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Different skin colour

Discussion in 'Schoolgoers & Teens' started by Amitha, Apr 30, 2010.

  1. Amitha

    Amitha Senior IL'ite

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    DH is dark-skinned and DS1 has taken after him. DS2 is like me and we both have a little light coloured skin (I would say wheatish colour). Now coming to what is bothering me -

    DS1 suddenly, out of the blue, told me that DS2's skin colour is like Amma's and I have skin colour like Appa. This is something that I was totally not prepared for. I did not know how to react to this and said "Yes you are right". He also didn't show any displeasure OR feel bad.

    But I have seen DH having a major complex about his skin colour, he is very comfortable with me, because I never talk about OR discriminate anybody based on their skin colour. But he has had his share of bad experiences and memories, especially about his own siblings teasing him about his colour. After we got married, his mother was relieved to see that I did not match his skin colour, which she verbally expressed also.

    Anyway now I am concerned that DS1 shouldn't get into the same mode as his father and think that he is not worthy-enough, because of whatever he is made of. Especially now that we are surrounded by the white people. I don't know where this is leading to and what I am supposed to do? I don't want my boy to feel low of himself, that is it. What do I do? Any suggestions.
     
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  2. tikka

    tikka Gold IL'ite

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    Amitha, I thought the light skin coloured people worshipped tans ;-) But giving your child a healthy self-image will go beyond just skin colour. I have the opposite issue. DH and I are dark skinned but DS takes a little after his grandma and is lighter skin toned than us. I would not even have noticed it except everyone keeps telling me what a beautiful fair skinned child he is :p I have now made it a point to give him a healthy tan with at least 1 hour out in the sun (mostly early morning). I can see how good the skin looks when he is healthier (finally) and when his skin is well nourished. I am trying to teach him how to take care of his appearance with appropriate grooming without laying too much emphasis on good looks. To me, my strategy is paying off (as yet), but I dread the day he comes home with a bloated head because he has been told he is cute for the millionth time that day! ;-P
     
  3. sumanr

    sumanr Silver IL'ite

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    Yes Amitha, you will need to create the self image for your child. My mom is dark skinned, but none of her children are dark and we take after our father. But Amma always says how she has a healthy skin without any dryness, pimples etc which is very important ...almost my entire life people have spotted the differnce between my colour and my mom's, but I have not been bothered bcause of what amma taught me. My sister is a tone darker than me and there is a never ending comparison here...and she has learnt to take it easy too.

    Infact, DD is darker than DH (quite fair) and me (wheatish) and I will have the same issue when she grows up to find she is darker than her father & mother.
     
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  4. teacher

    teacher Platinum IL'ite

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    HI Amitha,

    Being the darker of a biracial couple, my class kids used to ask me a lot of questions about this-How come you are brown and he is white..is it because you are from India and he is from New York (?):) My youngest nephew (who lives in a very white part of the country) asked me if I was brown all through the year. :biglaugh Sometimes these observations and questions are kids' attempts to develop a sense of who they are and the composition of the people in their immediate world.

    And Indians have so many skin tones...keeping it matter of fact helps them understand skin color is one aspect of their identity but doesn't determine anything else about them.
    Rama
     
  5. Mahajanpragati

    Mahajanpragati Platinum IL'ite

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    hi amrita,
    living in Africa i am facing the same problem.only thing that worries me is that my son(s) don't feel superior/inferior to anyone because of the colour of skin.now,that his school has multi racial children he understands the basic difference between skin tones & till now i have not faced any problem.
    still,i try to tackle it this way.i never tell him so & so is pretty or cute or tall or praise any other gene defined physical quality .
    rather stress on acquired qualities like'Jude is such nice boy.he always greets me ' or' Rihanna always gives our baby turn on swing.she is so caring..........'
    now,i find even he will try to distinguish his friends by telling me about their qualities'mummy,today it was Joseph's b'day.
    me'who joseph?.
    my son'remember the boy who gave me seat in bus when we went for picnic(no mention of any physical quality to help me identify the boy) ................ '

    praise ur sons qualities a lot so that he understands thats what matters.......
    and don't let anyone put ur son down because of his colour be it dh or in laws or strangers.........
    tell him how all of us in this world are different 'asians brown with black hair,brown eyes,europeans white with red,golden hair& blue,brown eyes,africans black with mated hair & black eyes.,chinese slanted eyes so on...........all so beacuse they lived in different parts of world & that sort of physical qualities were required to survive in that enviornment.

