Log In Sign Up

Kids and different races


Forum: Heated Debates

Notices

Welcome to the JustMommies Message Boards.

We pride ourselves on having the friendliest and most welcoming forums for moms and moms to be! Please take a moment and register for free so you can be a part of our growing community of mothers. If you have any problems registering please drop an email to [email protected].

Our community is moderated by our moderation team so you won't see spam or offensive messages posted on our forums. Each of our message boards is hosted by JustMommies hosts, whose names are listed at the top each board. We hope you find our message boards friendly, helpful, and fun to be on!

Reply Post New Topic
  Subscribe To Heated Debates LinkBack Topic Tools Search this Topic Display Modes
  #1  
May 28th, 2007, 08:07 PM
donomama
Guest
Posts: n/a
Do you think young children notice different races? One of my friends (who just happens to be black) works in our church nursery. The kids there LOVE her. However, there is one child that is constantly screaming in there. His mother told my friend that he is afraid of people of other races (meaning my friend). I was shocked that anyone would say that, and my friend was totally hurt! I think that if kids notice it, then the parent is teaching them that there is a difference. Neither of my kids have EVER noticed or said anything to indicate that they noticed that people were of other races, and if they do, I'm sure they think it's no different than someone having red or blond hair. They're definitely not afraid of people who look different than them. What do you think? (The child in the story is 17 months old)
Reply With Quote
  #2  
May 28th, 2007, 08:20 PM
Tofu Bacon
Guest
Posts: n/a
Its funny, where I grew up there wasn't much diversity (about 98% caucasian and 2% South East Asian), but I never really noticed or thought about skin color until around 3rd grade when my father starting drilling into us all of that neo-nazi white supremacy crap (I guess he forgot that our mother was Jewish )) Anyway, until that time it never registered that my Cambodian friend next door was any different than me; I can't explain it, but I just didn't even notice her skin color because she was simply my friend.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
May 28th, 2007, 08:23 PM
ahixon
Guest
Posts: n/a
My kids have never noticed any difference. The only way I can see a child having a problem with another race would be if they were hurt by someone who looked similar, and that is pretty far fetched I would think. But, at 17 months old, I don't think you could teach a child to be scared of any race, I could be wrong though, i have never tried to make my children scared of anyone, so I don't know. I am so sorry for your friend, and i can't believe that anyone would say something horrible like that.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
May 28th, 2007, 08:24 PM
donomama
Guest
Posts: n/a
Quote:
Its funny, where I grew up there wasn't much diversity (about 98% caucasian and 2% South East Asian), but I never really noticed or thought about skin color until around 3rd grade when my father starting drilling into us all of that neo-nazi white supremacy crap (I guess he forgot that our mother was Jewish )) Anyway, until that time it never registered that my Cambodian friend next door was any different than me; I can't explain it, but I just didn't even notice her skin color because she was simply my friend.[/b]

I think that's totally normal that you didn't notice. I think most don't. I think kids just know that another child is their friend - that's all that matters to them.

Quote:
My kids have never noticed any difference. The only way I can see a child having a problem with another race would be if they were hurt by someone who looked similar, and that is pretty far fetched I would think. But, at 17 months old, I don't think you could teach a child to be scared of any race, I could be wrong though, i have never tried to make my children scared of anyone, so I don't know. I am so sorry for your friend, and i can't believe that anyone would say something horrible like that.[/b]
I agree. In this case, I think it was probably the parents' feeling being projected onto the child - maybe they are afraid of people of other races?
Reply With Quote
  #5  
May 28th, 2007, 08:26 PM
rdhdtrue's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: St. Louis MO
Posts: 5,202
Our school district (in elementary school) is 85% black and 15% everything else. I was hoping it would help the boys with diversity and the jury is still out. I have high hopes that it will. When they get to middle and high school it will be 50/50.
__________________
Miss Dani has Hurler's Syndrome (MPS1) and had a Bone Marrow Transplant 11/09/2006. Check out how she is doing here http://danicaboni.blogspot.com
Reply With Quote
  #6  
May 28th, 2007, 08:26 PM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Lafayette, Indiana
Posts: 4,213
I suppose a very sensitive child could be scared by people that look different than what they are used to seeing. I can't imagine all children are like this! This is one worry I have living in Indiana...that my child will only see one kind of person, white! At least we are in a college town, that makes it more diverse than most of the state.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #7  
May 28th, 2007, 08:28 PM
donomama
Guest
Posts: n/a
We are in a VERY diverse area, so if this kid is scared of people of other races, he's going to be afraid of more than half the town!
Reply With Quote
  #8  
May 28th, 2007, 08:30 PM
ahixon
Guest
Posts: n/a
My guess would be that the child is scared of anyone that is not it's mother. My kids all went through that stage.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
May 28th, 2007, 08:31 PM
donomama
Guest
Posts: n/a
Quote:
I suppose a very sensitive child could be scared by people that look different than what they are used to seeing. I can't imagine all children are like this! This is one worry I have living in Indiana...that my child will only see one kind of person, white! At least we are in a college town, that makes it more diverse than most of the state.[/b]

