Comments on: Discussing Diversity http://www.designmom.com/2012/11/discussing-diversity/ The Intersection of Design & Motherhood Fri, 31 Oct 2014 23:32:48 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.5.1 By: Julia http://www.designmom.com/2012/11/discussing-diversity/comment-page-1/#comment-915479 Julia Thu, 15 May 2014 14:28:16 +0000 http://www.designmom.com/?p=26984#comment-915479 Thanks millions for this wonderful post. Years ago, our son, Bobby, who
was four brought a note from a friend he’d recently met. The note said: “Please
explain to your son that I am not a slave. His history is not accurate. ”
Great wake up note!

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By: Lena http://www.designmom.com/2012/11/discussing-diversity/comment-page-1/#comment-414574 Lena Wed, 28 Nov 2012 18:58:04 +0000 http://www.designmom.com/?p=26984#comment-414574 There’s a really great book that talks about discussing race (among many other topics) with your child and it’s based in scientific studies. It’s called “Nurture Shock” and is a must read! I found it somewhat surprising to learn that you ought to talk very openly and directly at a very early age. In fact, people of color (the research shows) talk to their children about race and diversity at a much earlier age then their white counterparts. It makes a difference. I’m trying to incorporate all I’ve learned from the book and it isn’t always easy or natural but it’s been very thought provoking and empowering as a parent to follow something scientifically based to help me raise my child more conscientiously.

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By: Design Mom http://www.designmom.com/2012/11/discussing-diversity/comment-page-1/#comment-414536 Design Mom Wed, 28 Nov 2012 15:58:26 +0000 http://www.designmom.com/?p=26984#comment-414536 I think this is genius, McK. I love the idea of equipping your children with facts — so much easier to leave emotion out of it.

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By: McK http://www.designmom.com/2012/11/discussing-diversity/comment-page-1/#comment-414455 McK Wed, 28 Nov 2012 01:53:57 +0000 http://www.designmom.com/?p=26984#comment-414455 I’m glad you covered this topic and enjoyed reading the comments. I actually went to school for the specialization in Race-ing children. Studying and teaching children how to learn about race in an empowering environment. The best thing parent’s can do is encourage the conversation when their child asks questions (that way they are never taught that you shhhhhh difference and don’t talk about them. My second biggest advice, break it down scientifically. She has darker skin because she has more melanin in her skin….he has lighter because he has less. By far, the most appropriate way to teach a child is with the facts.

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By: Lisa J. http://www.designmom.com/2012/11/discussing-diversity/comment-page-1/#comment-414409 Lisa J. Tue, 27 Nov 2012 20:28:42 +0000 http://www.designmom.com/?p=26984#comment-414409 Hi all, I’m Amy’s sister. My son will love hearing that his innocent question was the start of a great conversation today! After he asked Bill about his skin, we came home and looked at a book we have about children from all over the world. When we came to the pictures of children from Africa my son said that was the skin he wanted and I realized that when he asked Bill where he got his skin, he really wanted to know where he got it so he could get some too. In most of the situations (there have been many more since that time) my kids were actually paying strangers a compliment, except when one of my other sons told the repairman that his belly was fat like Santa Claus. I really liked the comment about teaching kids to let you know in private if they want to make observations or have questions about a persons appearance, that’s a good idea. I think it’s also important to show them by your example that it’s nice to notice good things in others and to pay someone a compliment.

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By: Dee Dee http://www.designmom.com/2012/11/discussing-diversity/comment-page-1/#comment-414267 Dee Dee Tue, 27 Nov 2012 01:54:08 +0000 http://www.designmom.com/?p=26984#comment-414267 Thanks for this discussion.

We have lived in East Asia for ten years. My husband and I are caucasian and our daughters 7 and 5 are Asian. The girls have always attended Chinese school and the vast, vast majority of their classmates are Asian, mostly Korean. As a family we attend an international church and have friends from India, Angola, Taiwan, and Korea, as well as from the US, Canada and Germany.

