Tough questions to answer, not because I cannot deal with them or explain but because I thought these would come much later, not when she is four. But it only tells you how conscious kids become these days and how early.
I was bathing my four year old and she said that she wondered what colour God was, just out of the blue. Ouch. I said to myself. I was not in the mood for an explanation at that point, had a lot to do, twins(have eight month old twin girls) needed attention, but I didn’t want to just let it go and ward her questions off, not this one. So, briefly, I told her all the right things, to the best of my ability, about colour of the skin not mattering etc etc, about God not being one and of a single colour. She nodded then added “but lighter is better, isn’t it?” I squirmed, then said “no”, and patiently told her some more about what mattered more, about good deeds and good human beings rather than superficial things like skin colour. She didn’t questions any more and I am not sure what she took away from our conversation, which I am going to revisit in a few days when I have a little more time to explain better and after, frankly, I’ve given it a thought myself, about what I am going to say!
I know I must be prepared as a parent to face all sorts of questions, and a lot would depend on what I say, so I must be careful. But what disturbed me was the fact that colour of the skin mattered to her, and she could not have picked this up from the house, since I am very particular about such matters and like to say the right stuff in front of the kids. And it’s not like she’s partial to fairer people either, which is why I was surprised and a little upset. This tells you about the limited control you have over what your kid learns and picks up, sooo many factors influence them, and you have to constantly counter or reinforce these, as may deem necessary. Scary.
Parenting is not easy. I just hope I have the answers as the questions come along..
5 responses to “Mama, what colour is God? Is God a man or a woman?”
Parenting is indeed hard but as we go on to in our parenting journey we will learn more things.
Ooh…that was a toughie…the part in which u said that we have very little control over what our kids pick up is quite scary and frankly my biggest concern…anyway would love to know what your follow up conversation was…
Someone once told me that one of the biggest mistakes parents make is to assume that our kids are influenced principally by us….when in fact school, friends, teachers and casual acquaintances also play a significant role especially as they grow older. I’m interested in knowing if the followup conversation happened and how it went 🙂
Thanks for your replies! I think I agree that parents must realize and accept the fact that kids are not influenced only by them. I know this now for a fact. As my four year old is growing up she is saying things I could not have said to her in my dreams. For instance, the other day she asked me if her grandfather was dead, (my husband’s father). I have never used that word in her presence, always said that he’s with God. She looked at me and said “I know he’s dead.”
She comes back from the park (park, oh! the park!) and says all sorts of things – mostly I can hear some other child in her, some child I have met in the park..
What I do try and do is counter what I don’t like to hear, each time, many times, so she thinks about it.
When we play dress-up dolls on the computer I always choose a dark skin tone and say that it’s pretty – she’s not always convinces but she does not mind it either. One has to, in small ways, keep reinforcing what is important in life. That, and then hope..
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