What Would YOU Have Done?

Yesterday I took all the kids to the neighborhood pool.
It was a perfect day.
Ruby and I sat on the edge at the stairs dangling her 
chubby little legs in the water.
The kids swam and played on the wide stairs with us. 
{When our home sells in Colorado
{any one want to buy a house?  Please pray it sells!}
we pray we are able to buy a home in this neighborhood.}
Anyway, we had played for about 2.5 hours in the 
water and it was time to start heading 
toward home for dinner.
And it was right then that I looked down at 
Elizabeth who was right in front of Ruby and I.
Elizabeth was watching a  
little boy playing 
nearby in the water.  
{We had never seen the little boy until yesterday 
and no, the kids had not been playing with him.
  He had just been playing nearby some of the time.}
 In that split second, as I looked at Elizabeth, 
her smile drained from her face
 and looking toward him, 
she said, 
“Rude.”
  Turning her face up to me,
her beautiful brown eyes pleading with my heart.  
I turned to the {approximately} 6 year old boy, 
who was not more 
than five feet from me and heard him 
almost snarl
as he repeated:
“I hate all of you”
and pausing while 
lowering his voice a bit
he continued,
“because you’re black.”
Soooo….
tell me sweet friends….
Truly, what would you have done?
Anything at all?
Nothing?
I’d really, really love to know.

123 thoughts on “What Would YOU Have Done?

  1. That is so sad. Clearly he is getting his horrible ideas from the adults in his life. How is this stuff still going on today? I don't know what I would've done. πŸ™

  2. Oh, how heart breaking. I am so glad you asked what we would do. This is something I need to keep in mind as I raise children with brown skin. I have not yet experienced unkind words.

    No, on second thought, I did when my son was a baby. I don't really remember what the man said. I think it was something about sending my son back to Africa. I just calmly replied that God wanted him here with us.

    We did have an experience with a little girl who refused to swim on the same side of the pool as my children. I did not want to jump to the conclusion that it was due to their skin color. I didn't say anything to my children because I didn't think they noticed.

    In the case that you just described, I think I would give the boy a smile and will the love of Jesus to shine through it. Then, in private, I would talk to my children about their feelings. Allowing them to lead the conversation, I might explain how some people feel about skin color and where those lies come from. Then, I would absolutely lead them in praying for the boy.

    If we saw the boy again, I would still offer love. If he said it again, I would attempt to talk to his parents. Hopefully, he learned it somewhere outside the home. If things got worse, I would complain to the people running the pool. Your children have a right to swim without being persecuted for their skin color.

  3. I would have broke down and cried knowing that he's probably heard it from adults. Then I probably would have marched to find his parents and gave them a punch in the mouth, whoops I meant an earful. Prejudice is something I cannot tolerate!! A little 6 year old gets it from somwhere, kwim. I'm so sorry you had to go through that. Hugs

  4. What I want to do I do not do..thank God. I have felt Him put his loving hand over my mouth more than once in my life time. We too have a "colorful" family : ) I hope I would have said- "well thats a shame because we love you and would like to play together next time we are here at the pool.We have some pretty cool water games we would like you to play with us. And hey,maybe you could introduce me to your parents next visit". But what I would like to do would be to march his hiney over to his parent and explain why God loves us all and does not like ugliness.. when our daughter was only 4 she was in a dance class. She was the only brown child : ) When the teacher asked them to hold hands with a partner, she went to several different girls,they would not hold her hand. : ( broke my heart..the parents were just as bad…no one stepped in and encouraged their child to accept her. I took her hand and told her how blessed I was to get to be her partner. BROKE my heart. Today one of those girls is her best friend. GOD can move mountains!!
    In His grip
    Dawn

  5. I am stunned. And so sad…not only for Elizabeth, who heard him, but also for that little boy who has obviously been taught to hate. So sad for him. I honestly don't know what I would have done. I know what I SHOULD do, but am completely embarrassed to confess I don't know if I would have had the courage. So sorry, Linny, that you and your sweet ones had to face that. πŸ™