Even if the child truly is afraid, don't you think it is extremely insensitive for the mom to say that to someone who IS of a different race? (Or to anyone, for that matter?)
Reply With Quote
  #10  
May 28th, 2007, 08:33 PM
jhmomofmany's Avatar Look! A Dancing Banana!
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Upper Michigan
Posts: 14,599
I remember I was 4 when I first noticed (not necessarily saw) somebody with a different skin color. I remember asking my mom and being told that it was rude to talk about.
__________________
~Jennifer, wife of one, mother of many

Robert: 20 Raechel: 18 Daniel: 15 Joseph: 13 Thomas: 10 Mary Mae: 7 Lucy Marie: 5 John Anthony: 2 AND Baby due Dec. 2015

Always Missing our Angels: Hope (7-8-06 @36w); Francis (7-4-12 @12w); Charlie (1-19-15 @ 6w)


Congratulations Raechel and Kaleb, married May, 2015

Reply With Quote
  #11  
May 28th, 2007, 08:37 PM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Lafayette, Indiana
Posts: 4,213
Quote:
Quote:
I suppose a very sensitive child could be scared by people that look different than what they are used to seeing. I can't imagine all children are like this! This is one worry I have living in Indiana...that my child will only see one kind of person, white! At least we are in a college town, that makes it more diverse than most of the state.[/b]

Even if the child truly is afraid, don't you think it is extremely insensitive for the mom to say that to someone who IS of a different race? (Or to anyone, for that matter?)
[/b]
Oh yes. It was quite tactless and unecessary!
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #12  
May 28th, 2007, 08:42 PM
chlodoll
Guest
Posts: n/a
DS who is 18 months does get scared of people with dark skin. I dont influence this in anyway and I do try to discourage but he is just not used to it. DH's friend comes over every so often and he is Sri Lankan and very dark skinned and DS is just terrified of him! And the head of our condo board is black and when he comes over if he touches DS he cries. We live in a diverse area so he does see people off all races when we are out but he is just not used to interacting with them in close situations.

I would never tell someone that he is scared of them because of the colour of their skin though! I just say he is in a bad mood or he's tired. Hopefully once he starts going to daycare or nursery school he will be fine since he will be playing with lots of different children.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
May 28th, 2007, 08:43 PM
SusieQ2's Avatar Jersey Girl
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 39,051
I don't really remember being aware of race until I was much older. My friends were my friends and I guess what race they were never really occurred to me. I think it is either that the mother has projected her own feelings onto the child. It could also be that something between the woman and this child just don't mix well. Whatever the case, it is tacky and hurtful that the child's mother would make such a comment.
__________________





