How to explain.....

Angi - posted on 04/14/2010 ( 16 moms have responded )

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My daughter is bi-racial. She has no memory of her bio-father, he has been out of her life since she was about 2 1/2 she will be 4 the end of April. When the bio was asked to pay child support he refused and agreed to sign away his rights so that he wouldn't have to. My husband now is white and he adopted my daughter a few months ago. He has always treated her as if she was his, she calls him daddy and they are attached at the hip when they are together.
So my problem....
We have just had a son in Jan. and she has started asking questions or making statements about her skin color. She gets very upset if anyone tells her that she is "brown" We have told her that we love her no matter what color she is. That it is how smart you are not the color of your skin that makes you who you are, but she is 4 and just really doesn't understand. We don't know how to expain to her that my husband is not her bio-dad and that is why she looks different. There is no option of her meeting her bio-father, I have no clue where he lives and his family refuse to tell me, and we really don't want her around him anyway. He sold drugs, and just had alot of issues. Are we wrong? I just don't know.

any one have any suggestions?

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Lisa - posted on 07/13/2010

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I myself am bi-racial...Japanese/Hawaiian/Irish. I was made fun of growing up, but I always considered myself white because I didn't know my Japanese culture.



My son (18 months old) has my mix and the other half is white, at times he looks asian though, but PALE! lol I call him my little white asian boy. But I am currrently 12 weeks pregnant with my mix and black. I am not with the father or plan on being with the father and the guys I usually date are white. So I know there are going to be questions asked and I just wanted to say that reading this thread has cleared up a lot for me and hopefully when the time comes I will be a little prepared to handle the bombarding of questions from both my children.



So once again, thank you for this thread! :)

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16 Comments

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Cat - posted on 07/24/2010

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no you are not wrong in your way;s hon you knw this world is full of judgement ,the best thing is let people knw we r a unique family then and it's none of their business.in due time doe get ur baby's ready for thing's like this when they r able to understand.

Angi - posted on 07/22/2010

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Thank you to everyone for the advice. After alot of prayer and talking to our baby doc. This is what finnally happened.

About two months ago, I was putting on my make-up and Trinity asked if she could wear some too. I told her of course and started putting a little powder on her. I have some dark powder and light powder as I start putting on the lighter on. She asked for that also. I told her it was too light for her skin tone. She then looked at me and said that she didn't know why she is brown.
The Dr said to wait till she asked so I figured now or never. I asked her if she wanted to know why she was drown, of course she said yes. I then started to explain to her that I was married to a man before her daddy and he was her first daddy. ( Marriage was alot easier to explain than shacking up.) I told her that the man was there when she was born and till she was a little bit bigger than her brother, but that he had some things that he had to take care of, and he couldn't take care of them and us too. He loved her very much, but he couldn't be her daddy right now, that maybe when she gets to be 17 or 18 he can. ( I can't stand her bio father, but I refuse to say anything mean about him to her. Any problem we had was not my daughter.)
I then asked her if she would like to see a picture of him. She said yes, So I got her scrap book out of the hope chest and started from the beginning. The sonograhm pictures, my belly pictures, then the pics of her first born and finnally the last picture, was the only picture I had of all of us. It was from when she was about 6 months old. She looked at the picture and said, "mommy, he is really brown, and you are really white!" I told her yep and that the two of our skin colors made yours. I then asked if she wanted to keep the scrap book if she promised to take care of it and she did, and has. It stays on the book shelf next to her bed.

That night when my husband got home, she asked him if he knew that "Mommy had a first husband and he was her daddy too! but that he had to go away." Todd told her he did know, and that he was sure her first daddy loved her very much, and that he loved her very much, and that he was not going to ever leave like the first daddy. She was really good with that answer.

SO we have not had anymore questions since that talk. I am pretty sure she looks at the scrap book often, I can tell when it has been moved. She is a happy child and I do not reget her bio-father not bein in her life. I do not like him or his life choices but I know that for the best intrest of my daughter and her not hating me in the future I couldn't say how all I felt about him or the things that he did. I just pray that when she does get to meet him, he has changed and he will not dissappoint her.

