Children Understand Racial Differences Through Dolls
Children are curious, to say the least. My daughter, like all other children, are curious when it comes to differences in looks and skin colors. For her, it is a little bit different. When we received the call about fostering a Hispanic child, I had no reservation. When the word adoption started being brought up, I had one reservation and one reservation ONLY. How will she feel being raised forever in a Caucasian home when she is Hispanic?! The incredible love was already there but did I have what it took to explain to a child why they are “different”?
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I knew in my heart that she was “home” but I have to be honest, I was a little concerned how she would do the older she became with the difference in her race than ours. All three of our children are adopted. No one ever even really asked about our boys being adopted if they did not already know our story. Now that we have a child who is clearly not biological, we are asked about adoption more and more by perfect strangers. Preparing our children for the questions was pretty easy because we have always been extremely honest with our children about their adoptions. A taboo subject creates nothing but a fear that something is “bad”. We were determined to make the word “adoption” a more than comfortable part of our language. We made the same decision about the term “race”.
The Many Questions
My daughter who will be five in April has been asking a whole lot of questions. We make sure we take time to answer them the best we can. A few questions and comments she has come up with include:
- Mommy is grey, daddy is yellow and grey, Cameron is grey, Ryan is yellow and I am brown. (needless to say, my oldest son and I are pretty pale, thus the “grey”)
- My hair is black and your hair is blonde.
- Why do I look like “older biological sister’s name” but I don’t look like Cameron?
- Why does your hair braid different than mine does?
- Are my eyes black? I can’t see my eyes like yours?
I could go on and on about comments and questions she has asked. She is at an age now where she analyzes everything. I have used Educational Insights Baby Doux Dolls as an educational tool to help explain to my daughter why she is different.
How to Help Your Child Understand Racial Differences
Regardless if you adopted your child, have a family or friend who adopted, or you have biological children who are starting to notice differences between themselves and another child in the grocery store, explaining those differences are important. Here are a couple pointers on how to help your child understand racial differences that we have found to work over the last 15 years with our three children.
- Be completely open. No subject should be taboo between you and your child. Child appropriate answers obviously but if they are interested in something, they WILL find out from someone. It will be much better coming from YOU! So, make your child feel that they can talk to you about anything and everything.
- Try not to act surprised at some of the comments and questions that will come out of their little mouths. Kids say the funniest things! If you act like it was funny when they are trying to be serious, it will shut them down in a heartbeat!
- Be prepared to have to answer some tough questions!
- Use real-life experiences as well as play time as an opportunity to share more about differences. Educational Insight’s Baby Doux Dolls are a great resource for conversation starters on the topic of differences. Since each of their dolls are different nationalities, creating a storyline is so simple!
About Educational Insight’s Baby Doux Dolls
The realistic looking Baby Doux Dolls from Educational Insights are precious! Finding a quality, realistic looking baby doll is much harder than you think! I have looked around in stores for the perfect doll for my daughter and could never seem to find one that looked real yet would be safe for my daughter to play with. The Baby Doux Doll is exactly what I was looking for. Oh, and it is MACHINE WASHABLE! That in itself makes the doll perfect in my eyes!
Features of the Educational Insight’s Baby Doux Dolls
- Machine Washable
- Encourages nurturing
- Multiple skin tones and eye colors available (Caucasian, Hispanic, African American, Asian)
- Moveable arms
- White onsie
- Light vanilla scent
- 12″ tall with vinyl head, arms, and legs with a soft cloth body
If your child is curious about differences in the people around them, or you are looking for the perfect baby doll, make sure you check out Educational Insights Baby Doux Dolls.
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