So Dd told me yesterday that she doesn't feel like herself around brown skinned people . I was asking her if she ever plays with a particular little girl at prep who i had played a game with when i was doing reading help in the classroom and she advised me that that was the reason why. She sounded quite ashamed when she was telling me this. Whilst we don't have a diverse group of friends (we don't have a lot of friends full stop) she certainly never ever hears anything negative about people from other races/cultures here at home.
She had a carer at daycare who was an African lady who she was initially very shy around and this lady took a quite 'in your face' approach to getting through to dd but dd seemed to like her after a while. I wondered if she relates this ladies forceful approach to other people with dark skin.
We have books about everybody being the same inside etc and she had dolls that represented different ethnicity and dh and I treat everybody the same. I just don't know what to do.
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28-02-2015 18:07 #1
How do I handle this?
28-02-2015 18:38 #2
That's a shame. Did she describe the way she felt eg butterflies, blushing, shy? My mum is brown, beautiful and the world's best nana. Shame you don't live closer as she could have hung out with my mum. I think you probably need to expose her to some other brown/black people. Are there any Aboriginal art groups near you for kids?
28-02-2015 18:48 #3
When my DD was in prep they were all matched up with a grade 3 "buddies". DD's buddy was an African girl with very dark skin. Dd initially wouldn't talk to her or play with her because, as she admitted to me, she doesn't like people with brown skin. I was absolutely horrified, like you, DD had never been exposed to any negativity about skin colour or race (she even has aboriginal heritage) so I felt awful.
Anyway, fast forward three months and those two were best friends, playing together every lunch and walking arm-in-arm around the school. It was beautiful to see.
DD is now in year 3 and we often discuss racism and dd will comment that she was racist when she was younger because she didn't know any better.
Give it some time. It sounds like your DD will get the opportunity to experience diversity at her school which is the best way through it.
28-02-2015 19:16 #4
Is there a language barrier with a particular child she is referring to?
I can remember, as a child, feeling "scared" when I went to my Asian friend's house. It was just "different", they spoke in a different language, we had "different" food etc. I'd never experienced that and I felt out of place and uncomfortable.
My DD is 3 in July and recently we were in a queue at the shops and the man in front of us was African. DD suddenly piped up "the man is black" and I was mortified! But it was said in complete innocence.
I think cultural differences can be confronting for a young child. In my experience, I attended a very diverse/multicultural school (both primary and secondary) and was exposed to many different nationalities. I think as your DD grows up she will learn and accept and be just fine x
28-02-2015 20:01 #5
This particular little girl has a fairly strong accent but quite good language skills. I'm not sure if understanding her is a problem.
She was instant BFF's with a little Japanese girl on the playgroud the other day and plays with lots of different kids at the park but I just don't know where this comes from.
She goes to before and after school care and there is a wide range of kids there.
I had an Aboriginal aunty but she passed before dd was born . I think DD would have loved her, all kids did.
28-02-2015 20:37 #6
I really don't think this is a reflection of your parenting and I certainly don't believe your child is being racist. She is in kinder/prep? Kids have no filter they tend to just blurt stuff out without malice or censoring themselves. It sounds like this is simply about the fact she is not used to interacting with dark skinned people. Biology often means we tend to gravitate to those with similar physical features, culture etc. She hasn't been exposed to African people and that isn't her 'normal'.
At the same age my DS's teacher spoke to us, horrified that he had called a fellow class mate fat. DS doesn't have a malicious bone in his body, it wasn't a judgment on talking to him, just an observation. No one in either side of our family is obese and obese wasn't his 'normal'. He had no filter at 5 he was just making a passing comment.
My advice is to help her gain familiarity. Teach her about Africa. Show her pictures of African people, talk about their customs in an age appropriate way. Maybe invite the little girl over for a short play.
01-03-2015 10:57 #7
Hi OP. I honestly think you shouldn worry about it too much...just like other posters have said that talk to her about different cultures /ethinicities etc ..is there something in particular that she doesnot like brown people for ?? maybe if she can explain it to you than you will be able to discuss it further with her..
My DD is brown skinned ..in her daycare(she is 3) she is the only brown skinned child..all others are white caucasians..when she started she was just 2 and the older kids would ask her why she looks different (being 2 she had no idea what they meant ) ...her educators wree great at discussing different ethinicites with the older kids so they understood..they did not mean it in a bad way...they were just being observant ..i went and did a talk about my birth country as well..
the main problem i had with DD was since she was so used to being around white kids that she wouldnt play with other brown/dark skinned kids (which lead to alot of embarassing play dates with my relatives !!)...or if we went to a playgroup/park again she would play only with white kids becaiuse she thought thats whats normal!
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