  6. I think I would have sat down immediately on the edge of the pool and talked to him like the child he is. Obviously this was taught to him. I would say, "What a sad reason to hate someone. How does our being black make you hate us, buddy?" Depending on how he answered, I might ask him more questions, one of which would probably be, "Were you wanting to play with us today and didn't quite know how to ask? Hating someone for any reason is not the right way to ask, but next time we come to the pool you could choose a nice way to talk to us." I'd then encourage him to apologize and then I'd encourage the children to forgive him. You never know if you might get to plant a seed in the middle of all that hate. You won't get to plant any without some effort. BUT even though you asked, I am already sure that is already what you did:o)

  7. I would have prayed – if God provided an opportunity to sit down and chat with him, I would have asked him a couple of questions like what makes people people, what makes people different and what makes people different. I might have asked him the difference between the two of us (both white) and then pointed out for him that the differences on the outside don't make the difference between people. (this is best case scenario…knowing the parents who put that thought in his head were probably close by too…) Prejudice for a reason to exclude is probably one of the most horrible human abilities.

  8. I would guess, at six years old, that he doesn't hate you, he is just parroting what he has heard someone else say or has seen something on t.v. You are a big group, and if you moved in and are now the most fun family on the block and he is playing by himself, he most likely was feeling left out and alone. I would have asked where his momma or caregiver was and went over and introduce myself and the kids to them. The next time we were at the pool and he was there I would invite him over to play with your kids and the parent to come and chat with you. Bring some awsome pool toys, no six year old can resist them and he will join in. What is that verse, For you will heap burning coals on his head, and the Lord will reward you. Not knowing this little guys history, or that of his family, I would just try to break down the walls between you so he can see you are just people. Who knows, he could end up being one your kids best friend. We can all add him to our prayer list, he won't know what hit him after a couple thousand people have lifted him in prayer up to God – makes me giggle just thinking about it.

  9. Where was his mother? I would definately tell the mother and ask her permission to talk to the little boy. Oh, and I'd have to pray really hard to say the right thing, cause I know some not so nice things might come to my mind….

  10. I would have taken the route my Mom used to when someone said something mean: not give their words any power over us.
    The way she would do that was by indicating that a person who thinks something so untrue must be mentally deranged, and therefore deserves our pity.
    In this case, she would have said something like: "It is so sad that that little boy is so sick inside his head. He doesn't know how wonderful it is that God made people with skin in all different colors!"
    I'm sorry you had to experience that! Children aren't usually aware of racial differences (or valuation of it at least) at that age unless they are being fed those untruths at home. How sad that a little boy hears such hateful things on the home front, because it is setting him up for trouble in the future…
    ~Katie
    http://www.myfarawaydaughter.blogspot.com

  11. Oh Linny. I have yet to have such a bold experience. Yikes! I probably would not have handled it well. Hubby probably would have handled it better …. maybe talked to him about all our differences – hair, eyes and the beauty of it. It may be the only positive words he will ever hear about color or anyone different than himself. Breaks my heart.

  12. First I would say a prayer. I think that this is a situation that must be bathed in prayer. I would ask my bigger kids to escort the younger kids away from the situation. I would have to alert the parent to what had happened. I would let them know that I would be praying for them. I'm not sure there would be much else that you could do.
    We have a wide variety of color in our household and have encountered racism. It is sad to hear those words come out of such a young mouth. Our area is mostly white and for the most part we've had delightful interactions with everyone we've ever met. It is sad that those bad interactions can hurt us so much though. I will pray that your kids can heal from such wounding words.

  13. Oh my goodness! My children are biracial and I can say I've not encountered this specifically from other children. My own family, yes, but not someone I do not know. I think I would have watched for his parent and spoken with them but unfortunately he has probably heard this from them. It is a learned thing, how else would he have known to say this???? Oh my goodness, my jaw is still on the counter! Sweet Elizabeth was right, he was rude! I am sorry you and she had to deal with this and thus start conversations you may not have wanted to have for many years!

    Racism is such a horrible horrible issue.

    Lisa

  14. Oh my gracious! I would have told him that God loves all of us, no matter what color our skin, hair, or eyes are. That we should all be kind to each other. I would have also told that little boy that we would pray for him, for God to heal his sad heart. I feel so bad for your kids, that they had to hear that.

  15. I am a Black female with Bi-racial and Caucasian children. We hear comments EVERY.SINGLE.TIME.WE.GO.OUT! We have decided as a family that we will do our best to let our light shine so we will not meet nastiness with nastiness, but we ignore what we can and talk to those who will at least stick around to listen.

