Balanced Melting Pot

Posts Tagged ‘Childhood’

In this episode of “Kids Say the Darndest Things…”

In Culture, Parenting, Questions, Race Relations on November 23, 2009 at 8:21 pm

On our way to school, my daughter was telling me about a teacher at her school and when she mentioned her name (we’ll call her Mrs. C.), I realized that there was a man at her school with the same last name. This following conversation proceeded:

Me: Are Mrs. C. and Mr. C. were related?

Her: I don’t think so.

Me: Why not? They have the same last name.

Her: Well, Mrs. C. is brown and Mr. C. is pink.

Me: Oh, okay.

Now, I have gone out of my way to keep her from using the societal labels of black or white, so everyone is either pink or some shade of brown. I was glad to see that her impressionable mind still hadn’t been tainted, but I also wanted her to know that people within the same family can be different shades; heck, even different colors.

So, the conversation ended like this:

Me: It doesn’t matter if they are different colors. They can still be family.

Her: WHAT!

Me: Yup. They can be brother and sister, cousins, or husband and wife.

Her: I don’t think they’re married.

Me: thinking *I’m not going to go there right now* Okay, well maybe they’re related in some other way.

Her: Maybe you’re right. I’m going to ask them today.

*sigh* I guess at some point I’m going to have a more in depth conversation with her about race. But until then, brown Mrs. C and pink Mr. C will have to do 😉

At what age do you think it is appropriate to explain American race relations to children?

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Update on the Rat and the Tooth Fairy

In Culture, Immigrant Families, Parenting, Traditions on July 20, 2009 at 1:57 pm

Current Score:

Rat 0-4 Tooth Fairy

Yes, you read correctly. So far, the tooth fairy is leading the game by 4 points. About a year ago, I wrote about my daughter losing her first tooth and incorporating both the American and Haitian traditions for this developmental milestone. What I failed to consider back then, is that my daughter who is easily scared, would want nothing to do with the rat.

When she finally lost the first tooth, she immediately asked me to put it under her pillow so that tooth fairy could bring her money. I explained to her that she also needed to ask “The Rat” to send her an ugly tooth before going to bed, so that in return she would get a shiny, beautiful tooth. Well, at the thought of “The Rat” paying her a visit while she slept, she told me she had no interest in putting the tooth under her pillow. Since she lost the second and third very soon after, I decided to give her some time to become more comfortable with the idea.

Well, last week she lost another one. She became very excited and said “now the tooth fairy is going to bring me a penny.” I quickly reminded her “don’t forget ‘The Rat’.” Without blinking, she handed me her tooth and said that she did NOT want the rat to come. She also climbed on my bed in record time 🙂

So, as it appears, I am losing this one…

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Music to my Ears

In Cultural Arts, Culture, Immigrant Families, Konpa, Music, Parenting, Questions on July 6, 2009 at 4:00 pm

In light of recent events, I started thinking about the lack of exposure to music in my children’s lives. Now, I love music and am always playing something around the house or in the car. But, I would like my children to grow up liking, or at least appreciating a broad range of musical genres from older generations.

For instance, my daughter was a bit bewildered about all the hype regarding Michael Jackson’s death. She understood that he was famous and famous people are on television a lot. But, why did everyone love him so much? All she really knew about him was that “he was that guy who turned into a monster with the yellow eyes.” I realized that I failed to share all my oldies but goodies from him going back to the Jackson 5 days.

The good thing about artists is that their work does live on. I still have time to share his talents with her and hopefully she will see more than just the monster with the yellow eyes (or black man whose skin turned white). I’m also going to take the opportunity to share Miles Davis and Nina Simone, as well as some of my parents’ favorite konpa bands.

Do you think these sort of activities are beneficial? If so, how are you keeping diversity and long established music or cultural arts in your child(ren)’s lives?

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