again. So honestly I don't think that you have done anything wrong at all. I think it is wonderful that you have exposed her to multicultural dolls and such, and that you make a point of teaching equality.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
thank you thank you mamas. it so important to me that she grows up completely open and seeing all humans the same kwim? i think 1 reason its such a huge deal to me is that my MIl is super super racist and i dont want that ever rubbing off on my kids. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad">
 

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She may just be at that developmental stage where kids are figuring out that an item can be more than one thing--"my baby" or "Melana" can ALSO be "my black baby" or whatever.<br><br>
Sounds to me like you're doing a great job! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 
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