    There are the type that are sniper comments…say them as they walk by and keep on a-runnin' and then those that really think it is their place to "fix what's wrong with the world" type. They want to talk to us to be sure we know how "wrong" we are. I know there are other types.

    As a mother, I first make sure my children's hearts are protected and healed. I assure them of just how "right" we are and remind them of God's ordered plan for our family. I allow my children to decide if they want to educate or walk away, being careful to not let them engage with a person whose words are nothing but poison. Those we pray for and get away from.

    When a child says something not nice, I remind my children that this child is probably repeating what they have learned and so their words, while still yucky are not "heart" words. (We talk everyday about God seeing our heart, which outranks our words and actions.) They can choose to say something like, "Your words are not nice." or they can just walk away. I always tell them to tell me so that they do not feel alone in the battle.

    Processing peoples reactions and words as much as we can ahead of time give the kids a bit of a protective layer.

    Band together beautiful children of God!

    Peace

  16. My heart broke as i read this. I feel so badly for the little boy that has been raised to hate people just because of their skin color. I have no idea what i would have said, but my heart hurts πŸ™

  17. I would have said, "It hurts people's feelings when you say mean things just because of the color of their skin." And then I would have introduced ourselves, maybe with something that each child likes to do, "This is Elizabeth, and she likes to dance," and "this is Jubliee and she likes to laugh…" I would have explained that you're their mama, and asked his name and what he likes.

    Chances are that he felt left out, and was lashing out because he felt left out. He probably thought you were a party instead of a family. Also, that sort of hatred in a small boy comes from ignorance and not being exposed to the humanness of people different from himself. So I would have tried to give him a good dose of how very real and human you all are – just like him.

  18. I'm speechless… for words I can put in print anyway!!!

    My first instinct would be to question him as to why the color of someones skin determines whether you hate them or not.
    Then,
    knowing my temperament,it would have gotten ugly. But I guess it already was.
    I would have lost my mind on his mother or whoever he was with.
    Then cried.

    What did you do????

    And give Elizabeth a hug from me. I'm sorry she had to be treated like that.

  19. I keep hoping that this kind of hateful response will be gone with each generation…but it still goes on. Even in children. Horrible! Our chidren went through this kind of thing in the 80's and 90's. Once in a church we attended, our son who is black and was around 18 mo old was treated terrible in nursery for crying…really? OR for being black? It was quite obvious because of what was said by the grandmother in there that he was not wanted. Sad…sad.An other time people spoke rudely about our family and got up and left a restaraunt when our rainbow family sat down to eat.
    How would I respond? With contained anger first of all as a mama bear…..but I think to this littl 6yr old I would just say Jesus loves you…and spend my time doing damage control with my family…discussing the incident, etc. This kind of hate usually comes from the parents….not always but usually.
    Oh, Linny, I know we are to love our enemies so I think we would need to pray too of course…

  20. Wow. I don't know what to say to a child who obviously learned this from someone else. I worry so much about this with Jadon. It would break my heart (as it did yours) that someone would point out his difference in skin color so horribly. I hope that prayer will turn this poor little boy around.

  21. I would have said we don't talk that and that Jesus made all people white and black. I would have said if he can't be nice then don't say a word. The hard part would be telling Elizabeth that sin is in the world and the devil teaches people to like or hate based on skin color. I am so sorry that this happened! Your family is such a blessing to many and such a good example of love.

    Best,

    Holly Arnold:)

  22. Oh my goodness! Who has communicated that to that little boy at such a young age? I think I would have assumed this was someone else's fault, not the little boy's. Then tried to tell him something different than what he has heard before. Poor Elizabeth! I hope this memory will quickly flit away and not stick with her. How sad!
    Megan

  23. Coming out of lurking for this.

    I would have told him that I was very sorry for him and that we and God still loved him.

    Then I would have tried to hide my anger and tears from my kids. BOY would I have needed His hand over my mouth!!

    My heart is breaking for your sweet ones.

    Blessings!

  24. I think first I would have to plead with the Father to keep me from thinking or doing something…..

    Then I think I would have smiled at him and said Jesus loves you and so do we.

    We have had those words….at the play ground…..don't play with "them". Oh dear….let's leave before "they" come……MOST of the time our children don't hear or notice- THANK YOU LORD!!! But when they do…..we talk about it. We deliberately pray for them, for their families, from the people who have have taught them hate, and for their hearts to be softened toward the Lord!

