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  1. #1
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    Default Discussing skin colour with 3 year old.

    So I am looking for some advice or insight on how I could have this discussion with my child. We were at a play centre today and a little boy with very dark skin came over to play and my 3yodd starts saying really loudly "that boy is black, that boy is black". I don't know if she has only just noticed difference in skin colour now as she is exposed to many different cultures and half our family has olive skin and she has never mentioned it before. Anyway I pulled her aside and just said everyone has different colour skin and everyone is our friend ( I was in a kind of mortified parenting moment , so not the best response) I have since been doing some googling to figure out how I have the conversation with her . My concern is that she is using the word "black" all the information I can find talks about the varying colours of brown and I understand that she's 3 and to her this boy probably did appear "black" however to me that work can have and has in past history been used negatively towards people of different skin colour .
    im not even sure if I am making sense, I guess I am wondering am I being to precious about it or any ideas on how I can discuss this with her. I just don't want her running around now calling people black and it being offensive.

    if this post causes offence or upsets anyone that is not my intention at all.

    TIA - any advice welcome

  2. #2
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    Subbing, I have had a similar experience and not sure if I handled it right either.

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    My daughter did something similar but saud he looked like chocolate! I just explained that everyone has different colored skin but we are all the same. I explained to the parents of the chocolate boy that my child had not seen someone who has darker skin. They seemed ok with that response.


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    Ashram  (01-04-2014)

  5. #4
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    I'm brown, I have cousins who are very dark brown who are happy to say they are black. Kids notice what they see and at that age they do not come with any malice or intent to hurt on the basis of skin colour. Kids say things in innocence. Kids might say a person is 'coloured' because they have tattoos or as my son's friend pointed out to me after meeting my 'brown' daughter, now I know one white girl named *Sarah* and one brown one named *Sarah*. He was stating it as fact and he can decipher between the two *Sarah's* and he has used skin colour to distinguish who he is talking about. It doesn't bother me in the slightest because my daughter is brown. He could have based it on glasses, age, height etc but all those things could be used to discriminate negatively if used in the wrong way. I can understand when we have been brought up to be mindful of racist or discriminatory language that you would be worried about what your child said. I think you handled it very well. I think if you chose to ignore it then you wouldn't be role modelling the start of mindfulness around individual difference.
    Last edited by BbBbBh; 01-04-2014 at 14:48.

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    Ashram  (01-04-2014)

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    Bump for night crew

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    Your child just noticed a difference and it has no derogatory connotations to them. DS has done similar. I distracted him by talking about eye and hair colours etc and said that we are all different. For example ds has blue eyes, I have green eyes and dh has brown eyes.

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    Ashram  (01-04-2014)

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    Subbing, we live in a multicultural area and have friends of different cultural backgrounds so it might come up at some point

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    There is an Asian boy in DS's daycare class. He's noticed the difference between him and the other boy and has made comment on it, a lot.

    DH has more olive skin and darker features than DS and I. So I talked to him about the differences in features in our family and how they don't matter, we all love each other just the same.

    He seems to have accepted it and moved on... For the time being.

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    Ashram  (01-04-2014)

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    To me there's nothing wrong in saying he's black. I would have just said, yes he is and move on. And maybe later explain that everyone looks different and that's the beauty if it all.

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    Ashram  (01-04-2014),ozeymumof5  (01-04-2014)

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    My stepdad (their step-grandad) is aboriginal so they grew up with him and the skin colour talk was pretty easy. I just said people can have different coloured skin, the same as people have different coloured hair and eyes. He calls himself black to them ("give your black poppy a hug" ) so that's what they say.

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