Race and Reering
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
27-02-2014, 01:44 PM
Race and Reering
My wife and I are young parents... and having never parented before, we are constantly met with new challenges. My son starts kindergarten in the fall, and we are sending him to public school. My son is completely ignorant about the concept of race. He plays and associates with children of all races indiscriminately. But I'm almost positive he's going to be introduced to the concept very soon... especially since we live in a Parish that is notoriously racist (I'm not joking. Black people will drive around Livingston Parish the way white people avoid "ghettos").

Despite the Parish's reputation, Livingston Parish and the city of Denham Springs are becoming more and more racially diversified, which is increasing tensions among the mostly bigoted population. All of this amalgamates into a somewhat volatile mix when it comes to public schools.

I grew up in a very racially tolerant household. My parents taught me to never, ever judge race; however, be that as it may, I was still aware of racial tensions (as far back as I can remember) and members of my extended family would still periodically degrade blacks. I'm thankful that my parents didn't succumb to this and broke traditions and taught my brother and me to be colorblind.

Anyway, I said all that to say this:

Parents with older children, how did you approach the topic of race? Or did you?

Should my wife and I -
1) completely ignore the concept of race and cross that bridge when necessary, or
2) tackle the concept of race and explain to my kids to never judge someone based on how they look; and to be aware that there are those that do judge but they are wrong and to never mimic their actions/words?

Like I said, my son is completely oblivious to race... he literally has no understanding of the concept. While that ignorance can be a wonderful thing, I also don't want him to get blindsided by a kid whose parents aren't as colorblind as my wife and me. One of my fears is that he'll pick up a behavior from another child and unknowingly insult or degrade one of his black peers because he was oblivious to the concept of bigotry and how it relates to race.

[Image: dog-shaking.gif]
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
27-02-2014, 02:07 PM
RE: Race and Reering
Think of it this way:
Use your experiences as a kid to "guestimate" how to approach the situation. When did you first start to notice the concept of race as a child?
-for me it was later in elementary school (like grades 4-6) and it became very heavy in Jr. high.

As the parent, you'll want to get the first word in. Teaching good morals early is important. You can't keep your child sheltered forever, you'll have to teach him eventually. Albeit, kindergarten is probably too early (depending on your area).
The goal of the parent is not to keep their child "pure" or "sheltered", but to prepare them for the real world. Not just about race and sex, but about life in general.

I find the best way to do this is by "testing" your child. Teach them right from wrong, but then let them make their own choices (within reason of course), and let them learn from the consequences. The biggest lessons you'll learn are the ones you figure out on your own.

Sources: Different parenting techniques between my father, mother, step father and uncle. I've been through all the extremes of parenting and have mixed them up into what I think is the best form.

Atir aissom atir imon
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like Im_Ryan's post
27-02-2014, 02:08 PM
RE: Race and Reering
(27-02-2014 01:44 PM)kingschosen Wrote:  My wife and I are young parents... and having never parented before, we are constantly met with new challenges. My son starts kindergarten in the fall, and we are sending him to public school. My son is completely ignorant about the concept of race. He plays and associates with children of all races indiscriminately. But I'm almost positive he's going to be introduced to the concept very soon... especially since we live in a Parish that is notoriously racist (I'm not joking. Black people will drive around Livingston Parish the way white people avoid "ghettos").

Despite the Parish's reputation, Livingston Parish and the city of Denham Springs are becoming more and more racially diversified, which is increasing tensions among the mostly bigoted population. All of this amalgamates into a somewhat volatile mix when it comes to public schools.

I grew up in a very racially tolerant household. My parents taught me to never, ever judge race; however, be that as it may, I was still aware of racial tensions (as far back as I can remember) and members of my extended family would still periodically degrade blacks. I'm thankful that my parents didn't succumb to this and broke traditions and taught my brother and me to be colorblind.

Anyway, I said all that to say this:

Parents with older children, how did you approach the topic of race? Or did you?

