Reader Asks: I am black and my husband is white. My family and his family is very accepting and color is not an issue with them. My son who is 5 came out a pretty “latte” skin color and hair, kinda a mix of my husband and I, but my daughter came out more like the frothy milk on top, lol. With blue eyes and blonde hair to match. Both my kids are strikingly beautiful. We get several comments every where we go. I guess my question is how do you explain to kids how one child looks more like one side of the family and visa versa? And how do you deal with the looks from people who wonder where you got this child from when I am not with my husband? lol!
Honeysmoke Says: I will take the easy question first. You don’t owe an explanation of any kind to people on the street. Don’t worry about them. Keep on doing what you are doing. I’ve also found that acknowledging someone’s gaze often puts an end to the stare-fest. Stare back at someone, and most folks will turn away. If they approach you, it’s fine to be polite. But you don’t have to indulge their curiosity.
Turn to family photos and picture books of children all over the world to help explain differences between siblings. Family photos have the power to help explain mommy and daddy’s traits, as you point out a little of both of you in your children. Check out One World, One Day, which shows children of various skin tones from around the world, and Mixed: Portraits of Multiracial Kids, for pictures of American children who have parents of varied racial and ethnic backgrounds. Questions about skin tone will continue as your children grow up. Take their lead and answer their questions frankly and honesty, and everything should be fine.
Folks asking insensitive questions? Let me respond. Not sure how to handle family and friends? I’ll tell you how. Need a little support? I am here to help. Click on the contact button above and ask away.