  25. Wow. That is so hard. Especially since it hurts all of you and I know how hard it is to hear and see my children hurt.

    If it were me, I would have spoken to the little boy and told him that you are all one happy family and the color of each of your skin does not matter in the slightest. We are all God's children and we each have to chose how we will treat other people. I would also tell him that you chose not to hate anyone. I would also encourage him to give others a chance. Perhaps he will be surprised to find that he can be friends with children of different colors.

    After I left, I would talk to my kids about what happened and help them understand why children say such mean things like that. I know your kids already know how much they are loved and appreciated. Maybe the next time they see that little boy, they can show him love in some way.

    Although this is a different situation, Taeya has some friends who get mad at her about having a certain toy and automatically say, "I'm not your friend anymore." I've heard this numerous times and Taeya and I talk about it and I explain to her that I don't want her saying those words to her friends. Even if we don't like something our friend is doing, we don't tell them that they're not our friends. Taeya understands this and understands too that just because other people's parents allow them to say that doesn't make it right. If I am watching someone else's child at my house and I hear that, I tell them that we don't talk like that and explain why.

    As a teacher, I believe it's important to use each opportunity we have to teach children right and wrong. That child learned to hate from his parents. He's going to have a hard/sad time in life if he doesn't learn quickly how wrong that type of attitude is. He needs to hear and see how wrong that attitude is from others for him to learn any different.

  26. Oh, how that crushes my heart! We are still living in a world where people judge someone's inside by what they look like on the outside. I'm sure Satan was throwing a party!

    Honestly, I don't think I would have done a thing right then and there. I would have continued to gather my precious children, and then discuss it with them at home. We can't ignore when those things prick at the very core of our kids, but we don't have to give anyone the satisfaction of seeing how they hurt us either.

  27. o my breaking heart. 4 choices of what to do. some could be combined.
    1. say nothing to him but confirm the rudeness of this to your children while instantly reaffirming them.
    2. firmly tell the child to use kind words or go play somewhere else.
    3. talk to the boy's grown up.
    4. (maybe combine with #2) BE KIND IN RETURN–tell him Jesus loves him and that your family will pray for him to be kinder.

    Definitely lots of encouragement and defusing for your sweet babies.

  28. I would HOPE that I would have asked the rude child (in as nice of a way as I could muster) if he could show me where his mom/grandparent/carer was. (probably in that high pitch sweet sing-songy fake mom voice) Then I would go over, introduce myself and MY FAMILY, carry on hopefully a positive conversation and leave a GOOD impression with this family that obviously has small minds right now. Maybe it would open the door to some conversation for them on the way home … even if it was only a glimmer of a speck of about "gee … how come those people were so nice? That sure isn't what I expected." My gut reaction of course is to be mean right back … but that wouldn't be the Christ like thing to do especially to a child who is just mimicing something his parents or grandparents may have said and it wouldn't help this family grow. This child is hopefully in for some growth experiences very soon. I'm so sorry that you had to deal with this … we live in the midwest where there is very little diversity … When I traveled for work to the southern states I just couldn't believe how obviously different whites and blacks are still treated. (Even though no one was as bold as this child to actually state their feelings.) Kudos to your daughter for hitting the nail on the head with her comment "Rude!" I hope that you were able to give her words of wisdom to heal that kid's mean spirit against her.
    Grrrrrrrrrr.

  29. Oh my!!! I am sick to my stomach that your babies had to hear such hate!!! I don't know what I would have done…but my first reaction would be to sweep up my lovelies, hug them tight and tell them how much I love them any how much Jesus loves them! And that we are ALL made in HIS image…and He doesn't care what color our skin is..He cares about our hearts! My flesh wants to say it loud enough so that boy and his mama would hear it and be shamed!!

    So sad that little boy has learned such hatred!

    Praying for the right words for you to share with your sweet ones!

    Laurie in MA

  30. I think the only thing I could have said would be,Well that makes me very sad and we love you no matter what you look like,but love isn't about how you look or what color you are.And more importantly,God loves you and I am going to pray every day that he changes your heart full of hate to a heart full of love for all people everywhere.Then I would have hugged all my precious children tight and told them how loved and beautiful they all are.And I, as a sometimes commenter on your blog am praying for this child,whomever has brought such a young boy to such a dark place,and for your family not to be hurt by the hate and that it does miraculously QUICKLY turn into LOVE from ABOVE!!!

