The question of color
‘Look Mommy’ said the babe, swinging away on the park swing, ‘One black boy and one white boy swinging together’
His neighbor was a whitish blonde toddler, probably of Russian descent. The white boy.
I was immediately conscious. I slowed down the babe’s swing and told him ‘Now we dont make comments on people’s skin colors, OK?’
‘But Mommy’, he said, ‘I was talking about hair’.
Well, I was over reacting. But whenever the babe in his toddler world points at himself as ‘light brown’ or something like that, my hackles are up. I dont really know how to deal with it.
Now thanks to his daycare, the babe has had wonderful teachers of all races whom he loved equally across the two years. His friends too are pretty diverse. And its not that that bothers me. Its the flip side of it – what will happen if and when one day he is the subject of a racial taunt or a comment?
Talking to some friends here, its something thats bound to happen sooner or later. Possibly in school. And there is nothing I can do to prevent it.
Kids react differently, but they are all hurt. Should I just wait till the time comes or is there something I can do to prepare? Should I tell him to be tough and bear it? Again, moms here have different suggestions – As the kids grow older, talk to them about how people make comments, and why its Ok to feel hurt, but they should not take it to heart. People talk. That kind of a thing. For smaller kids, its better to wait till they tell you something, which they may never do.
Another suggestion is to have a lot of Indian friends. A huge support circle so that the babe feels comfortable with his identity. Meet every weekend with Indian pals, that kind of a thing. Well, we have friends from all over, India included and are not part of an exclusively Indian group. So is that something I should consciously do?
Last 5 posts by Khushi
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- Office Diwali Party and Celebrating Diwali at work - October 22nd, 2011