Reply With Quote
  #14  
May 28th, 2007, 08:54 PM
mommyKathyX3
Guest
Posts: n/a
my girls notice skin color the same way they notice hair color or eye color or whatever. Its just what they look like. Everybody was made different, and that is the way they were made. I dont think they think of them as being "different" just different in the same way that a blonde haired girl has blonde hair and she has brown, or vice versa. Or that that girl has long hair, or curly hair, or is really tall or etc. Kwim? I dont think I've ever heard one of them point out a differnt race specifically.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
May 28th, 2007, 08:57 PM
ChasingClio's Avatar Super Mommy
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 611
I don't remember being aware of race until 2nd grade, when I do remember having this conversation with my friend:
Me: Why do they call you black if you're brown?
Him: I don't know... because I'm black.
Me: Oh... I don't get it.
__________________
Kim: MA in History finally accomplished May 2010!, Wife to Alan, a Washington DC firefighter, Mommy to Savannah (9-15-04), Felicity (2-17-08), and Samson (1-8-09)
Reply With Quote
  #16  
May 28th, 2007, 09:19 PM
Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 18,680
I grew up in the one of the most ethnically diverse cities in Canada and have always had friends of every nationality. I never noticed skin colour until we had guidance classes in Jr. High where they talked about racism and how to deal with it, and educate others on it. It never dawned on me that people looked different, they just looked like my friends. My parent's have always had friends from different ethnicities so I was accustomed to different skin colours almost from the time of birth.

I think it's possible for a child to be afraid of strangers, and I've had friends baby's who were afraid of men, people with beards, loud voices, etc, but to be afraid of race is something that is taught, not instinct. Chances are if you have a child afraid of somebody from another ethnicity they're really just afraid of a trait that person has, and not the colour of the skin.

I feel blessed that my child will grow up in a diverse city like I grew up in, and have friends from different backgrounds.
__________________
Thank you Claire1977 for my adorable siggy
For the special little one in your life!
Reply With Quote
  #17  
May 29th, 2007, 06:26 AM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Gainesville, FL
Posts: 2,306
Quote:
my girls notice skin color the same way they notice hair color or eye color or whatever. Its just what they look like. Everybody was made different, and that is the way they were made. I dont think they think of them as being "different" just different in the same way that a blonde haired girl has blonde hair and she has brown, or vice versa. Or that that girl has long hair, or curly hair, or is really tall or etc. Kwim?[/b]
Same with my kids. It's a physical feature of a person that they notice; they don't see it as different kinds of people.

What I love is that my son (who is almost 8) doesn't call people "white" or "black" - he says peach and brown, which I think is adorable. He just takes it literally.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
May 29th, 2007, 06:32 AM
Mia&Mattea'sMom's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 4,025
My DD is really old enough yet to know the difference, but she knows that something is different. DH is Puerto Rican and has dark skin. She on the other hand came out with my coloring she dosne't look like DH really. If she sees a darker skin person when we are out she says Daddy. I noticed while she was playing with one of her books she was saying Daddy when I asked her wheres daddy she pointed to the dark skined dark hair little boy. Even at her age she knows that something is different about him.
__________________

Kourtney Mom to Mia 1-7-06
& Mattea 1-20-08
Reply With Quote
  #19  
May 29th, 2007, 07:14 AM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,524
Quick Question. Does the lady that the baby is scared of have a loud voice. that could be an influence on the child being scared.

My kids notice the differnce but it doesnt effect them. Cadence is actually facinated with black people when she colors people she always colors them brown with black hair and has asked for a black baby doll on more than one occasion. i think it is great that she has an interest in other races at such a young age.
__________________
Proud Christian, Cloth diapering, Baby Wearing, Signing, Select vaxing, ERF, Extended Harnessing, attempted breast feeding mama to Cadence 2/01/02 Courtney 11/26/03 Kason 4/02/07 and Kaia 8/23/09And very proud Army wife to Smitty.



Reply With Quote
  #20  
May 29th, 2007, 07:24 AM
Super Mommy
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 751
I do think children can notice race, but not sure if that is what would be scaring the child in question, but I guess at such a young age it would be hard to tell.

My DS is 4 and he notices race, but I think it is because me and DS are white and my SO is black (like as dark as they come black). Me and DS were at a buffet once and the manager came over to see how are food was. He was a black man and my DS gently stroked his arm and said "you have skin like my D does" (D is what he calls SO). I think kids have a natural observancy that includes skin color, hair color, size etc.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Topic Tools Search this Topic
Search this Topic:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 11:11 PM.