Should my wife and I -
1) completely ignore the concept of race and cross that bridge when necessary, or
2) tackle the concept of race and explain to my kids to never judge someone based on how they look; and to be aware that there are those that do judge but they are wrong and to never mimic their actions/words?

Like I said, my son is completely oblivious to race... he literally has no understanding of the concept. While that ignorance can be a wonderful thing, I also don't want him to get blindsided by a kid whose parents aren't as colorblind as my wife and me. One of my fears is that he'll pick up a behavior from another child and unknowingly insult or degrade one of his black peers because he was oblivious to the concept of bigotry and how it relates to race.

Most little kids are blissfully unaware of race. Kids are nice or they're not.

I grew up in a very diverse place. Kids will divide up kids...we divided kids up my music choices (it's true). I routinely hid music from my peers -- because I didn't want to hear about it and I also didn't want to be excluded from the pack.

When we moved here, there (being honest) isn't a lot of diversity but the schools did a fantastic job of teaching kindness, courtesy and respect.

I wouid focus on that with your son, since you are concerned -- concentrating on the ways we're all similar.

So I wouid go with a bit of both. Mostly wait and see if the issue comes up, while at the same time reminding your kids that we're all people. Some are nice, some aren't.


God is a concept by which we measure our pain -- John Lennon

Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like Momsurroundedbyboys's post
27-02-2014, 02:45 PM
RE: Race and Reering
I think you should teach him before you have to correct him. With my kids at that age we worked on that skin color is unimportant. It seemed to work. At 14, 13 and 11 they are fairly color blind as far as I can tell.

I heard Denham was getting bad with race relations. Do you know what is causing it? I am only 2 hours from you and end up in Denham a couple times a year for band stuff with my older two kids.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes wazzel's post
27-02-2014, 02:46 PM
RE: Race and Reering
We really never taught coping skills till a need arrived. We simply focused on other things unless there became a need to tackle....... but ..... during *different focus* we still taught by example. IE Race - we never gave it notice so our girls grew up thinking skin color didn't matter. (remember I have bi-racial grandchildren). I never once said "Look at that little black girl." What I said instead were things like "Look at the girl in the blue dress" or "boy in the green shirt". You ultimately teach your children how to look and perceive a great deal by how you yourself do so. If you SEE a black woman - so will your child.
If you have your own (even subtle) prejudices you owe it to the world, your child and yourself to work on it and get it in check. Conscience thinking and conscience living can make that happen. Only requires effort. They aren't Indian, they aren't Chinese, or Hispanic - it's a boy, a girl, a man or a woman. Kids like clear talk. Keep it clear. Always keep it clear. An explanation to a child should never take more than 3 to 5 mins.

When the subject came up at the dinner table due to redneck kids at school we said things like "Long time ago people were prejudiced." And we'd follow that after dinner with some further explanation. All three of our girls were made to read "Uncle Tom's Cabin" at age 10 because heading to middle school is painful enough for 100 different reasons and we wished them prepared, adjusted, empathetic, self reliant people.

Actually helping your child achieve self respect should render respect for others - regardless of another's culture or their own. Respect is respect. Period. People who don't respect themselves never respect others.

We always found it best as parents to ask questions instead of trying to fill in all the gaps. Allowing kids to follow your good example yet develop their OWN insights and opinions seems to work better, I think, than hand-carving out a carbon-copy of who you think your child should be. We didn't teach our girls What to think. We taught them HOW to think. Big difference. Help your child think with understanding and pragmatism and they'll carry that forever.

Heart Lead by example.
Heart Be available to teach coping skills but don't plan a need. Planning a need is paranoid and you don't want to teach that to a child. Don't teach children to LOOK for problems - the world will offer problems soon enough.
Heart Keep your child busy and productive BUT also give them down time. Quiet time (not sleeping) allows your child to process all they absorb. Quiet time is a good time to watch for teachings taking hold.
Heart Focus on learning things - not necessarily focus on personal relationships. Relationships come along in life anyway. Learning to focus is harder to learn.
Heart Offer well-planned, thought out answers but keep things short and positive.
Heart Play down any aggression (by others). Don't teach your child to 'take the bait'
Heart Teach self-reliance and help build a conscientious person for that will always help them - no matter the circumstances.