Tiffany - posted on 07/22/2010

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I have adopted bi-racial twins and my daughter's skin color is actually a little darker than her twin brother's. She also has beautiful dark brown curly hair and his does not. They are four and skin color has never been discussed in great detail because I had been waiting for my daughter to ask why her skin is brown and not white and she had never questioned it. One day while playing on a playground another child called her black and she ran to mu husband saying she did not like it and wanted him to stop. Obviously this was the time to talk to her about why she has the beautiful skin she has. They already knew they were adopted and have met their birthmother, but since we do not know anything about their birthfather, he has not been discussed. I was not sure how to explain her skin withour bringing him and how they were created. I too want to be as honest as possible in this area and told her that her birthmother has white skin and her birthfather has black skin(and looked like an AA male friend of ours) and that they made her and her brother. It also helps that we are close with biracial family whose children play together and see that we are all the same inside no matter what color we all are. I would not tell any child that their birthfather is a bad person because you do not know what the future holds and you do not want your child resenting you for things you said to her about him earlier in her life.

Mary - posted on 07/20/2010

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my son is 4.5 yr as well and he has only met his bio donor twice my boyfriend has been there for us since day one when I found out I was pregnant he has no clue that his daddy isn't the man who helped make him and we intend to keep it that way! there is a board book its for kids calls shades of black and it shows the different colors even vanilla of the color plate I dont know if there are any family members that have a darker complection but you may turn to them for some comparisons. fortunately my father is darker than my son and my grandmother has brown eyes so we can just say you got your eyes from your great grandparents and your skin from grandpa. where as my daughter is platinum blonde with blue eyes and skin that will burn just walking outside. be open with race in the house but there is no need to tell her that she isnt his. In all aspects of her life she is her dad!
we in our family dont see color its about who you are inside there are tons of books that we ourselves read about different cultures and races so its not just about black or white its everything. I agree with telling her she is beautiful daily or more than daily we do that with our daughter and our son (the bi-racial kid) is handsome and they will tell you they are beautiful and handsome, just remind them we are all different and that is what makes us different and important.
our kids never really question why one has blue eyes and the other has brown but we have always talked to them about where they got their eye colors my daughter got her eyes from her daddy my son got them from my grandma,.
look within your family I am sure there are others that have some of the same features that your daughter possesses and you can say well you get this from ______ . when she gets older she will love that fact that she has beautiful tan skin that other girls and women will be paying for to get.

Debby - posted on 07/13/2010

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"Kids do better with honesty. Let her know you made mistakes and her real dad was a bad person, but how thankful you both should be to have the dad she has that loves and cares for her. Don't let her meet her bio father she already has a great one now. Just because he is the biological father doesn't make him a 'father'. Help her understand that. Treat her no different and the whole 'brown' situation won't be a problem. She will learn everyone looks different in some way or another but Mommy still loves the same."

I don't agree with you at all! Kid's do, do better with honesty, but...by telling her that her father is a bad person, and that she is not allowed to meet him and that her mother made mistakes, this will in no doubt be internalized! she will think that since her father was a bad person that she is. As well she will blame her mother for not letting her meet her dad. I think tell her that god made her extra special, that having beautiful brown skin and beautiful brown eyes is something to be proud of. Do not tell her that you made mistakes and that her father is not worth meeting, 1+1 alway's = 2 she might not now blame her self or think she's bad right away but it will happen if you enplane it like that

Jessica - posted on 06/04/2010

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I would maybe take her around more people with her skin color... just so she can see that her color is not 'bad' and that there are many people with color just like her :)

