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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Of course there is nothing wrong with dd making this observation, as she's just commenting on something she noticed that is different from the way she looks. I'm just wondering about how to talk to her about it in a way that she understands that sometimes it's inappropriate to point out these differences.<br><br>
We were at the park and dd noticed 3 (I think Latino) boys playing on the slide. She started screaming "Mommy! Daddy! Those boys have brown skin! Maybe they are from India or Africa or Mexico or Hawaii...." Really loudly, over and over. I honestly had no idea how to react, so I just acknowledged what she was saying and changed the subject. How can I teach her that there are people with different skin color, (and other physical traits) in all parts of the world, and that usually we don't point them out so blatantly?!<br><br>
Please pardon my ignorance, etc. Any help is appreciated! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">:
 

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There was actually a thread about this recently.<br><br><a href="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/showthread.php?t=733862" target="_blank">http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=733862</a>
 

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"Yes, they do."<br>
That's always my response to that kind of thing. And then we move on. I kind of disagree that it's inappropriate for a young child to point out features of people's appearances. I would never want my child to feel that oen of these qualities is more important than the character attributes of the individual, but what's wrong with noticing, when you're a little kid? And the comment, "Those boys have brown skin" is completely value neutral. It's just a statement of fact.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>teachma</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9056736"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">"Yes, they do."<br>
That's always my response to that kind of thing. And then we move on. I kind of disagree that it's inappropriate for a young child to point out features of people's appearances. I would never want my child to feel that oen of these qualities is more important than the character attributes of the individual, but what's wrong with noticing, when you're a little kid? And the comment, "Those boys have brown skin" is completely value neutral. It's just a statement of fact.</div>
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True. In fact, that is what I said in the moment. So, you don't think it's inappropriate for children to point out people's skin colors? I guess I was thinking that it was a sensitive issue for someone, but I suppose if I don't make it an issue, it isn't. Thanks for your perspective!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>teachma</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9056736"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">"Yes, they do."<br>
That's always my response to that kind of thing. And then we move on. I kind of disagree that it's inappropriate for a young child to point out features of people's appearances. I would never want my child to feel that oen of these qualities is more important than the character attributes of the individual, but what's wrong with noticing, when you're a little kid? And the comment, "Those boys have brown skin" is completely value neutral. It's just a statement of fact.</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/yeahthat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yeah that">:<br><br>
DS and I have had conversations about how people who have dark skin will have children with dark skin, people with red hair are more likely to have kids with red hair, etc. I don't see anything wrong with a child noticing someone's skin color. If their statement is acknowledged and not made a big deal of, they'll realize it's no big deal.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>KimProbable</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9056919"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">DS and I have had conversations about how people who have dark skin will have children with dark skin</div>
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Not necessarily. White women can have brown children (like myself) and vice versa. It's probably better to talk about how children usually look like a mixture of their two parents. Adopted famlies can be different colors too.<br><br>
OP, are you not going to read the posted thread? It fully addressed this issue. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shrug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shrug">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>MamaAllNatural</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9057024"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Not necessarily. White women can have brown children (like myself) and vice versa. It's probably better to talk about how children usually look like a mixture of their two parents. Adopted famlies can be different colors too.</div>
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<br>
Sorry, I should have elaborated. We have talked about what happens when the parents are of different races, such as with my brother and his wife. Their daughter is either a dark caucasian or a pale Korean depending on who you ask. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"> And we've discussed adoption too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>MamaAllNatural</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9057024"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Not necessarily. White women can have brown children (like myself) and vice versa. It's probably better to talk about how children usually look like a mixture of their two parents. Adopted famlies can be different colors too.<br><br>
OP, are you not going to read the posted thread? It fully addressed this issue. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shrug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shrug"></div>
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Yup, I read it. I'm glad it was linked to my thread, I'm sure it comes up often with kids!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>KimProbable</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9056919"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">If their statement is acknowledged and not made a big deal of, they'll realize it's no big deal.</div>
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I guess this is true, and that's certainly my thinking and the reason I simply agreed with her, and we moved on. I think I was thinking more of how other people might feel, i.e. a kid feeling singled out, etc. I guess it will come with time that she'll realize that differences are just differences and we don't need to always point them out.<br><br>
I appreciate everyone's input.
 

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As a parent of a "brown" (African American) child, I am not offended to hear a young child say something about my son's skin color. A bigger priority in responding to her would be correcting her assumption that most people of color are from other countries. I'd say, "Yes she could be a from another country, but she also could be from right here. There are lots of Americans (or people from your city or whatever) with beautiful brown skin. Americans come in all differnt colors".<br><br>
In the long term, I think that kids can learn that many people don't enjoy having their body commented on, even in a neutral way. People who are very tall or very short or fat, or skinny, or red-headed will tell you that comments get old fast. You can certainly tell your child that talking about someone's appearance isn't polite. However, I'm not sure I'd prioritize that lesson at 3.
 

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From your signature I see your daughter's very young, so she was just commenting on those children's skin colour because she noticed it was different to hers. You know how at that age kids will be surprised by anything and everything. It's no big deal unless you turn it into one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Momily</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9057241"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">As a parent of a "brown" (African American) child, I am not offended to hear a young child say something about my son's skin color. A bigger priority in responding to her would be correcting her assumption that most people of color are from other countries. I'd say, "Yes she could be a from another country, but she also could be from right here. There are lots of Americans (or people from your city or whatever) with beautiful brown skin. Americans come in all differnt colors".</div>
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True, thanks, I will bring this up next time.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Momily</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9057241"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">In the long term, I think that kids can learn that many people don't enjoy having their body commented on, even in a neutral way. People who are very tall or very short or fat, or skinny, or red-headed will tell you that comments get old fast. You can certainly tell your child that talking about someone's appearance isn't polite. However, I'm not sure I'd prioritize that lesson at 3.</div>
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You're right. She points it out about all sorts of physical traits.
 