When I want your opinion I'll read your entrails.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 3 users Like WitchSabrina's post
27-02-2014, 04:00 PM
RE: Race and Reering
(27-02-2014 01:44 PM)kingschosen Wrote:  My wife and I are young parents... and having never parented before, we are constantly met with new challenges. My son starts kindergarten in the fall, and we are sending him to public school. My son is completely ignorant about the concept of race. He plays and associates with children of all races indiscriminately. But I'm almost positive he's going to be introduced to the concept very soon... especially since we live in a Parish that is notoriously racist (I'm not joking. Black people will drive around Livingston Parish the way white people avoid "ghettos").

Despite the Parish's reputation, Livingston Parish and the city of Denham Springs are becoming more and more racially diversified, which is increasing tensions among the mostly bigoted population. All of this amalgamates into a somewhat volatile mix when it comes to public schools.

I grew up in a very racially tolerant household. My parents taught me to never, ever judge race; however, be that as it may, I was still aware of racial tensions (as far back as I can remember) and members of my extended family would still periodically degrade blacks. I'm thankful that my parents didn't succumb to this and broke traditions and taught my brother and me to be colorblind.

Anyway, I said all that to say this:

Parents with older children, how did you approach the topic of race? Or did you?

Should my wife and I -
1) completely ignore the concept of race and cross that bridge when necessary, or
2) tackle the concept of race and explain to my kids to never judge someone based on how they look; and to be aware that there are those that do judge but they are wrong and to never mimic their actions/words?

Like I said, my son is completely oblivious to race... he literally has no understanding of the concept. While that ignorance can be a wonderful thing, I also don't want him to get blindsided by a kid whose parents aren't as colorblind as my wife and me. One of my fears is that he'll pick up a behavior from another child and unknowingly insult or degrade one of his black peers because he was oblivious to the concept of bigotry and how it relates to race.

I'm totally not a parent. But my best friend all throughout childhood was Asian. We played together ever since we were old enough to walk (we lived across the street from one another). Anyway, it took me a long time to understand that she didn't look like me.

When the issue of race finally did come up, my mother just asked me questions instead. Does the shape of Lily's eyes make a difference to you? Would she be a different person if her skin was lighter? stuff like that. It really stuck with me, ya know?

A little rudeness and disrespect can elevate a meaningless interaction to a battle of wills and add drama to an otherwise dull day - Bill Watterson
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 3 users Like Cathym112's post
27-02-2014, 04:15 PM (This post was last modified: 27-02-2014 04:20 PM by Bows and Arrows.)
RE: Race and Reering
(27-02-2014 02:46 PM)WitchSabrina Wrote:  We really never taught coping skills till a need arrived. We simply focused on other things unless there became a need to tackle....... but ..... during *different focus* we still taught by example. IE Race - we never gave it notice so our girls grew up thinking skin color didn't matter. (remember I have bi-racial grandchildren). I never once said "Look at that little black girl." What I said instead were things like "Look at the girl in the blue dress" or "boy in the green shirt". You ultimately teach your children how to look and perceive a great deal by how you yourself do so. If you SEE a black woman - so will your child.
If you have your own (even subtle) prejudices you owe it to the world, your child and yourself to work on it and get it in check. Conscience thinking and conscience living can make that happen. Only requires effort. They aren't Indian, they aren't Chinese, or Hispanic - it's a boy, a girl, a man or a woman.

Heart Lead by example.

^^^^this^^^^

They learn the example you give on how to label people.


My husband is a pale white guy, I'm an olive skinned woman. We labeled people by " is he/she pink like daddy or brown like mommy? Or darker than mommy?" We would name people we knew of various colors until we could convey the idea.

