Wednesday, September 26, 2012

We're all yellow, kid.

The other day in the elevator, my daughter exclaimed there were brown people and that she was yellow.
My immediate reaction was to ask who told her that she was yellow but withheld myself.
I asked her to clarify.
me: You are yellow?
DD: Yes and so are you.
me: Oh.
DD: And so is Daddy. See, our skin is yellow.
me: Oh, yes, our skin is yellow.

I'd like to think that she's still very young and has not been subjected to this derogatory statement. Still it made me pause and wonder what other kids may say to her and how it's important to let her know how her parents felt on the subject. Afterall, we are a strong influence on the opinions she will make.

Then it made me think of an incident at the playground a few weeks prior.
DH is like the pied piper for kids. He treats kids like they are human beings and not beneath an adult, which is one of the reasons why he's an awesome at home dad.
Anyway, two children of a eastern european background were talking to him and asking him questions about our dog and he was showing them how to approach a strange dog and how they should ask the owner of a pet permission before approching a dog.
The conversation somehow shifted and the youngest kid made a statement that he has to lock his doors so the 'black people' don't break into his apartment. His older sister shot him a death stare.
DH chuckled a little and mentioned that it would be advisable to lock the door in general to be safe to which the boy corrected himself and said, yes.

I know parent's opinions, stereotypes and bigotry can perpetuate. Offspring look to them to see what is acceptable in their circle and they emulate it in their growing circle.

I'm not the type of person that believes we should be 'blind' to differences. I tell my kids that everyone is different and unique and that's what makes us special. I explain that everyone is different and that we can learn from each other which makes life fun and interesting.
Once my daughter asked me why things are different. I thought long and hard and I said, "Because life would be boring if we were all alike and the same. We are all the same as God made us but we are each made a tad different to help each other and to help spread God's love."
I don't know if that was the answer but I suppose as with everything in parenting, I won't know.
I do know that the questions will only get harder and I continue to pray that my children continue to be surrounded by those who have the love of God in their hearts and that they do not accept bigotry as acceptable.