    kids have wonderful understanding & its upto us how we make then see this world
     
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  6. tashidelek2002

    tashidelek2002 IL Hall of Fame

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    Amitha:
    Even in white families there is always a lot of variation between the siblings: eye color (brown, blue, green, hazel, gray), hair color (blonde, brown, black, Dutch sandy, red), hair type (straight, curly), skin color and whether it tans or not, for men beard type and color (including brown hair and red beard). Genetic laws make child bearing a crap shoot. I suggest since you are in USA you make this whole thing a non issue as Americans like dark skin as well as lighter skin. You will be the one giving the kids some angst.
     
  7. Vidya21

    Vidya21 Senior IL'ite

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    Amitha,

    Reading your post suddenly reminded me of how life does come full circle. While growing up, issues like appearances or skin color bothered us as kids. As adults, we learn to battle those insecurities and eventually they settle down somewhere in the backs of our minds. Your post suddenly reminded me of how every generation has to go through the same things over and over, and learn their own lessons.

    I don't have kids, and little experience with parenting but I would think that kids quickly pick up on and reflect their parent's behaviors and attitudes. You and your spouse would need to be the role models for him in this regard. Encourage him realistically for things he does well and try not to focus on your fears/insecurities about darker skin.

    Thankfully, your family is in the States where this obsession with fairer skin is not as piercing as it can be in India. Really, just drive home the point that there is diversity; and it is what you do that matters, not what you look like!

    And don't worry, as pre-teens and teenagers we all screw up our body image, as adults we all grow out of it (well almost ;-)!)
     
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  8. Amitha

    Amitha Senior IL'ite

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    tikka, suman, rama, pragati, tashidelek2002, vidya21 - thank you all ladies very much. This gives me a lot of confidence in the first place. I think first of all DH & myself will have to overcome our fears and think that maybe DS1 may not actually go through this phase that we are worried about. And he may figure out his own way of handling the situation, if this really becomes a problem to him.

    The first step for us as parents is to instill the feeling that this is just a common thing and that it is not his looks, but what he is, that matters. Thank you all once again.
     
  9. Shanvy

    Shanvy IL Hall of Fame

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    Amitha,

    I am late here. but in our case i am darker than my dh. dd takes after dh's family. ds is just a xerox of my dh but color he takes after me. he had been teased so much at school when he was in kg2 and 1st and we were in the gulf, for he was the darkest one at class by some of the indian classmates.

    This is what i did. i made him relax. both of us had his fav food. then we talked about how he got his nose from his dad, how DD got her small nose from his grandma and the things like that. then we talked about the color, telling him that he got the color from me and his height from his Dad. we told him that what we are on the outside does not matter much as what is inside, and also that he needs to be proud that he got his physical attributes from his parents, and added a small dosage of God did tick the form where he had to give the qualities to each of us, and that is how each of us got our personality.

    now he is 12, and he does not worry much about it. if somebody tells him that he is darker, he tells them that he is fairer where it actually counts. :thumbsup

    I believe the confidence ingrained at the early age goes a long way.
     
  10. Amitha

    Amitha Senior IL'ite

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    Shanthi, see this is what I'm worried about. These are kids, they are so small, they are supposed to very good at heart - innocent. Why do they talk like this and make other children's life pathetic. It just brings in low confidence level in children :bonk. Anyway if next time, DS1 comes talking about skin colour, I know what to talk with him. Thank you very much.
     
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