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?
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