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Obama wins: How do you explain this day to your children?

(242 Posts)
morningpaper Wed 05-Nov-08 07:12:42

How are you explaining the news to your children?

Do you mention race and if so, how?

Flamesparrow Wed 05-Nov-08 07:22:22

Mine are too young - in some way I am pleased, there will be no huge "first black president" thing for them, by the time DD is old enough to understand there will just be "The President"

I think I would mention it though - it is a big thing, no matter how unPC it is to mention colour any more, history has made it big from the time people were treated differently because of colour. You do need to go into the whole history though.

Buda Wed 05-Nov-08 07:25:12

I did tell DS but he was more interested in Ben10.

I will watch the news with him soon and explain more.

LadyLaGore Wed 05-Nov-08 07:28:08

i'll just say it
this is really cool coz its the first time a person with darker skin has gotten into this really special job and, get this kids, there are lots of people in the world who for some fool reason think that skin tone and where you are born mean anything at all about value or character, weird eh??
hes also a really exciting prospect to be in such a powerful position since hes really into lots of ideas i like the sound of and the last bloke was really not someone i liked'
something like that anyway.
most of it will go over their heads no doubt!
mine are 5 downwards btw.

OhYouBadBadKitten Wed 05-Nov-08 07:28:26

I said 'Good morning dd, today is a historical day and we are celebrating' as she sat down to a bowl of chocolatey weekend cereal.

She is listening to the Obama speech as she eats.

ghosty Wed 05-Nov-08 07:36:54

Well, DS is nearly 9 and pretty clued up - Apart from the racial thing, he understands that Obama represents hope for the world really. He listened intently to the Australian Prime Minister's 'Sorry' speech earlier this year (apologising to the indigenous people of Australia for past wrongs and for the Lost Generation). He knows what racism is.
I told him that even recently, in MY life time, in parts of America there was racial segregation, and that today was so important for future generations ... He's been going round this afternoon saying "OOOO-bama! OOOO-bama!" grin

morningpaper Wed 05-Nov-08 07:38:09

I said "You are going to have to watch the news with me because there is a new president in America, and his family is from Africa so he has darker skin and people in America with family from Africa have always been bullied, so today is an exciting day because it means America is becoming a fairer place"

and I mentioned that his children got a puppy

or sommat

meanwhile they whined until I put the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on

KatyMac Wed 05-Nov-08 07:41:14

DD (10) is struggling with this

She is mixed race (like Obama) & wants to know why he is 'black' - she asked 'does his mummy not count?'

I have spent ages getting her to be proud of who she & now she is confused again

morningpaper Wed 05-Nov-08 07:47:18

In America you are 'black' if you have any ancesters who were black see here

But yes you are right, he is really an African-American in a very literal sense (which is what he calls himself)

RubySlippers Wed 05-Nov-08 07:49:45

it is an extraordinary day

DS is 2.5, but we still vetoed the Hoobs and watched the news

DS seemed impressed with "the man who is smiling on TV"

it feels huge - was watching the news for most of the evening

Flamesparrow Wed 05-Nov-08 07:56:19

Have just had a chat with DD about it. She looked hmm - I told her that in years to come, people will ask where she was when she heard the news, and she will tell them she can't remember because she was only five

Callisto Wed 05-Nov-08 07:57:15

I told DD that it was a great day for the free world and that Barack Obabma is now the most important man in the world. At 3.6 I'm not sure how much she understands, but she has been aware of Obama for ages (she named one of her toys after him) and likes his voice.

It is momentous, I wish I was at the party in Chicago.

hauntinghippipotami Wed 05-Nov-08 07:58:10

Was his mother white as well? I knew his grandmother was.

Either way, it is brilliant news adn I am very pleased.
I have told ds (9) that America now has it's first black president and that this will be in the history books his children and grandchildren will read in school. He did a little bit on slavery at school a few years ago, so is aware (in a small way) about the opression of blacks, so he understands this is a big deal.

But he has now gone back to teasing his sister over the breakfast table so nothing much changes.... grin

onehitwonder Wed 05-Nov-08 07:58:19

Just tried to explain to DD 3 that I wanted to watch the news because 'America has a new president and it is very exciting'. DD, who obviously wanted CBeebees back on asap 'well its not very exciting for me'
grin ROLF. Fair point!

Poshpaws Wed 05-Nov-08 07:59:19

Told DS1 (7) this morning as it was on the news and I was crying (am Black so this is hugely significant for me) and I explained why and told him that this meant that he could truly be anything that he wanted to be. And he said that he now wanted to be President of Las Vegas hmm

morningpaper Wed 05-Nov-08 08:00:35

lol poshpaws. hmm!

SoupDragon Wed 05-Nov-08 08:00:50

Er, I'm not.

saltire Wed 05-Nov-08 08:04:27

Morning paper - have I read that correctly? If anyone any any "black" blood in them even from a generation back they are classed as black in the US? Or have I misread it? Sorry being dim this morning due to lack of sleep

Buda Wed 05-Nov-08 08:11:05

Well I explained a bit of the segregation stuff to DS and he was shocked. But it's all ok cos he is just going to go and kill THAT President - the one who let all that happen (too much Ben10 i think).

I then said that although Obama is black, some of his family is white and in fact there is a little bit of Irish in there too. DS much more excited about that! All the best people have Irish in them in his view.

IllegallyBrunette Wed 05-Nov-08 08:13:13

I'm not either. If they ask then I will, but I fully expect the eldest two will get an explanation at school today, and the only way i'd get ds to isten about it, is if the president owned a light saber.

cocolepew Wed 05-Nov-08 08:14:59

DD 1 is 10 and seems to be grasping how important it is, she was watching Newsround and we tried to explain to her.

DD 2 is 7 and isn't. When we were talking about it the other day she got very excited because she though DH said a 'Batman' hmm.

I let a cheer out when I heard so she knews some of us are happy grin

bozza Wed 05-Nov-08 08:16:19

I started trying to have a conversation with 7yo DS about it this morning. But didn't actually get beyond what an election was (like they have for school council) and where it was (in America) before he managed to provoke the cat into biting him angryand then the moment was lost and I had to do DD's hair and get out of the door to work.

Doodle2U Wed 05-Nov-08 08:16:26

Well it's driving me mad!

I know the fact that he is black is important but I don't want the children hearing "Even a black man can be president" and similar sentiments. I wish that could be played down so that my kids just accept that he was the best man for the job and don't even think about his skin colour - just accept him as another human being.

Poshpaws Wed 05-Nov-08 08:19:56

Hmm I can see what you're saying D2U,but it is significant if you are Black, mixed race or from and ethnic group as this represents that you can do anything. Hence why they go on about it. I would think that once he gets down to doing the job of being President, it will be less of an issue.

saltire Wed 05-Nov-08 08:21:49

DS2's take on it when I told him was "what, like Lando Calrissian(star wars) or Martha (Dr Who)". If somehting is explained to him in Dr Who or Star Wars tersm, then he understands.

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