Brandy - posted on 04/19/2010

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Hi I am a mother of 3 bi-racial (blk-wht) girls and my older girls have both at one time or another said "mommy I wish I was white like you" I think it is natural for girls, especially, to want to look like mommy. I tell my girls the same as everyone else. "your beautiful the way you are", "God made you special", and "appreciate your skin tone" I think you are doing everything your should be doing and it sounds like you are handling it pretty good. I think sometimes we have to let our kids work things out on thier own. Continue telling her how beautiful she is. My older daughter who is now 9 has seem to embrace herself and has become very confident. I'm not saying to let your daughter live in la-la land but don't give her a hard time about not wanting to be called brown. I do think it helps kids to be around other kids that look like them so if you know any other "brown" pple even if not the same ethnic background maybe you could set up a play date. My 9 year old thought she was Mexican because she was brown like her friend. LOL There are also books for kids that talk about race relations she may find comfort in knowing that there are other skin colors besides brown and white. I hope this has helped and good luck!

Kim - posted on 04/17/2010

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You could tell that her that yes her skin tone is different, but it also makes her special. Everyone looks different in one way or another weather it be hair color, skin tone, eye color, how tall or short they are, how big or small their nose is, point out some of these differences to her in people in books, magazines, on tv or just people you pass on the street. Let her know that all of these differences make each person special in their own way, just like her sink tone makes her special! Hope this helps!

Kristy - posted on 04/17/2010

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angi i like you have a mixed child and a white child my daughter askes me all the time mommy why am i brown and christians white and mikes white and so r u why?heres what i tell her god made you a little tan because you are special to all of us just like your brother!we dont see her bio father either ,it works for us the ?stopped but you can handle it in a different way if you like i will tell her when shes older and can understand,her fathers a drug dealer also and hasnt had any contact so i fell your pain hope this helpes

Angi - posted on 04/16/2010

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Thanks to everyone for the words.... We do tell her everyday that she is special and that the color of her skin is not important, that it is who she is inside that matters. She recently asked why baby brother did not look like her, and we did use the speech... God makes us all different, thats what makes us special.
I don't want to tell her that her bio-father was a bad man, b/c I don't know, I just don't want when she does meet him and he is fake to say "well mommy he is great why did you keep him from me?" and that may not happen, but I would still like her to learn his personality on her own; when she is older.
We are going to start more conversations with her. What should we say when she gets upset when ppl say that she is "brown" I don't like it at all. color is not an issue to me, but I know it is to alot of other ppl. She really gets upset and says that she is not brown she is just white... and bless her but she is a nice coffee color.

Christi - posted on 04/16/2010

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i would tell her God made her the way He did because she is super special, and He loves her very much. tell her that she is gorgeous even if she was purple.

Marisa - posted on 04/15/2010

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Kids do better with honesty. Let her know you made mistakes and her real dad was a bad person, but how thankful you both should be to have the dad she has that loves and cares for her. Don't let her meet her bio father she already has a great one now. Just because he is the biological father doesn't make him a 'father'. Help her understand that. Treat her no different and the whole 'brown' situation won't be a problem. She will learn everyone looks different in some way or another but Mommy still loves the same.

Juliana - posted on 04/14/2010

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Hi Angi,

I have a 7 yr old that is white and a 4 yr old that is mixed. I got married last year to a man that is white. Like you he has raised her as his own since she was just over 2. She doesnt know her bio dad at all. When she has asked me why she is brown and the rest of us are white, I told her that God decided she should have pretty brown skin and pretty brown eyes. She asked why her brother didnt get brown skin and I told her that God decided that he should have white hair and blue eyes so that they can look different. She seemed happy with my explanation and knows she just looks a little different.

Tammy - posted on 04/14/2010

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I agree with Jamie. The more you tell her she is beautiful the way she is, the more she will learn to believe it. My son is bi-racial/hispanic and white, and is a blessing the way he is. His bio father is gone to and my husband put his name on my sons birth certificate. I will tell him one day when he is older, but now, I want to let him just grow up and not worry about it. Hope it works out.

Jamie - posted on 04/14/2010

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I would have her watch shows with a variety of races and let her know its not bad to be brown.And tell her that us white people wish we had that skin color,then we wouldnt have to tan lol.Just tell her shes beautiful, or how good her skin tone looks with certain colors.Hope this helps.

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