14 answers

What to Say to My Daughter About Her Skin Color...

My daughter is 4 years old. She has been out in the sun most of the summer and even with sunscreen has tanned very well (and dark!). I am very white (and I am ok with this), I burn when I am out in the sun. Although I too have tanned (after burning... I actually think my freckles have connected but I digress), she seems to be upset from time to time that she's not white all over (like her belly is white).

My husband is darker than me and tans well too. My extended family is a mix of white, blacks and a Mexican (yes only one Mexican). So it's not like we have portrayed that it's bad to be anything but white.

When she says something like "Mommy, I don't like my dark skin, I miss my white skin." I calmly explain to her that she should be proud of who she is and how she is. Her skin color doesn't matter.

But lets face it ... she's 4 years old and she likes to have a favorite color and things like that, so I guess this makes sense in a way.

So besides what I am doing... how do you suggest I go about making her proud of who she is, regardless of how she looks?

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

You have two answers to give her. 1. She is perfect the way she is! 2. Explain why her skin changes color with the extra sun and why she has tan lines and how heredity has a lot to deal with skin color. (google it if you need more info).

Today I explained pubic hair to my 3 1/2 year old. It's what it is, no shame.

4 moms found this helpful

More Answers

She got tan.
That is due to the sun.
Skin has pigment in it.
It occurs with sun. It fades if you are not in the sun all the time.

In Hawaii, ALL people of ALL ethnicities, gets tan.
Most everyone here is of mixed ethinicities.... and very exotic.
Then if not in the sun, their skin fades and reverts back to their inherent skin color.

It is not about ethnicity. It is about, what the SUN does to skin.
Make that clear to your child.

My daughter is very fair.
My son is more olive.
They both tan.
As do MANY kids in Hawaii, because they are in the sun everyday.
Even if using sunscreen.

Your child is young.
But, explain the dynamics of the sun and its effects. Because, that is what occurred.
AND that she is a multi-mix of ethnicities.
My kids are too.
They never have a concern about skin color. Ever.
Because, they know that everyone has different skin color and that tans are due to the sun, and it doesn't matter what skin color a person is... unless you have sun damage. Which many people do have, too.

My kids are multi-ethnic too.

A child's self-identity... is about KNOWING that appearance is not important. It is what is on the INSIDE, not the outside, that counts.

8 moms found this helpful

She's 4. That explains it all.

I wouldn't worry about trying to make her feel "proud" of it right now or otherwise. I don't get the reason to worry about a child's pride in how they look at that age, unless they are a target of a bully or are one race when the entire neighborhood is another, I don't see a reason in mentioning that...

I'd stick with the matter of fact explanation "a lot of people's skin gets darker in the summertime because of the sun, it will fade back to your original color later on, enough fuss about it!"

8 moms found this helpful

Just explain to her why she's a different color now.

6 moms found this helpful

It doesn't sound like she has a problem with who she is, but prefers her lighter color. My Mother is darker complected and she stays out of the sun because she doesn't like her darker skin color. She still knows who she is and doesn't seem to have a problem with that. Are you teaching her about her heritage? That would seem more important than skin color. If she prefers a lighter skin, I don't see it any different than a young girl with curly hair wishing they had straight hair. All seems well to me.

5 moms found this helpful

You have two answers to give her. 1. She is perfect the way she is! 2. Explain why her skin changes color with the extra sun and why she has tan lines and how heredity has a lot to deal with skin color. (google it if you need more info).

Today I explained pubic hair to my 3 1/2 year old. It's what it is, no shame.

4 moms found this helpful

Well I'd take it lightly I think. My son is four and I recently buzzed his hair off bc it is so much easier for me to manage and always looks nice. He was not a happy camper. He said he looked too much like daddy and wanted his hair back. Go figure. He is very particular about his hair! So I just told him it would grow and that he looked very handsome both ways. I think I'd just tell her that her skin will be different colors at different times of the year bc the sun makes some people's skin get darker sometimes and that it is one of those things that we don't get to make choices about but that she is a beauty both ways. Kids are so funny about their preferences!! The reason I don't suggest making it about pride about who she is like with any racial association is bc she very well may not even be aware of race yet and literally it is just a preference she has. My son is mixed and he cannot tell you who is white and black. We will ask him sometimes if I or his father is black and 9 times out of 10 he will say I am the black one (I am like porclein or something!). He is not aware yet of race, but he does know that dad's skin is brown and mine is lighter etc. So I think keeping it just to the point that her skin will be different colors at different times and that it is totally normal is probably enough at her age. Good luck!

3 moms found this helpful

Maybe you could try turning it around? What I mean by that is saying something to the effect of, "I wish *I* had darker skin like you!" That's probably what I would say... God knows it's the truth! My daughters have my husband's skin tone (thank goodness!) and tan. I, on the other hand, am pasty white and burn, burn, burn! I really DO wish I had their skin tone... :)

2 moms found this helpful

My kids are mixed, light, but mixed still. So they do not burn, they just tan really well. I always tell my daughter that people would LOVE to have her skin color, even in the winter! It really is a gorgeous, lightly tanned color naturally (they are mixed black and white) and in the summer it just gets better. So I'd just try to tell her to be proud of it and move on...when she is a little older she will LOVE it.

2 moms found this helpful

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