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would this be considered racist

Anonymous
Posted by Anonymous
  • 18 Replies
My dd is 4 yrs old. She is mixed with Puerto rican (her dad) and white (me). Last week she went to the bathrom in her sisters school and they have a poster that says please flush with a black boy flushing. And dd said that he is ugly because he has brown skin and she only likes tan skin like her. Out of curiosity I asked what she thought about white skin and she said it was ugly, but I'm not ugly.

Well today she was playing a game and she said she didn't like one of the characters because its skin was light and the other character has tan skin like her.

I have never said anything that would make her racist. I'm not sure where this is coming from. My older dd is not like that and has never commented on someone's skin before. But this needs to stop because I do not tolerate racism.

How should I go about this with a 4 year old? Should I ignore it and see if it past? Should I bring up the topic now or wait for her to make the comment again.

Maybe I should know how to handle this, but its not something I've ever needed to.
Posted by Anonymous on May. 24, 2013 at 8:35 PM
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Replies (1-10):
bigmama423
by Bronze Member on May. 24, 2013 at 8:37 PM
1 mom liked this

I think the best thing to do is tell her that everyone is different and everyone is beautiful regardless of their skin color...something along those lines..

Anonymous
by Anonymous 1 - Original Poster on May. 24, 2013 at 8:57 PM
Thanks. Should I just wait for her to make another comment about it.

Quoting bigmama423:

I think the best thing to do is tell her that everyone is different and everyone is beautiful regardless of their skin color...something along those lines..

Miranda1127
by on May. 24, 2013 at 9:04 PM

 IDk if a kid could be born racists. I'm more inclined to believe racism is learned. Her comments are definitely negative and zeroed in on certain skin colors. I would be concerned w/ the unprompted negativity. Why is a 4yr old (unprompted) calling a kid in a picture ugly (for any reason)? Why is a 4yr old decidingthey dislike someone for anything other than how that person treats them or others? Does she dislike you b/c you are white and not tan like her? IDK her reasoning seems odd to me. She is at an age where it is very common to notice these differences and to point them out, but I would be concerned about how she is pointing them out. It seems off. The best way to fix it is to figure out where it is coming from and EXACTLY what she means (b/c lets face it kids sometimes say things that have a certain social meaning, but they mean something completely different).

bigmama423
by Bronze Member on May. 24, 2013 at 9:06 PM
Yeah that's probably best since she's still a lil one. My kids are black and white, so I've had to answer some tricky questions & do lots of explaining too! :)
bigmama423
by Bronze Member on May. 24, 2013 at 9:09 PM
It's actually very normal. They did a study with small children and skin colors. I saw it on the news awhile back. I'm sure you can find it if you go googling.

Quoting Miranda1127:

 IDk if a kid could be born racists. I'm more inclined to believe racism is learned. Her comments are definitely negative and zeroed in on certain skin colors. I would be concerned w/ the unprompted negativity. Why is a 4yr old (unprompted) calling a kid in a picture ugly (for any reason)? Why is a 4yr old decidingthey dislike someone for anything other than how that person treats them or others? Does she dislike you b/c you are white and not tan like her? IDK her reasoning seems odd to me. She is at an age where it is very common to notice these differences and to point them out, but I would be concerned about how she is pointing them out. It seems off. The best way to fix it is to figure out where it is coming from and EXACTLY what she means (b/c lets face it kids sometimes say things that have a certain social meaning, but they mean something completely different).

blues_pagan
by on May. 24, 2013 at 9:14 PM

at that age children tend to think that those that look like them are "pretty" while those who don't are less attractive.  

Young children, like your daughter, and their racial attitude can be very surprising.  So don't be too taken back if she attributes bad qualities to darker toned dolls or pictures.  Same for those that are very white in comparison to her.  This is due to realizing how social norms are as well as self realization for themselves. 

If I were you I would simply sit down and talk with her about how the color of a persons skin doesn't make them good or bad, ugly or pretty but it is how that person acts and their personality that matters.  

Miranda1127
by on May. 24, 2013 at 9:14 PM

 It's normal for kids to point out the differences, to question the differences, not so much to hate or strongly dislike the differences. Especially children who have had a good deal of cultural diversity as a mix child would.

Quoting bigmama423:

It's actually very normal. They did a study with small children and skin colors. I saw it on the news awhile back. I'm sure you can find it if you go googling.

Quoting Miranda1127:

 IDk if a kid could be born racists. I'm more inclined to believe racism is learned. Her comments are definitely negative and zeroed in on certain skin colors. I would be concerned w/ the unprompted negativity. Why is a 4yr old (unprompted) calling a kid in a picture ugly (for any reason)? Why is a 4yr old decidingthey dislike someone for anything other than how that person treats them or others? Does she dislike you b/c you are white and not tan like her? IDK her reasoning seems odd to me. She is at an age where it is very common to notice these differences and to point them out, but I would be concerned about how she is pointing them out. It seems off. The best way to fix it is to figure out where it is coming from and EXACTLY what she means (b/c lets face it kids sometimes say things that have a certain social meaning, but they mean something completely different).

 

KristenFowles
by Ruby Member on May. 24, 2013 at 9:15 PM

 I don't think preference on what's attractive and what isn't is racist..

Had she said, "That boy is stupid because he has dark skin.." or, "I don't want to play with him he has dark skin" that's racist.

Anonymous
by Anonymous 2 on May. 24, 2013 at 9:19 PM


No, it should be a running commentary.  Point out the beautiful features of people you see and encorage her to find something positive too.  It doesn't need to be related to their skin tone.  their outfit or hair or ability to perform... anything POSITIVE.

Quoting Anonymous:

Thanks. Should I just wait for her to make another comment about it.

Quoting bigmama423:

I think the best thing to do is tell her that everyone is different and everyone is beautiful regardless of their skin color...something along those lines..



lancet98
by Ruby Member on May. 24, 2013 at 9:27 PM

In a child that is 4 years old, you can't really be sure it's actual racism.  

It is kind of instinctive for people to approve of people who look similar to them.   People actually are trained to be tolerant and to like diversity.  Our instincts are to band into groups and throw rocks and sticks at anyone different...LOL. 

If she says she doesn't like dark skin, you might say, 'I like all colors of skin.   Your skin is very pretty, but I like all other colors of skin too'.   You could show her a picture of the Queen of Benin and say, 'she had very dark skin, but it looked so pretty on her'.

You could also say, 'Remember not to tell someone with dark skin, that it is ugly.  That would really hurt someone's feelings'.

My friend's daughter had never seen a person with dark skin.   When a  little girl came  into her school who had very dark, dark skin, her mom had told her, 'it's so pretty, like dark brown velvet', and she went up to the new little girl and said, 'you're very pretty, just like velvety velvet'.   

Another woman told me that her daughter walked up to a little Moroccan boy with fairly dark skin and started rubbing his arm, and then announced, 'It doesn't come off'.

  The things kids say, LOL.

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