School friends parent's commenting on racial differences, and it's making my daughter upset?

Astrid - posted on 01/29/2014 ( 3 moms have responded )

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My eldest, Anja (who is 13), was born in Mexico of Mexican parents, and has gorgeous olive skin, black hair and dark brown eyes. She looks a little like my husband, who also has black hair and dark brown eyes, but he, like me, has very pale skin. So the fact that she isn't biologically our daughter is obvious. And we haven't had a problem with this before, but my youngest has recently started Förskola (which is like Pre-K I think? She's 3.) and when I go with Anja to pick her up, some of the parents make comments about her skin colour. Mostly they are nice (like "you're skin is a lovely colour") but occasionally they ask who she is with (because for reasons beyond me, it isn't obvious she with me), where she is from, and is she remembers her real parents. And obviously, this really upsets her. And I don't know what to do about it. Normally I make snide or sarky comments, but those don't help Anja, and her feelings are important ones.

Anybody have any advice on how to a) deal with the parents and b) how to make Anja feel better?

Thank you!

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Sarah - posted on 01/30/2014

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you can not stop STUPIDITY!!!! any who would ask a child any thing of that nature needs to be smacked!!!! make sure she sees that you always have her back this will build her self-esteem, and let her know that their is always some she can talk to. Make sure that you speak to her so she can tell you what she needs and be open. its going to be a long and hard road but the bottom line is she has to feel good about her self otherwise what you are doing to make her feel better is not going to work... the world is cruel and unfortunately she is experiencing this young... talk to her and keep talking to her keep her close to you... trust me your bond will get stronger and soon she will not care

Astrid - posted on 01/30/2014

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Thanks Ana!

It is almost impossible to let her meet people who look like her without a 12 hour flight because we have hardly any Mexican immigrants here.

Anja already knows she's not our biological child; we adopted her when she was 7, and she'd lived with her biological family up until she was six. She actually remembers them quite well.

I've never thought of finding a website to help her.

We're all going to Mexico next year, so I'm hoping that will really help.

Ana - posted on 01/29/2014

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I can tell that the parents or people who are making these comments about skin color are probably folks who have a very light skin color.

Well, as a person who has brown skin, this is our life. When in a situation where skin color is going to be obvious, you cannot avoid this.

Your best bet is to teach your daughter how to be proud of her heritage and her physical looks. Let her know how beautiful she is, buy dolls for her that look like her and not like other races. And you will need to enrich her heritage experiences. You are gonna need to take her around people who look like her so that she can feel comfortable, just the way you do everyday.

You won't be able to avoid the fact of telling her that she is not a biological child, but there are very unique ways to do this, if you haven't already. Look them up on some of the child psychology internet sites to get a better idea.

Even find a website to help her really get into who she really is. Other kids her race totally understand.

She will be fine, I commend you for adopting her being of a different race. Race doesn't matter when you are a baby much, but when you have to live in this world you must understand how it works and not be blind to it.

God Bless.

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