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Pointing out differences in a not so subtle way

January 24, 2012 - Kristy MacKaben
I think my Martin Luther King discussions with Julie might have backfired. I recently read in one of the national parenting publications about the importance of talking about differences in people instead of pretending everyone is the same. I totally agree with that, which is why I felt it was time to talk to Julie about the differences in people and tell her the truth about slavery, discrimination and all the other tough issues related to skin color. Well, Julie definitely took these talks to heart. Tonight I took the kids to the mall play area where there were quite a few kids playing; among the crowd were a handful of African American children. Julie took it upon herself to literally point out their dark skin, and make a speech about playing with all children no matter their skin color. "Everyone needs to play together. It doesn't matter what anyone looks like. We all play together...even when some people have really dark skin,"Julie said, in voice loud enough to be heard by pretty much everyone in the boisterous play area. Then, she began to point at the African American children. "Some people have dark skin and some people have light skin, but it's Ok. We all play together," Julie repeated. I guess I'm thankful that the things she said were fairly positive and not degrading, but I definitely had a talk with her about pointing at people, and talking about differences a little quieter. Have your kids ever said something really embarrassing even though they had good intentions? What did you do?


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