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DS pointed it out about his friends at daycare about a year or so ago. He asked why his friends all have different skins, and we just told him it's because their mommies and daddies have different skins. I told him he has lighter skin because mommy and daddy do, and his friend Bear has darker skin than he does, because his daddy has brown skin and his mommy has light skin. I told him it was the same thing as when you mix two crayons. Then we went on to talk about how everybody looks a little different, and how it is neat that we're all different. (mommy has light skin, brown hair, and brown eyes, but daddy has lots of freckles, red hair, and blue eyes!)<br><br>
It might be overly simplistic, but I try to tailor the answers to the specific question and try not to overthink it. Your child is really just making an observation, which is normal as she starts to notice people outside of her sphere.<br><br>
I'll take the brown skin comment any day over the comment DS made loudly in a food court awhile back. Some lady had on lowrider pants and was sitting down which = buttcrack, and DS pointed and shouted "EEEWWWWW MOMMY I CAN SEE HER BUTT!!!". I kind of wanted to crawl into a hole and die right there.
 

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lol. My 4 yo did this to me the other day for the first time. We went to an Indian grocery, and he shouts "Oh, mommy! There are <i>Indian</i> people here!" <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"><br>
All I could think to say at the moment was "I'm not surprised". <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
Thankfully, he didn't continue his thoughts until we were outside, at which point he started saying "They don't look like me. They're not like us. Why do they look like that". I reminded him that he doesn't look like his daddy, and my brother doesn't look like any of us, and God made us all different but beautiful. My children are biracial, so I responded to him the way I would want others to respond to their children--not make a big deal of it if they observe a difference. That's the nature of children, after all, to be curious and inquisitive.
 

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I would have said, "Yep, they have darker skin than you. They might be from another country, but they are probably from here." Then I would have spoken to her at home about commenting on people's appearances is generally rude, but asking polite questions is fine, as long as it's discreet. I have taught my DDs that the only proper way to comment on anyone's appearance is to say "You look lovely!" or handsome, since they can't distinguish between appropriate comments such as "What a lovely sari!" or "That man has an interesting accent" and those which might be hurtful, such as "That man looks pregnant" or "That lady has weird spots on her face" etc.
 

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One time, a little child (like 2) tried to lick my dad.<br><br>
She thought he was "chocolate"<br><br>
He thought it was cute - I think we all have to deal with someone noticing something about us that is different - hair, skin, ect.<br><br>
I think it's cute!<br><br>
eta - I think explaining that everyone has different skin, different eye color, different hair, is really helpful in having kids recognize differences. Especially if you point out differenced you and your child have.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>captivatedlife</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9063692"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">One time, a little child (like 2) tried to lick my dad.<br><br>
She thought he was "chocolate"</div>
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laughup<br><br>
That's fanstastic!<br><br>
I remember being in some class or something as a kid and there was a little girl sitting in front of me who was black. I was totally fascinated by her hair as all my friends were white. At one point I reached out and touched it because it looked so neat and I was surprised at how different it felt. The poor girl, getting poked by some strange kid! <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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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>blissful_maia</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9055271"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">We were at the park and dd noticed 3 (I think Latino) boys playing on the slide. She started screaming "Mommy! Daddy! Those boys have brown skin! Maybe they are from India or Africa or Mexico or Hawaii...."</div>
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Is your family's or your daughter's social circle not very diverse? Maybe if it were moreso, seeing kids with brown skin wouldn't be so remarkable to her. We're a multicultural family and DD has always had great diversity in her daycare settings, and she's never remarked on another child's appearance probably because it is so run-of-the-mill commonplace to her.<br><br>
I hope it doesn't sound like I'm saying this in a judging way because I really don't intend to. Children oftentimes remark on what is new or novel to them.
 

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We live in a fairly white area and my DH was out at a festival one day and a little kid in a stroller saw him and started hollering . . .<br><br>
"Look at the BURNED MAN! ! ! MOMMY! ! ! Look at the BURNED MAN!" He laughed about it but the mom was obviously mortified and hustled her child off.<br><br>
And frankly, it's good to deliberately teach these lessons when they're young. I have adults who come up and try to touch my son's hair all the time--and encourage their CHILDREN to do so as well! I know DS is a baby, but it's more than just "let's touch the baby."
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>griffin2004</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9066270"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Is your family's or your daughter's social circle not very diverse? Maybe if it were moreso, seeing kids with brown skin wouldn't be so remarkable to her. We're a multicultural family and DD has always had great diversity in her daycare settings, and she's never remarked on another child's appearance probably because it is so run-of-the-mill commonplace to her.<br><br>
I hope it doesn't sound like I'm saying this in a judging way because I really don't intend to. Children oftentimes remark on what is new or novel to them.</div>
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It's diverse in different ways (i.e. lifestyle, age, etc.) but definitely not in skin color. Unfortunately we live in a very white community (small Ontario town). So she hasn't seen much diversity that way. Of course we've been to the city (Toronto) etc., but not where we live.
 
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