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Uncomfortable chat with 3 year old

(15 Posts)
AmUsername Sat 10-Feb-18 08:53:35

After a bit of advice. DD is 3 and is a pre-school in a city. There are lots of children there from different cultures and racial backgrounds. She is a happy friendly kid and has lots of friends there.

However, she came home yesterday and said a girl in her class is 'stinky'. After a bit of probing, it sounds like (in 3 year old gobbledygook ) that another child had said the girl was stinky because she had black skin. I had a chat to my DD about how everyone is the same and if we are all kind to each other then everyone will be friends etc but I haven't got a clue if I handled it right! I ended up saying to DD that I didn't want to hear her saying things like that again (we say this if she says a naughty word and she doesn't say it again).

Do you think I need to let the school know? Should I try and have another chat with my DD about it? Oh eck, I'm out of my depth with this parenting lark!

HellsBellsnBucketsofBlood Sat 10-Feb-18 08:56:25

I would let them know that your daughter has heard another child call the black child stinky, and that you have had a talk with your daughter about why that is wrong. They can’t act to fix things if they don’t know.

Then I’d spend a bit of time reading books focussed on equality with your daughter, and things like that, to reinforce the message.

BillywilliamV Sat 10-Feb-18 08:58:53

Definitely mention it to the school, apart from anything, sounds like some kid is potentially being bullied

Miloarmadillo2 Sat 10-Feb-18 09:01:06

I think you handled it fine. I'd treat it as repeating an unkind comment rather than being racist, things get a bit mixed up in 3 yr old speak. Reinforce some positive messages about other races/cultures over the next few weeks but don't make a big deal of it.

Tubbyinthehottub Sat 10-Feb-18 09:04:50

I contacted school about something very similar that I heard had been said by another child. They did a session with the class on why there are differences in the way people look and how we should treat everyone. My child was in Year 1 at the time though.

eurochick Sat 10-Feb-18 09:07:57

Children that age are often very literal. Could it be that a child fed e.g. curry and the spice smells are on their skin? I can often smell it on commuters on my train in the morning. It's still worth letting the preschool know though.

Gunpowder Sat 10-Feb-18 09:16:48

I think you handled it well! I’d mention it to the staff so they can have a general talk about embracing differences and being kind to others.

BertieBotts Sat 10-Feb-18 09:29:06

Actually, I would go further, although perhaps when she is a little older.

I assume your daughter is white. It is important for us as white families not to simply dismiss racism as unkindness, because unfortunately some families won't even do that - they will repeat racism as though it is fact. So it is important to explain to her, once you think she will understand (in terms of language, it is hard for any child to accept the concept) that some people believe that people with darker colours of skin are worth less than people with lighter colours of skin, that this is wrong, not based in any fact and that it might be especially hurtful to call someone names when it is linked to their skin colour in particular.

For now I agree the most important point to reinforce is that "stinky" isn't a nice thing to say to a person. But the topic of an insult being related to race is likely to come up again, so it might be a conversation to think about having in the future smile

Cuppaand2biscuits Sat 10-Feb-18 09:34:51

I think you may be reading too much into this. Perhaps one child was called stinky and the way your daughter has chosen to describe her to you is as the black girl.
My DD never knew anyone's names, she would call them, the small one, the one with the purple headband, the one with the cheeky face!

booellesmum Sat 10-Feb-18 09:40:44

When my kids were small I said the world would be a very boring place if we were all the same an awful lot.
If you embrace differences she will too.

APlaceinTheCountry Sat 10-Feb-18 09:43:04

Poor little girl. She's only 3yrs old and already being called stinky sad.

Unicorn89 Sun 11-Feb-18 00:51:10

I agree with cuppaand2biscuits

bombcyclone Sun 11-Feb-18 01:14:07

As a parent, I can add nothing to that said by others before me.

As a child who grew up looking different than those around me I am heartened, cheered and deeply impressed by your concern.

The fact that racial differences are noted is human. That negatives are attached to the same is cultural and familial.

Addressing the latter when our children are small is the key to raising decent, fair-minded human beings capable not only of thriving in the world, but acting as the kinds of leaders and thinkers our world so desperately needs.

You are clearly an enlightened person. And it is the vigilance and care with which mothers like you raise your children that will make the world better, safer and more sane.


HerrenaHarridan Sun 11-Feb-18 01:25:14

While I would definitely give the nursery the heads up I wouldn’t start freaking out yet

Get some books online or from the library that feature characters form different s races

For your age group the first one that comes to mind is

It's Okay to be Different

Tbh I find it mind numbingly boring to read but my daughter loves it, asks for it all the time and has quoted it in reference to her own differences and to others so something about it works for a kiddie mind

HerrenaHarridan Sun 11-Feb-18 01:27:34

Moving forward as she’s older there are loads of great books we have one about Sonya Sotamajor, Ruth Bader-Ginsberg, Rosa Parks all sorts

Check out

And try not to spend all your money 😆

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