Yesterday as I was walking through a shopping centre with Little Bean she announced at the top of her voice “look at that dark man over there Mummy, he’s very dark isn’t he?”.
My first reaction was to move past the man as quickly as possible because I was so embarrassed but then I thought about it and remembered she is only three years old. She hasn’t really seen that many black people and I have never had the need to talk to her about people having different skin colours or being from different backgrounds.
I told her that the man wasn’t a ‘dark’ man, that he was a black man but that she shouldn’t shout out like that about anyone’s appearance as she might offend them and that if she has a question about the way someone looks she should ask me quietly.
But what is the right thing to say? How do approach this conversation with your little ones?