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About DC's being very vocal about race/creed etc

(9 Posts)
Praline Sat 27-Nov-10 11:44:05

This has happened all of a sudden, dd3, & ds6 have just seemed to notice people are different colours. Yesterday in Waitrose I met a friend, who is black, and we stopped to chat, then as we walked away dd piped up "do you know that lady with the black face?" quite loudly. DS said something similar whilst we were watching a marathon. I sort of hushed them up, as I was embarassed that people might think I encourage them to define people by their colour or whatever. But later I thought about it all, there are not many non-white faces in this little village, and DS's school has almost 550 kids, and only one black family, so it is a bit unusual for them. But, do I just ignore it, or do we open it up for discussion, in the same way I wouldnt want them to refer to "that fat lady" or whatever. If you are person of colour, how would you feel if you heard my toddler say that, as I want them to be 'colour blind' in a good way, but your colour must make you who you are to some extent so shouldnt be ignore. Phew! Sorry about the essay!!!

LadyViper Sat 27-Nov-10 11:47:49

They weren't saying anything derogatory, just pointing out a fact. I'm sure she didn't mind it from a very young child.

Maybe just try to expose them to more cultures now that you are aware that your area is very white.

DanceInTheDark Sat 27-Nov-10 11:51:07

I just say to mine that people are all different shapes and sizes and colours but inside we are all the same. We are all people.Hopefully that will work, it has so far (mine are 7, 5 and 2)

exexpat Sat 27-Nov-10 11:59:33

I think it's better to talk to them about it - just mention in passing how people have different hair, eye and skin colours they get from their parents, and how people from different parts of the world tend to be different colours, so your friend (or her parents or grandparents) originally came from xxx place. Perhaps use some picture books or examples from TV or films?

We can't expect small children to automatically understand about race or any other kind of 'difference'. Not talking about it makes it seem like a taboo subject and can lead to all sorts of odd toddler ideas about why people are different colours and whether it matters or not. If you shush them every time they notice something like that, surely they are more likely to think there is something bad or embarrassing about being a different size/shape/colour, using a wheelchair, missing a limb or whatever?

whatagradeA Sat 27-Nov-10 12:11:51

She was only using that as a description. How about turning it into a conversation about anything else she noticed about the lady. Like hair colour, height, colour of her coat.

I feel like it would be a bit irrelevant to start talking about how we're all different, where people come from etc. It's not like she said 'why has that lady got a black face'. IYSWIM

treas Sun 28-Nov-10 14:24:44

My friend wanted the ground to swallow her up when having walked passed a black lady her dd announced in a loud voice "oh look, that was Josie Jump!" This being the only point of reference her 3yo had.

However, my friend used this as conversation opener to how people are different.

heyhay Mon 29-Nov-10 21:01:06

lol, i think just have a light conversation about it really.

I took my kids to my home country of Zimbabwe for the first time last summer and my 3 year old daughter blurted out very loudly at the airport "Mummy, why are there so many brown people here?"
I am sure my black skin blushed!!!

ShoppingDays Fri 03-Dec-10 21:07:45

Better to chat about it openly than make skin colour a taboo topic. There's nothing wrong with talking about people being different colours.

jonicomelately Fri 03-Dec-10 21:18:41

My ds2 thinks every black person is either Spanish or Brazilian confused DS1's best mate is black and DS2 was chatting about him having 'brown skin. I said to him to refer to him as black. DS2 said 'I think black people are cool.'

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