Does it matter to young kids or parents to be the only minority in a group?
June 18, 2008 8:19am CST
I wonder how most parents feel about enrolling their minority child in a school,camp,sports. Would a white parent feel comfortable enrolling their white child in a predominately black school,or hispanic in a predominately white school,or a black child in a predominately white school? My child is always a minority. 98% of his friends are white at school. He seems very comfortable around everyone. His teachers treats him well I feel like he is treated well by everyone there as far as I know. He is very well rounded and makes friends very easily. Sometimes I get worried because I hope that he does not every have to face racism at his young age. I do not talk to him about those issues because I don't want him to ever feel uncomfortable around anyone. He came home from school one day and told me he felt left out. I felt a little sad for him that day, but the next day he was fine, so I guess it was just kids being kids. Another day he told me that a kid on the playground did not like him because he is black. I said how do you know? Did he tell you that? He said I just know. I told him not to assume things like that. But in the back of my mind I wonder why he assumed that at such a young age.I dropped the subject because I did not want to make an issue out of it.How old should a child be when parents teach kids about those issues? What if someone calls him the N word? I'm not sure if he even knows what that means. I don't know how to tell him how to handle things like that if it ever happens. Right now I don't think it matters to a child if they are a minority in a group. My child is very confident and he feels good about himself and he makes friends well with all races and genders.
• United States
18 Jun 08
It's only an issue if you make one of it. The day he felt left out you should have inquired more. Every kid feels left out at one point or another. A friend they usually play with found another playmate and they are not allowed to tack along. Things like that. It probably had nothing to do with race. Schools work hard to make race a non-issue. Still, he will eventually have to deal with meanspirited name calling, but that's also normal in a school. It's simple bullying. And his race will be an obvious thing to attack but it's not really done because of the race but just to hurt him, personally. Same as calling somebody with frackles a "Frackleface", an obese child "Fatso", .... Attack where the person could feel it the most, feel most insecure about. Again, race is only an issue, if you make one of it. If it comes up, you may want to start to explain the historical background, explain how it has been overcome, and then explain that the same person would have made fun of your son, if he would have been white. The offender simply has some personal issues that he/she apparently can't work out in another way but bullying. Explain, that that the person would have found something else on him to ridicule. And if he/she couldn't find anything, he/she would have made something up. Explain how bullying is wrong and shouldn't be done. If you don't make a big deal out of the race issue, your son will learn that it should not be one. If you do make a big deal out of it like 'oh, no, he is the only minority child, everybody else is white,' he will eventually pick up on that. Kids listen even if you think they don't. He will start to feel self-conscious. That is not something you want to happen. Teach him to be proud of the person he is, his personality, his character, his IQ,... Color really has nothing to do with it.
• United States
18 Jun 08
I love your comment.I don't point out to him that he is the only minority child because I don't want him to feel self-conscious. I'm sure he is aware but it does not seem to bother him at all.I guess all kids will be name called in some form. I was once called skinny mini because I was short and slim.