We approached it like any other bullying topic, explaining that some people will be mean because they don't like your hair, or the shoes, or the color of your skin, and they are just meanies.

We would go over about what you should look for in a friend.

I would talk this over with your mom, you said she set a great example, knowing you and her grandchildren and the area where you live, she might have some better ideas that fit your situation better.

But it really comes down to you. How do you label people, who are your friends, you and your wife are THE SINGLE GREATEST TEACHERS your kids will have. You set the tone.

Edit: ITA with witch about " she the girl in the blue dress? Or the girl on the swing? The boy with nice smile?" There are a hundred different ways to describe a person, refrain from using color to do it and you begin to see past it and you teach your kids to see other qualities in people.


"Life is a daring adventure or it is nothing"--Helen Keller
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
27-02-2014, 04:20 PM
RE: Race and Reering
KC,

I don't have kids but as a child I was absolutely changed when I saw this program

One Friday in April, 1968
Producer William Peters, in this first chapter of his book A Class Divided: Then and Now (Yale University Press, 1987), relates the story behind Jane Elliott's decision to teach a daring "blue-eyes/brown-eyes" lesson in discrimination to her class of third graders.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/...riday.html

I am unable to play the documentary but I'll continue to search for it.

*FOUND IT!




“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”~Mark Twain
“Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills.”~ Ambrose Bierce
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 3 users Like Full Circle's post
27-02-2014, 04:44 PM
RE: Race and Reering
I have kids in middle and elementary school. They attend a diverse school where 30% of kids are white, and then there is everything else, I mean, Hispanic, Arab, Indian, Asian... We are very racially accepting people and we never had any talk with them. Sometimes when I hear them make a racial slur we tell them it's not good to judge people by skin color. But there is not a need for grinding about race, it will just drive the kids to start talking about race at school. The less you talk about race to the kids, the less they will think about it. And it also depends on your own behavior. If you are always making racial slurs then they will, but if you don't talk about race then they won't either.

I don't dislike you, I simply don't care.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
27-02-2014, 04:57 PM
RE: Race and Reering
The only time I ever use skin color is as a term of identifying (an adjective). It's a long the same lines as clothing color, eye color, height, weight, etc. Skin color is an effective adjective just like eye color. But, that's simply what it is... an adjective to help to identify a person; not to judge a person.

(27-02-2014 02:45 PM)wazzel Wrote:  I think you should teach him before you have to correct him. With my kids at that age we worked on that skin color is unimportant. It seemed to work. At 14, 13 and 11 they are fairly color blind as far as I can tell.

I heard Denham was getting bad with race relations. Do you know what is causing it? I am only 2 hours from you and end up in Denham a couple times a year for band stuff with my older two kids.

I really don't know. I grew up in Central literally 5 minutes away from Denham. My whole life I've always heard about Denham being racially bigoted. My black friends confirm this. They won't step foot in Denham after dark. They literally think that white rednecks will kill them if they are caught alone.

As far as blacks settling in Livingston and Denham, you see it in the poor parts of Livingston Parish. "White Trash" is spread throughout Livingston, while more affluent white people settle into the nicer neighborhoods. Poorer blacks from North Baton Rouge have been encroaching on the White Trash "territory" in order to get away from the crime infested 70805 and 70806 (where most of BR's murders occur).

"White Trash" is notoriously racist; proudly racist. They are the ones that live in trailers, have Confederate flags, and will say "nigger" at the drop of a hat... they don't care.

So, you can see how this mix is bad. The poorer blacks are seeking solace from violent neighborhoods, and the only place that they can afford are the cheaper apartments or trailers that are part of the white trash "territory".

I have a feeling in the next 25 years or so, we're going to see a shift in violence as 70726 will become more violent than 70805/6 because there will be a massive turf war.

[Image: dog-shaking.gif]
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes kingschosen's post
Post Reply
Forum Jump: