Ok, so I have no idea what the right way to handle kids’ questions about skin color, but I will tell you how I’ve been handling it: head on, with enthusiasm and positivity. Then I take a deep breath and remind myself of these two things: First, children have virtually no filter and often say whatever pops into their mind. Second, and perhaps most important: Your reaction to what they say has the power to shape their opinions—so use it wisely.
I’m browner than the average white population, and I live in a neighborhood where my color is underrepresented. My child’s classroom is almost entirely white. So it shouldn’t have surprised me when, in my child’s schoolyard, a white preschooler suddenly blurted out at me: “You’re black.”
I’m not one to be sensitive about people bringing up skin color, but preschoolers have a way of disarming you. And so this comment, coming from a child who has been to our home on numerous playdates, caught me off guard.
Even before becoming a mother, I’ve fielded skin color comments from white children. While in the pool at a resort in Mexico with my then fiance, a six-year-old befriended us and talked about everything under the sun, including my skin color, my hair texture and how white my teeth looked. I tell myself that this happened because I must be extremely approachable. But I also chalk it up to the reality that some white children are underexposed to people of color in social situations. The only people of color…
Latest posts by Mayra Rodriguez (see all)
- ‘House With a Clock in Its Walls’ Seems Like It Wants to Set Up a Sequel - September 18, 2018
- The Mom Behind the Nursing Clothes You’ll Actually Want to Wear - September 18, 2018
- Move aside helicopter moms, lawnmower parents are on the rise - September 18, 2018