Thursday, November 3, 2011

a new discovery

elodie saw an african-american lady on monday and asked me 'what color is her?' at first i thought she was asking about her shirt because it was a vibrant yellow but then realized she was asking about her skin color. she's spent the last few days pointing at people and asking their color, from brown to peach to off white, proud of her new discovery that we all look different. i don't know why it surprised me that she asked me this soon. i suppose as a parent, there are certain things that you just don't want to get wrong. time to start reading!!

wooden princess dolls here


  1. When I was in grad school for early childhood education, we studied and discussed this in a multicultural ed class. One of the worst things you can do is immediately shush your child and tell them to not "say things like that" because you're embarrassed. They then believe there is something wrong or shameful about not being white. Using it as an opportunity to teach children about diversity is a positive way to handle it. You can say something like, "Yes! Isn't it beautiful that we don't all look the same? " It's also a good idea to buy books that feature different cultures and dolls of different colors so it is not something novel to them.

  2. a friend gave us the loveliest book called "the colors of us" where a girl and her artist mama take a walk through the neighborhood and observe all the beautiful colors of their friends and neighbors. it is really beautiful. :)

  3. those dolls are divine. I'll add them to my wishlist. I discovered this yesterday - - fitting considering your discussion with E x

  4. Hi E, I'm wondering if you've ever read the book, Nurture Shock by Po Bronson. The whole book is very interesting and thought provoking ("a new perspective on child rearing"), but the chapter on race may be of particular interest to you given your post topic. It echoes much of what Kathy says above and recommends that parents explicitly discuss race with their children.
    If you discover any additional books on how to handle this topic, I would be really interested and hope you'll share on the blog. (I read a lot of your book recs ;).
    Thank you,