To talk to teacher about racism in 5yo?

(24 Posts)
SushiPaws Tue 29-Jan-13 17:41:36

Dd 5yo just told me you only marry someone with the same colour skin. She said a girl in her class told her this and this is why she can't marry a boy in her class that I know she plays with.

I take racism really seriously, I was extremely shocked she said this. We live in a very multicultural area and we've talked about skin colour being the same as hair or eye colour, we're all beautiful in our own way.

I've just told her you marry the person you love, which is what I've always said. I've told her the girl was wrong and she can marry whomever she loves when she's old enough. (I've also told her she doesn't have to marry anyone if she doesn't want to, lots of adults love each other and are not married. But she's really into weddings just now, dresses, fairy tales etc).

Would I be unreasonable to talk to the school teacher about this?

ll31 Tue 29-Jan-13 17:42:40

thonk you would be slightly ott

AmberSocks Tue 29-Jan-13 17:43:34

i think your response was enough :-)

moogy1a Tue 29-Jan-13 17:45:13

chill out

WorraLiberty Tue 29-Jan-13 17:46:51

It's not a school issue because she wasn't being nasty or racist was she?

For her it could well be true just as your reply to your child is true in your family.

I know many kids who won't be marrying outside of their race because the chances are they'll be having an arranged marriage and the family won't allow it.

If you were a JW for example and this child told your child that Santa is real, would you expect the teacher to talk to the class then too?

MsBrown Tue 29-Jan-13 17:47:06

Hi, i don't think you should tell the teacher. Unless it was downright bullying - e.g your child was getting picked on because of skin colour.

Your daughter will come across racists in life. I think it's best you just do what you're doing, and make sure you instill your views into her as best you can and hope she keeps them when she's a grown up.

The reason i say don't tell the teacher is because this little girl must have learned these things somewhere. Most probably from her parents. The teacher has no power to change an adult's views on race.

exoticfruits Tue 29-Jan-13 17:48:00

I think that your response was fine- they are only 5yrs old and spout all sorts of rubbish. I can remember, at that age, my mother sorting me out on all sorts of strange theories!

stargirl1701 Tue 29-Jan-13 17:48:46

Have you read 'nutureshock'? Very interesting research on this subject.

I think going into school accusing a 5yo of being racist would be a little a lot- OTT. My dd found it bizarre (and commented, loudly, several times) that people who aren't Scottish get married because every married couple she knows is Scottish, they say what they see at that age.

CloudsAndTrees Tue 29-Jan-13 17:50:27

I don't think there's much point telling the teacher. She's not going to bring up a comment a five year old made yesterday and tell her she was wrong and contradict whatever rubbish the parents have been telling her.

I'd have though that if the teacher heard it and was there at the time, she would disagree and deflect the conversation and maybe talk about things we say at school, but telling the teacher the day after won't achieve anything.

You have told your ds how it works, and hopefully he has more faith in your words than those of his school mates.

NotMyBigFatFault Tue 29-Jan-13 17:50:38

Please dont...don't they log it like forever or something...might be wrong, if on heresay (5 year olds don't always quote properly anyway, or quote out of context)...if it was a 10 year old and they said it to the teacher it may be seen as very different. Seriously I'd let it go. And its not necessarily racist to have a preconceived notion about something at that age...perhaps she's seen too many TV commercials depicting the typical nuclear white middle class family with 2.4 kids...

SushiPaws Tue 29-Jan-13 17:50:46

Didn't think of that Worra, but in this case the girl who told dd that is white and family are catholic.

Okay so I won't talk to the teacher.

BerryChristmas Tue 29-Jan-13 17:50:53

You are being OTT. Leave it.

I think without knowing anythin about the context speaking to the school would be ott. For all we know the girl might have said she wanted to marry a cartoon character at home and she was told you can't marry him he's blue... They r only little and was probably just repeating what she was told at home but out of context.

Your response was perfectly adequate and I don't think action needs taking at this point. smile

WorraLiberty Tue 29-Jan-13 17:54:43

If she's white and catholic, perhaps all the married couples she knows just happen to be white too?

As someone else said, they say what they see.

But your child (and the other child) will eventually experience many different people from all walks of life.

This will include cultures where you don't marry for love. So whilst what you tell your child suits you and your family, it won't suit others and theirs.

Seabird72 Tue 29-Jan-13 17:58:40

My friend was shocked when her dd didn't want to invite a child to her party (she was about 4 at the time) because of the colour of her skin - my friend didn't know how to deal with this racism from her dd and didn't understand where it had come from as her and hubby are not racist in any way - her dd is now 17 and has been dating a guy for the last few years and he's Spanish - I think kids just get silly ideas into their heads and sometimes do listen to adults around them without truly understanding but by the time they're older they realise they can form their own opinions. You did the right thig by what you said to your dd and I'm sure she'll come right out and say that in class next time a child says something along those lines.

SushiPaws Tue 29-Jan-13 18:07:14

Okay, loads of good valid points here.

This is why I asked, I know I can be a bit ott.

Catchingmockingbirds Tue 29-Jan-13 18:10:08

I think you're being a wee bit unreasonable, if it escalates and the girl enourages other children not to play with the boy because of his skin colour then I'd have a word with the teacher to bring it to her attention but in this case I wouldn't say anything.

socharlotte Tue 29-Jan-13 19:41:19

I can remember assuming all black people were doctors, because the only black people I had ever come across were doctors at the local hospital

SushiPaws Tue 29-Jan-13 20:18:16

Socharlotte grin

Dd brought the subject up again at bathtime. I thought I'd been cool with it, but she'd clearly been thinking about it. She said at break tomorrow, if they play families, she is going to marry the boy that she wanted to. I said that was good and have left it at that.

It just strikes a cord with me as I was brought up with a very racist df. We only see him once a year (if that) and he knows that if he says anything we'll be straight out the door.

SavoyCabbage Tue 29-Jan-13 20:25:11

Nurtureshock is a great book. Just talk to er about it. My dds went through a bit if this with gay marriage as it is illegal where we live and I had to take special care to make sure they understood they could marry whoever they liked.

Are you on Facebook op? I would be happy to let you look at my wedding photos, well your dd. Looking at lesbian friends of our's photos did it for my dds. Now they will tell their friends they know women can marry women.

cocoachannel Tue 29-Jan-13 20:32:47

As others have said at that age it is all about what is around you...

When my cousin was 4 or 5 she came up to London with my Aunt and kept insisting anybody who wasn't white or had an accent was a 'student'. This stemmed from the fact she is from a very small town in Kent that has a predominantly white population with the exception of those studying at the English language school, from where my aunt and uncle plus lots of their friends took in lodgers.

SushiPaws Tue 29-Jan-13 20:35:39

Thanks Savoy

One of my oldest friends is a lesbian and has been around dd since she was a baby, so it's normal to her. She was going to marry her best friend up until she went to school, and then it changed to this one boy she plays with.

I just tell her you can marry the person you love.

SavoyCabbage Wed 30-Jan-13 11:27:42

Why don't you have a google for Cheryl Coles wedding pictures. Obviously they have split up now but she doesn't need to know that!

Just talk about the dress and the bridesmaids shoes or similar and see if she is convinced.

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