My husband and I like that we are the ‘different’ ones in this community and that the girls fit in perfectly at their school and in the community (even though they speak English and Spanish at home with their parents). It’s been a unique experience for us – one that we never anticipated – and we celebrate that as often as possible.

Recently our eldest daughter remarked that it’s a good thing we have her and her sister in the family to teach us about ‘eastern’ things and we can teach them about ‘western’ things, otherwise all our lives would be so boring! (She was saying this in Spanish, so my translation is a bit off.) Families are people and people are each different and special.

Are there any other books you recommend for children?

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By: Sarah http://www.designmom.com/2012/11/discussing-diversity/comment-page-1/#comment-414258 Sarah Tue, 27 Nov 2012 01:16:15 +0000 http://www.designmom.com/?p=26984#comment-414258 Oh! I wanted to add my favorite story:

It was about this time last year and I was sitting on the train at a kids park with my son in my lap. A little girl who was boarding was yelling “Look Mommy, it’s Baby Jesus!” Her mom didn’t get it until she finally pointed at me and said that I was his Mommy. The mom was completely silent. I was trying so hard not to burst out laughing!

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By: Sarah http://www.designmom.com/2012/11/discussing-diversity/comment-page-1/#comment-414254 Sarah Tue, 27 Nov 2012 01:00:36 +0000 http://www.designmom.com/?p=26984#comment-414254 I’m Muslim and wear hijab. I am used to stares and comments from small children. And unfortunately many parents and adults make derogatory comments as well. I think many assume that I don’t speak English or just don’t care if I hear them. There are certain communities where I definitely don’t feel welcome so I tend to avoid them.

Most of our friends are non-White so my son has always been exposed to diversity. He’s nearly 2, but he already understands how different people can look. When we are out, he will see a light-skinned African American girl and call her by his friend’s name who looks the same way. If he sees a blonde girl with curly hair he will call her by that friend’s name. It’s really never too early to start talking about diversity because they pick it up so naturally!!

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By: Amy http://www.designmom.com/2012/11/discussing-diversity/comment-page-1/#comment-414248 Amy Tue, 27 Nov 2012 00:35:30 +0000 http://www.designmom.com/?p=26984#comment-414248 Miggy,
You have done a world of good with your answer. Thank you so much for taking the time to respond. Most (all?) people want to do the right thing but second-guess themselves. Thank you!

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By: jessica http://www.designmom.com/2012/11/discussing-diversity/comment-page-1/#comment-414247 jessica Tue, 27 Nov 2012 00:16:30 +0000 http://www.designmom.com/?p=26984#comment-414247 He got it from his mom and dad of course, just like white folks!

We are a mixed up black, white and indian family. My kids tease me all the time about being too light/yellow/not really brown enough.

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By: Miggy http://www.designmom.com/2012/11/discussing-diversity/comment-page-1/#comment-414242 Miggy Mon, 26 Nov 2012 22:34:50 +0000 http://www.designmom.com/?p=26984#comment-414242 *staring, not starting. :)

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By: Miggy http://www.designmom.com/2012/11/discussing-diversity/comment-page-1/#comment-414241 Miggy Mon, 26 Nov 2012 22:32:02 +0000 http://www.designmom.com/?p=26984#comment-414241 Amy–I can’t think of a time I haven’t preferred that a parent and child engage us in conversation. Even the times that I’m not “on point” I would still prefer a conversation–I just might not be as bubbly. In fact, I do a special needs spotlight on my blog–a weekly feature where I interview parents of special needs kids. I always ask them “how can other people respond to or approach your child so as to avoid any hurtful situations?” This is by far the question that is 98% of the time answered the same way–just ask. Start a conversation and ask us about our child and their differences. Especially if your child is curious and asking questions. Questions are OK–starting, shooshing and walking away are not. Now in the 40+ spotlights I’ve done I can think of 2 times this question wasn’t answered in this manner and one dad summed it up when he said “He doesn’t want people to approach his son as a curiosity but as a person.” Which of course, I also relate to and understand. My daughter is only 2.5 right now and so she’s just starting to understand these things and for her I think she’s always excited to have new friends, so the sooner kids can get over their apprehensions the sooner they can interact as kids. :)

Thanks so much for asking!