  31. You could always respond with something to the effect that God loves him just like he loves you all – or simply pray for him and his family. He has obviously been taught this at home. Another idea – try to get to know his parents. You would be a blessing to them I'm sure :-)!

  32. I know how I want to respond!!! πŸ™‚ But that's different than how I should or would respond.

    We haven't dealt with this issue yet in our multi-ethnic family, although I know that the two oldest who have joined our family recently from China have some nationality-based prejudice against our younger two, who come from Taiwan, and I believe our oldest has some prejudiced feelings against blacks, also. Several of her medical care workers in the last few months have been black, and I have worried that she would respond to/against them in some inappropriate way, but so far she has not.

    At Chinese church on Sunday I overheard a child in my oldest daughter's class say to her teacher, "They laugh at us [Chinese people] because we're different, but I laugh at them [white people] because they're all the same."

    I know that some American-born Chinese people will be prejudiced against our older daughters because they speak English with a heavy accent, and some Asian-born Chinese people will be prejudiced against our younger children because they don't speak Chinese. We couldn't, for instance, do mission work in Taiwan without our two younger children experiencing intense humiliation at the hands of other Taiwanese children.

    I had a Korean student at my university last year who told me that the worst prejudice he ever experienced was from Chinese children when he attended an international school in Taiwan.

    A white friend of mine whose daughter is black was recently the victim of some pretty ugly comments of a black woman at church who told her repeatedly, loudly, and publicly that she needs "help" to fix her daughter's hair, even though my friend has done significant study on how to help her daughter "go natural" with her hair, and the girl's hair is gorgeous and very healthy.

    Just saying I don't know how we're going to deal with racism, but it comes in many different forms from many different directions.

    In the meantime, I definitely have not come up with a Christ-like response for that little boy at the pool — or for his parents!

  33. I know how I want to respond!!! πŸ™‚ But that's different than how I should or would respond.

    We haven't dealt with this issue yet in our multi-ethnic family, although I know that the two oldest who have joined our family recently from China have some nationality-based prejudice against our younger two, who come from Taiwan, and I believe our oldest has some prejudiced feelings against blacks, also. Several of her medical care workers in the last few months have been black, and I have worried that she would respond to/against them in some inappropriate way, but so far she has not.

    At Chinese church on Sunday I overheard a child in my oldest daughter's class say to her teacher, "They laugh at us [Chinese people] because we're different, but I laugh at them [white people] because they're all the same."

    I know that some American-born Chinese people will be prejudiced against our older daughters because they speak English with a heavy accent, and some Asian-born Chinese people will be prejudiced against our younger children because they don't speak Chinese. We couldn't, for instance, do mission work in Taiwan without our two younger children experiencing intense humiliation at the hands of other Taiwanese children.

    I had a Korean student at my university last year who told me that the worst prejudice he ever experienced was from Chinese children when he attended an international school in Taiwan.

    A white friend of mine whose daughter is black was recently the victim of some pretty ugly comments of a black woman at church who told her repeatedly, loudly, and publicly that she needs "help" to fix her daughter's hair, even though my friend has done significant study on how to help her daughter "go natural" with her hair, and the girl's hair is gorgeous and very healthy.

    Just saying I don't know how we're going to deal with racism, but it comes in many different forms from many different directions.

    In the meantime, I definitely have not come up with a Christ-like response for that little boy at the pool — or for his parents!

  34. While my son is able to "fit in" now days, there have been times in the past that other children made fun of him. Cruel words from children hurt. They hurt because I know those words typically are learned from parents. I try to set the example of how a parent should respond. I smile and say, "It makes us sad you do not like us. But God loves us and created us to be just like this. We are thankful for our lives. God also created you, and He loves you too." Sometimes this creates more conversation to minister to others and sometimes we just have to leave due to unbearable awkwardness.

  35. That is a hard one. Honestly, I probably would of froze in shock for a couple seconds. Then I would of told Elizabeth "Yes, it is very rude. unfortunately some parents teach their children to dislike people for reasons that make no sense.", and tried to get the kids out of the environment as fast as possible. Perhaps I would know a better way to respond if I knew more about child psychology. I'm curious to read other peoples responses to see if anyone can think of anything to say to the boy that would gently place a seed of doubt in his mind about his parents logic.

