Toddler Discrimination?

Amelia has been going to gymnastics for the past month and has been getting on amazingly! Shes always been extreamly outgoing and isn’t ever scared by anyone or anything.

One day this really cute little girl came toddling around the corner grinning and waving at Amelia. Normally, Amelia would have started running around being super cheeky and slightly distant as she’s never really clicked with children her own age. Instead, she came running over to me, hid behind me and said ‘scared’ whilst peeping out looking at her from behind me.

The little girl’s family smiled and said ‘aw she’s shy’ half to the little girl, half to me. But I knew this definitely wasn’t the case. Shy was never a word I would use to describe Amelia!

In that instance I knew it was because this little girl wasn’t white, wasn’t what she – my 19 month old baby – was used to.

This doesn’t come at all from us, her family, her home life. We aren’t some kind of awful racists teaching our children to be racist and unkind to others. It’s just purely because she has never seen a black girl, let alone someone her own age (and as I’ve mentioned before she really doesn’t interact with anybody her own age anyway).

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It doesn’t worry me at all as I know she is just a baby and it’s a learning curve for her but it did make me think. Mainly about all of these meme type things all over Facebook. Have you seen the one of the baby holding the black mans hand over the ignorant parents shoulder? Captioned something along the lines of ‘we aren’t born racist, we grow up like it’ or similar?

Well I know that Amelia isn’t racist at all – how can she be?! She’s only 19 months! – she’s just curious and quite possibly fairly confused.

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I felt pretty embarrassed at the time, rather stupidly since nobody else had any clue why she was hiding or acting that way. I was just really surprised by how she was acting and worried about anybody taking unecessary offence to my little monster.

I guess that’s just children and I’m sure we will go through plenty of awkward and embarrassing times as both Amelia and Max get older and see things and people for the first time.

Have your children ever acted differently towards a child of a different colour or disability?

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6 Comments

  1. We live in a predominantly white area and my son did not watch TV as a young child. When he was 2 we had a similar experience and I realised he was worried by something new, which is to be expected. I started letting him watch a bit of TV after though! #brillblogposts

  2. It is a very difficult situation not one I have come across interesting read very thought provoking Thanks for linking to the #THAT FRIDAY LINKY come back next week please

  3. My little boy was recently at nursery with a little boy that had Downs Syndrome. Bless him he had never been in that situation before and he was a little wary and confused. In time he was fine. I think we can take it for granted things that we know and accept whereas when it’s something new to a child it can be quite daunting. It’s not that they are insensitive it’s just unknown to them. It’s great that schools have a mix these days so that children learn early on. #pocolo

  4. One of my friends is of Indian heritage so my girls have never really questioned the difference in skin colour, but I can understand why your girl reacted the way she did. Thanks for linking up to That Friday Linky

  5. Living down here in Cornwall like you do, I understand this and had a similar thing with one of my boys. He isn’t racist and neither are we, but children do notice what they see as differences and it really is down to how we explain things as parents and make sure they realise that people are the same and equal that matters afterwards.

    Thanks for linking up to #Picknmix Stevie x

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