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By: Amy Hackworth http://www.designmom.com/2012/11/discussing-diversity/comment-page-1/#comment-414230 Amy Hackworth Mon, 26 Nov 2012 21:07:50 +0000 http://www.designmom.com/?p=26984#comment-414230 I just came across Whoever You Are…glad to hear you like it.

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By: Amy http://www.designmom.com/2012/11/discussing-diversity/comment-page-1/#comment-414229 Amy Mon, 26 Nov 2012 21:05:18 +0000 http://www.designmom.com/?p=26984#comment-414229 Miggy, overall, what is your preference for how you would like your daughter to be noticed and/or approached? Without taking the temperature of everyone’s moods that particular day, it might be easier for parents of curious kids to have an overall rule. Would you rather a parent just smiled at your daughter, told his or her kid that “everyone is different,” and moved on, even if the kid wanted to interact with your daughter? What does your daughter prefer? Thanks in advance for sharing your perspective (and experiences).

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By: Stella http://www.designmom.com/2012/11/discussing-diversity/comment-page-1/#comment-414227 Stella Mon, 26 Nov 2012 20:59:06 +0000 http://www.designmom.com/?p=26984#comment-414227 I don’t have insight on how to discuss diversity with kids since I don’t have any yet… but just wanted to add a funny story. A friend of mine grew up in a predominantly white neighborhood/community. The first time she saw an African American woman, she was pretty young (I imagine about the same age as your nephew). She and her mom were in a large crowd of people. My friend pointed at the African American woman and loudly exclaimed, “Mom!! That lady ate too many brownies!!” Luckily the woman chuckled, so it wasn’t too awkward… but apparently she and her mom had never really discussed diversity.

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By: Amy http://www.designmom.com/2012/11/discussing-diversity/comment-page-1/#comment-414226 Amy Mon, 26 Nov 2012 20:55:54 +0000 http://www.designmom.com/?p=26984#comment-414226 Thanks, Whitney and Amy, for the support. I wish I could go back in time and really talk it out with that woman as clearly, we did not come to a resolution!

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By: Amy Hackworth http://www.designmom.com/2012/11/discussing-diversity/comment-page-1/#comment-414219 Amy Hackworth Mon, 26 Nov 2012 20:20:24 +0000 http://www.designmom.com/?p=26984#comment-414219 Also, isn’t it kind of interesting that there are certain obvious things we allow ourselves to mention and other obvious things that are off limits to comment on? I’m just this moment becoming fascinated by that.

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By: Amy Hackworth http://www.designmom.com/2012/11/discussing-diversity/comment-page-1/#comment-414218 Amy Hackworth Mon, 26 Nov 2012 20:18:11 +0000 http://www.designmom.com/?p=26984#comment-414218 It sounds like you handled it beautifully. I would hate feeling that tension of the unaccepted apology, but it sounds like that had more to do with her than with you.

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By: Amy Hackworth http://www.designmom.com/2012/11/discussing-diversity/comment-page-1/#comment-414216 Amy Hackworth Mon, 26 Nov 2012 20:14:05 +0000 http://www.designmom.com/?p=26984#comment-414216 I agree, Elizabeth. That’s a trickier issue for me, too.

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By: Amy Hackworth http://www.designmom.com/2012/11/discussing-diversity/comment-page-1/#comment-414215 Amy Hackworth Mon, 26 Nov 2012 20:12:47 +0000 http://www.designmom.com/?p=26984#comment-414215 Wow, Miggy, thanks for your perspective. I love what you shared. I’m sure it can be exhausting, as you point out, and that’s a good thing for me to remember. I also love how you focus on similarities between your daughter and curious kids. That seems so wise.

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