  36. grrrrrrr, I would be biting my tounge, even though it would be written all over my face.

    Elizabeth you go girl, you are right he is RUDE, and I am sorry that it happened.

    just don't know what I would say but glad to have time to refelct before I bring my daughter home.

  37. My initial reaction (even upon reading this) is to dunk the kid in the pool.

    Ahem. But I'm sure I'd have bit my tongue and NOT done that.

    My 2nd reaction was for you to lay hands on him and cast the demon out.

    Ahem. Again, probably not exactly possible since you had Ruby in your hands and you may have laid your hands on him a little to roughly. Or maybe I just would have.

    I'd have probably said nothing at the time but later used it as an incredible teaching moment with the children.

    Unfortunately, we're facing that type of attitude within our own family. It's heartbreaking (and blood boiling) when it's a stranger. It's gut wrenching and Momma Bear inducing when it's your own family.

    I hope you and Elizabeth had the opportunity to discuss his words and actions and pray for him.

  38. Oh Linny, this breaks my heart. I do not understand the world of hatred around us. I don't know if I would have been able to control the Mama Bear raging inside of me if that had happened to my children. Hopefully I would have grabbed my children and walked away from the situation and had a good talk with them, showering love on them. But again, that Mama Bear could have come out and been pretty ugly. πŸ™

  39. I would probably be so shocked I would do nothing! But I would think of lots of alternatives later that night while laying in bed and not sleeping!

  40. How horrible! Obviously the evil one is attacking again. I do think I would have said something along the line of "Please stop being rude. Every person is beautiful but it is what is in your heart that is the most important!" I would not have said it as much for the little boys benefit as for your children. I think in a time like that they do need to see us as parents defend and stand up for them. At such a young age, I would guess he is living in a very racist environment. Praying that you will continue to have wisdom in this regard. By the way what did you do? I know I would have been very tempted to stomp on over to his mama, dragging him by the ear and giving her a piece of my mind. But I know that would not necessarily be the godly response.

  41. Oh my goodness, I don't know what I would have done! That is soo horrible such a little person is already been taught to hate! Pray for him and his family! That's all I can think of, obviously there is a real problem with them for teaching that to a little child. My heart breaks for him. As far as your kids I have no doubt you will find a way to talk to them about how hateful the world can be..

  42. What WOULD I have done or what SHOULD I have done? Because if I'm honest, those are 2 very different answers! Nope, not proud, but it's the truth. I would have probably said something ugly but should have said, "Oh honey, that makes me so very sad that you would hate someone because of the color of their skin. God made people in all different shades of colors in His image and said it was good! I'm sure that makes God very sad to hear you say such hurtful words." But in all honesty I probably would have not responded so well…I would have been so angry I probably would have cried. How did your sweet Miss Elizabeth handle it? So sad and stupid for hatred to exist because of the amount of or lack of (for those with albinism) melanin in the skin. UGH. Please Lord Jesus, give us your eyes!

  43. Oh my, that's terrible! I guess giving the boy a spanking or washing his mouth out of soap isn't acceptable but man that's what he needs! He needs a lesson on God's love and to learn Jesus loves the little children. Maybe it needs to start with his parents! So sorry your sweeties had to hear that, but man how they are loved by many!
    I just finished Kisses from Katie on our drive to Fl and it made my longing for adoption even greater! Oh how I want to visit Uganda, but this surprise 4th pregnancy will make it a little longer.
    Love seeing pictures of your treasures!

  44. My daughter is mixed and to this day at 11 does not see the color difference. But when she was 5 in camp a girl came up to her and said I cannot play with you because you are black. She came home and told me and told her it was that girls loss. People are mean and you have to show them that you are a better person then she or they are.

    Kids learn it from their parents which is even sadder in my eyes. I would have said something to the child in a polite but stern manner.

  45. wow that is disturbing.

    I think I would handle a comment like that from a kid along the lines of asking him what's bothering him …

    "you must be feeling pretty sad to say that. Do you want to talk about why you are feeling so sad? Sometimes I feel sad inside and it hurts and makes me want to hurt someone else, and then when I do that it makes me feel even more sad inside. Let's talk about why you are feeling so sad."

