The Indian kid in the ring

The babe and I go to some Mommy and me classes. We usually have a blast. I dont know who loves it more, the babe or me. Today the babe walked away from me into the ring. A group of kids singing an dancing. He swung his arms up and down touched all the body parts the song guided him to. And as he was doing that I noticed that he was the only boy with a darker skin in the room. No one had hair and eyes that shade of black, or skin like his. And I wondered, does he notice it too? Does he feel different from the others?  Or is he too small to know? Or should I keep choosing classes with one more Indian at least to make sure he has company. Does he feel excluded, or does he know because he has been born here that he is part of it, part of his class, an intrinsic part not a ‘minority’. In other words, does he feel like he belongs?

If I look back at my group experiece – in my office – there were so many instances when I felt that people were treating me differently because I was Indian and because I was a woman. Their tone would be different. Or maybe they would ask me to say something again and again because they did not understand my accent. How will I treat him to be confident in the face of all that? Should I treat him to ignore it or acknowlege it? Ignore that he is different just in skin coloring and roots because he is just like the others – so that he belongs. Or acknowlege his difference, as he can never outgrow his routes and not bother about belonging – can you actually do that to a kid? What would you suggest?

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3 Comments

  1. Priya

    My son has started asking me questions about his skin color. He has started to tell the race by seeing the looks or color..He is cool with it now.

  2. dionne

    Children become more aware of their skin color(s), when adults lay emphasis on it. Children or more concerned with playing and having a good time with each other. It’s our responsibility to expose them to various cultures, rather than laying emphasis on the color of their skin, eyes, and hair. Teaching our children to be accepting of themselves, and of others is most important. And yes, as children grow and continue to interact with each other, they may wander why they are, a different shade of color from a friend of classmate. Explaining to them, while each shade of color is unique, the person (s) who embodies them are all important, and loved. As adults we must begin to re-train our minds and ways of thinking, when it comes to skin color, because children are very smart and learn quickly. (they are well aware of how we view our own skin color, make sure you have a positive image of yourself). So when questions of race, skin, eye, hair colors are asked by your child (ren). Make them aware of more important things, such as love, kindness, sharing, compassion etc… And just let children meet each other learn and have fun.

  3. Khushi Mommy

    Thank you both. Priya for telling me about how it will be, and Dionne, for a beautifully written comment. I will try as you said. I think he will not discriminate on color. I am more afraid of the fact that he may face discrimination. So I think your point on being confident myself is very valid. I think thats a great way.

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