A Racist Pre-Schooler?

September 20, 2012  |  



From huffingtonpost.com

So, my older son, (four years, two months old) recently started preschool. It’s a new school for him, as we moved from one east coast city to another over the summer. Over the past two weeks, he has made several comments, unprompted, that he didn’t want to say hello to a specific child or “be their friend” because they are “brown.” He has said it about some of our African-American neighbors in the apartment complex where we currently live as well as a South Asian girl in his class.

The interesting thing to note here is that my wife is Indian and we socialize with her family more often than my family, so the cousins he is closest to are all brown-skinned people. My Indian mother-in-law was one of his primary babysitters up until a few months ago. Our closest friends here are a biracial family and Jacob loves playing with their two sons (9 and 11). And my son himself is fairly brown, certainly darker than his younger brother and myself. We have tried explaining to him that skin color doesn’t make a person bad or good and have tried pointing out all the friends and family members of color he has but the comments persist. Any suggestions on ways to address this? Is this a phase he’ll pass through? Are there books we can read with him that might help work through the issue?

Read more at: huffingtonpost.com

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  • realadulttalk

    Sounds to me like this child is repeating something that is being said to him. Kids don’t want to play with him b/c he is brown…he is now deflecting that pain onto other children. It takes a very strong child to be placed in an environment where they are a minority – kids always pick on the one thing that makes you different. For this child it’s his skin.

  • kierah

    You probably will never know where your child picked up this notion. It happens.
    My cousin had the darkest complexion in his immediate family. When he was 4 his mom put him in the tub for his bath. The little boy grabbed his cloth and started to scrub his skin. When she asked him why he was scrubbing so hard, he said “I’m trying to get this stain off.” It broke my aunt’s heart. She had no idea where he got this from.

  • Bubbles

    Oh wow really the kid comes up with it himself says the parent. Please I know kids enough to know that what comes out from their parent is what comes out of them.


    Thats funny bc my son is 5 and has questions about race all of he time. I believe this stemmed from preschool when his teacher taught them things during Black History Month. Now Im having to teach him not to be afraid of different races but to judge people on how they treat you.

  • FromUR2UB

    I think this is what happens when children are placed in environments where they’re the “onlies”. The majority, regardless of its makeup, will usually single out the only. Although there are circumstances when it might be unavoidable that a child will have to be in this type of environment, I can’t imagine why any parent might find that desirable. There is no one to defend or identify with him. A child’s self-esteem takes a beating when he/she is singled out or picked on by a majority. It’s never enough to teach a child of color that “the color or people’s skin doesn’t matter”, because as soon as they go out their front door, or turn on the TV, someone will make an issue of their race/color. This is why it’s necessary for parents to instill pride in their children, to counter all the negative stuff they’ll face from other people.

  • lol

    why do you guys post these articles here?

  • MLS2698

    He came up with this on his own?

    • JaneDoe

      Right thats questionable. Behaviors are usually learned

  • Ms. Cambri

    Exposure is the best remedy. It’s just he picked something up from somewhere and took it to heart. Nothing like getting out and learning about all people of many colors. Make sure to also speak to him often about the issue and act as you say non prejudicely. Books are ok but nothing like learning in the real world.

  • IllyPhilly

    It’s sad people take the time to teach their kids hate.