  46. Ok – I don't comment here often 'cause I'm one of those lurkers…shy, quiet..NOT!

    Anyway – one thing you have to remember – this is what his PARENTS taught him. It is not his fault. I would have been shocked but then I would have tried to teach him a bit of manners and then I would have hunted down his parents to call them on it! And then? I would have taught Elizabeth how to correctly handle the situation!

    I'm sorry this happend – hurts my heart for any child to be hurt. Our kids will be teased as they grow up and all we can do is hurt right along with them and then teach them how to overcome it!

    Many hugs!

    Carla

  47. Ok – I don't comment here often 'cause I'm one of those lurkers…shy, quiet..NOT!

    Anyway – one thing you have to remember – this is what his PARENTS taught him. It is not his fault. I would have been shocked but then I would have tried to teach him a bit of manners and then I would have hunted down his parents to call them on it! And then? I would have taught Elizabeth how to correctly handle the situation!

    I'm sorry this happend – hurts my heart for any child to be hurt. Our kids will be teased as they grow up and all we can do is hurt right along with them and then teach them how to overcome it!

    Many hugs!

    Carla

  48. I'm not sure what I would have done. But I think I would be happy that Elizabeth said what she said instead of Why am I black? or Why am I different? She understands that he was the one at fault and that there is nothing wrong with her the way she is. You should be proud of the fact that you have instilled that in her. The fact is, she will be the one that has to deal with racism all her life, not you. So giving her amazing self esteem is really important.

  49. I probably would have ignored him or maybe would have said something along the lines of "I'm sorry you feel that way but Jesus/God loves us all." And then left it at that. Unfortunately that is a learned behavior from the adults in his life. In my career as a kindergarten teacher I saw it often, that kids would come to school and say they couldn't sit/play with this child or that because they were black, Mexican, Muslim etc. Sorry you had to experience this, but not everyone is as loving and kind as you are.

  50. Oh my word!
    I would have told him that was a shame, because we love you. AND Elizabeth, Isaiah, Elijah and Jubilee are really fun to play with andThey would be great friends to have.
    At this age some kids don't know how to say or acknowledge someone who is different. His parents MAY not be feeding him this. I have watched preschoolers not want to mingle with classmates who are "different" It goes both ways. The asian and indian kids stuck with the kids like themselves too. Once they figured out that they all liked to play house and cars it disappeared and they were going to one anothers homes for playdates and parties!! If you see him again ask him if he likes to do specific things each of your kids likes do. When he says yes make a big deal about how Elijah or Isaiah LOVES to do the same thing and see how how his demeanor changes!

  51. Forgot to add this! He was probably jealous of your kids all playing together too and didn't know how to join in and thought that would justify his feelings of being left out and make it ok that he was alone and they were having a great time. Just a thought!!

  52. This little boy is likely being taught ugly things at home. My sister's ex-husband taught my nephews similar hatred when they were small, and our family had to work to reverse it. It was quite difficult to take them into public! I suppose I would have said, "Jesus loves ALL of us, including rude little boys."

  53. Oh Linny, I agree with Elizabeth RUDE!! I would love to hear the answers as I fear that would happen here in the South quite often. As for me, I think I would have to walk away for fear of holding him under water :0 Na, although I can't promise it wouldn't cross my mind πŸ™‚

    amy in ga

  54. πŸ™ πŸ™ I would have gently said something to him for sure, you were given a opportunity to put seeds of doubt into this little boys heart, to know that what he has been taught is wrong, I would have done it in THE most gentle voice and with lots of love and warmth in my voice. Then I would have stormed heaven with prayers for his heart and his parents hearts. This is learnt behavior.

    To be honest I would have also thanked God for the opportunity to pray for somebody who's heart is really angry and probably really sad as well.

    I'm so sorry sweet Elizabeth had to experience that.

  55. OHWOW. Hmmm… I think the first thing that would've come out of my mouth would've been "well God loves my daughter just the way He created her. And He loves you too."
    Did he know you were her mom?

  56. :-O a SIX year old?!!! I'm not sure I could have spoken at all but I think I would have said something like "oh my goodness that is an awful thing to say!"
    Heartbreaking to think what that child has been taught about skin color.

  57. Oh my heart hurts! This is awful and can only imagine what that little boy is learning at home. Although I don't know exactly what I would say in that situation but I would hope that I would say something to the extent of that's ok because I love you not because of your skin color but because God loves you.

    I am so sorry your precious family had to go through this!

