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How would you feel if you heard this and what would you tell your child?

My son has been doing this for about a year now and I need some advice. My son is 4. Sometimes when he sees someone with darker skin, whether they be black or Mexican, he will say something about brown skin. And he will sometimes just randomly tell me about the brown skinned person he saw somewhere. He has said this to people before or loud enough about someone for them to hear and I get so embarrased and just tell him it doesn't matter what color a person's skin is. He has even said it about my husband (his father) a couple times (my husband is Mexican). So how would you feel if you heard a child say this? Whether you are darker skined or not. And what would you tell your child if they said this? I just try to tell him it doesn't matter, we are all the same no matter what color our skin is. He also has asked me a few times what color we are. And again, I just tell him it doesn't matter.

I honestly don't remember going through this as a child, but again, he is only 4, so I can't really remember that far back for myself.

Answer Question
 
ILoveCade

Asked by ILoveCade at 10:29 PM on Jul. 12, 2011 in General Parenting

Level 20 (9,476 Credits)
Answers (17)
  • I wouldn't care so much what the child said but more about what the parent said.

    Everytime my daughter (4) says something like that, I just remind her that God make people as different as ice cream because he likes all different flavors just like we do.
    Jademom07

    Answer by Jademom07 at 10:31 PM on Jul. 12, 2011

  • What kinds of things is he saying? Unkind things or just general comments?
    mommytoJames512

    Answer by mommytoJames512 at 10:35 PM on Jul. 12, 2011

  • My daughter is four and does the same thing. With her I think it's just a new thing she's become more aware of. I try to use those times as an opportunity to do just what you said, to teach her that skin color doesn't matter. It's just the special way we are made.
    MommyofTwo331

    Answer by MommyofTwo331 at 10:38 PM on Jul. 12, 2011

  • My son does this and I really don't find anything wrong with it, he is just stating a fact that their skin is darker. He has never said anything negative about anyone so I leave it alone.

    My husband is Italian and has darker skin and my son also says "daddy is brown and mommy and me are white" lol I don't really see it as a problem right now, and I'm sure it will taper off.
    tntmom1027

    Answer by tntmom1027 at 10:38 PM on Jul. 12, 2011

  • I think what you're telling him is perfect. When my kids would say something like that when they were little, I'd also say, "Yes, I think dark skin is beautiful".
    cege

    Answer by cege at 10:39 PM on Jul. 12, 2011

  • My ex's 4 yr old was obsessed with obese people... and even tho she is 1/2 hispanic, she used to say some things that are not so nice about hispanics and blacks. (not good when we are in a primarly black and hispanic area) I always had to tell her that not everyone is the same, and give her the "bully" speech, and remind her that she doesnt like it when people say mean things about her, or make fun of her (I would normally tease her about something at this point, usually her clothes, a little fashionista in the making).
    baquick

    Answer by baquick at 10:39 PM on Jul. 12, 2011

  • I would say that he is starting to become aware of people's differences. It's embarrassing, but it's a good way to teach them the good things that you are: We're all different in many ways, but it doesn't matter.
    He just wants to learn, is what I'd figure.
    SpaceToast

    Answer by SpaceToast at 10:40 PM on Jul. 12, 2011

  • I agree with the other poster who said it's not so much what the child says but what the parent's response is. My kids have asked why is that person brown. My response is that's the way God made them. If they ask why I tell them that God makes all things different. They are this color and that person is that color because that's how God wanted them to be. It's really innocent and I don't feel they are being mean or judgemental, they are just curious. My kids have friends who are of varying ethnicities. My son has 2 friends named Sebastian, one is white and the other is brown. If the kids are asked which Sebastian they will respond the white one or the brown one. They are not being racial it's just a description.

    AmandaH321

    Answer by AmandaH321 at 10:49 PM on Jul. 12, 2011

  • This reminds me of when my son was 4 and Barack Obama was running for president and so whenever He saw a black guy he pointed and said "there's Barack Obama" and he did it one time at the WIC office where there can be some tough looking people and you never know what people will do. so my son points to this rough looking black guy and I was worried when my son asked him if he was Barack Obama and the guy didn't react at first and then cracked up. Kids are just curious and all you can do is teach that color is a color and it matters how nice they are...good and bad people come in different colors.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:50 PM on Jul. 12, 2011

  • Kids are kids, especially at 4. If I heard it I would take it with a grain of salt. They don't have the same inhibitions as adults. I would say something like, Oh yes that person is does have darker skin like Daddy huh? I wouldn't make too big of a deal out of it.
    Pamarita

    Answer by Pamarita at 11:03 PM on Jul. 12, 2011

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