Saturday, 29 June 2013

RAISING MULTICULTURAL CHILDREN: Magic skin

Schmoo feeling good in her 'magic' skin
A few days ago on the school run, one of Schmoo's friends suddenly turned to her and announced, 'Your daddy's really dark, isn't he? He's almost black!' Schmoo seemed a bit surprised and quickly responded, 'So?' as though the comment was an insult (it wasn't, just an observation). 'Yeah, that's because he's from Africa,' continued the other little girl with confidence. I felt it was time to step in. 'Actually, he's from here, like you and me,' I said. 'But he's lucky that he has such dark chocolately skin, isn't he? It gives him more protection in the sun.' I could tell Schmoo was very relieved to have my help, as she immediately pounced on this positive association with brown skin, 'Yes, it's magic skin, he doesn't have to wear any sun cream, I need a little bit and mummy needs loads!'

Then we talked about something else, leaving me a little exhausted at the thought of all the times Schmoo is going to have to deal with such (not unkindly meant) observations on her own. All I can do is give her as much ammo as I can when I'm with her, not just in terms of comeback quips, but mainly in terms of feeling good in her skin, the best 'weapon' of all!


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4 comments:

  1. My children are not school aged yet. I often wonder how I'd deal with tricky scenarios was Schmoo experiened. I think you handled it well. I hope I will have grace when my turn comes around.

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    1. Thanks for this, it's not always easy to know how to respond on the hoof! I think if they feel loved and know their own family finds prejudice ludicrous then they will be strong when they have to stand up for themselves.

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  2. Thank you for making the learning experience fun for both your daughter and her friend. I find it so easy to assume ill-intend when someone asks a question but this post reminds me that questions open up dialogue and in turn, dialogue opens the mind.

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    1. Yes, exactly, it is so easy to become paranoid, but most people, especially children, are just curious!

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