View Full Version : Kids and Race

Cunter Fartlett
06-17-2010, 02:06 PM
My son has been quite interested in black people lately. He's three and very curious.

Just a little background first, we live in a predominately white and hispanic area, and I only have one black friend, but she's very light skinned.

Not long ago, he called a little black boy "Little Bill" and yesterday, he asked a woman why she was black (or are you black, I couldn't really hear clearly). She didn't seem phased and just answered "yes". I was secretly mortified, but didn't say sorry, I just said "he's very curious" and she said "that's ok". Then he kept trying to touch her little boys hair and I could tell he was about to start asking questions about why it was different.

It got me to thinking "why don't black kids go up to white people with the same curiosity as white kids toward other races? Do they? Have you ever had an experience with it?

I have never talked to my son about race, and actually have never even said "that's a black person" or "she/he is black" so I don't know where he got that from. I figured if you don't make it an issue, the kid won't. But then I thought maybe they need to know about the differences openly and honestly?

What do you think? Have you talked to your kid about race?

06-17-2010, 02:24 PM
I would say talk to him about it. Not really emphasizing just race but more that people are just different. Shapes, sizes and colors. Maybe check out the library and see if there are any kid friendly books on the subject - people of different cultures, etc.

I live in an extremely diverse community and it's been interesting watching the kids not really bat an eye at different races. The elementary school my son attends (and daughter attended) teaches about different cultures and holidays and makes a point to positively celebrate and recognize diversity. I don't think my daughter verbalized a difference in skin color until she was in 5th grade or so, even when trying to describe a friend. I truly believe it is a result of just been immersed in such a diverse environment.

I wouldn't make a big deal out of it but I would see it as an opportunity for teaching him about it and the importance of being respectful (at a 3 year old level) given his curiosity.