  58. Oh my! I would have probably said that thankfully Jesus loves us and I would hope that he would find a way to turn the hate in his heart to love and then I would pull my babies close and walk away. I am sorry your family had to deal with that. Sending β™₯!

  59. I'm sure exactly what I would have done, but it would probably have been something along the lines of a reminder that we are ALL God's children and he loves us all no matter the color of our skin. Then there would have been a conversation with my sweet little girl about how she is special and loved.

  60. Wow, that is so terrible and hurts my heart so much I had to come out of lurking to tell you how sorry I am. Unfortunately, I probably would not have said anything from sheer shock. Now that I have processed a few minutes, I hope I would have said something like, "I am sorry you already have so much hate at a young age, that cannot feel good. Regardless, there is no room for that kind of language."

  61. I just gasped!

    First of all, my heart breaks for him because he has been exposed to this sort of thinking but I truly don't know. It would have to be God.

    I'm all ears…waiting to learn from you on this one.

  62. I have no idea! That's terrible!

    Last year after Annie's first surgery, she had a huge wound on her head- very obvious.

    A little girl at Hobby Lobby noticed Annie adn I assumed her question was going to be about Annie's head.

    Instead she asked, "why is she black?"

    I just told her that is how God made her and that she is adopted. I do not think that little girl was being hateful, just curious.

    I would have to pray for grace if I heard those hateful words like your angel did! Yikes!

  63. Linny,
    I think I would have looked that little boy in the eye and told him "Well we love you no matter what!" Of course the momma inside of me would be more angery than you can imagine. The said truth when things like this happen is that you know the child has learned it at home:) Praying for you and your sweet treasures you inspire me!

  64. as the white mommy of a very brown, almost black little girl, i encounter colorphobia towards my daughter, or myself from brown people, frequently. here's what i have done: try to establish a relationship with a person who is afraid ('hate' means fear) of dark-colored or light-colored people. ask questions. 'why do you hate us?' 'where did you hear that?' 'what is your name?' just talking often defuses the fear. poor little guy- he's only parroting what he's heard. blessings on your little brown kids and may Jesus protect their hearts.

  65. Thats a tough one. He's just a kid, probably saying what he's heard before from others around him. Since you don't know him, talking with him is probably not the answer. The best answer may be to consider what to tell your own children about hateful, bigoted people. Its a terrible thing to tell kids of color about, but better that they learn from you than learn firsthand without you there to address it with them. If this is a public pool and this child is there often and this situation recurs, it would probably be worth speaking to the staff who may be able to inform the parents that this behavior is not acceptable in a public place (or anywhere, but we can't change everything).

  66. In a perfect world, I would say something. Six year olds don't have ideas like that on their own, that must be something that he has been told by a trusted adult. The only way for this child to know any different is for others to speak up and let him know in a loving way that those thoughts and behaviors are not OK.

    But that's in an ideal situation, in reality I would have just been stunned and tried not to hunt down that kid's parents to punch them in the face.

    So what did you do? And how is sweet Elizabeth?

  67. My heart hurt reading this post!! How awful for you and your precious babies!

    I definitely would have responded. First I would have had to control my initial impulse to smack him in the mouth & say, "Well, we don't like you because you're rude & ugly!" (Sometimes you just want to hurt people when they hurt your babies no matter how old they are!)

    After taking a deep breath, I would have told him that he was being very rude and even though skin may be different colors, we are all the same on the inside and we all feel hurt or sad when someone says mean things to us. Also I would have reminded him that Jesus loves everyone no matter what shade their skin may be and wants us to do that too; and because your family loves Jesus so much, you choose to love even when you have been hurt. Also that you will be praying for him, that he would choose to make Jesus happy by loving others.

    I also would have looked for a parent and spoken to them. Sometimes kids are just repeating what they hear at home.

  68. Because he was six years old, I think I would have said 'And I love you because Jesus loves you so much. Just like He loves each of us.' If the child had been older or had been an adult, I would have responded more severely. But as I write that I wonder why shouldn't my response to the older child or the adult not be the same?
    I also would have loved up my children and tried, somehow, to explain that people sometimes say ugly things because they feel so ugly inside.

  69. Because he was six years old, I think I would have said 'And I love you because Jesus loves you so much. Just like He loves each of us.' If the child had been older or had been an adult, I would have responded more severely. But as I write that I wonder why shouldn't my response to the older child or the adult not be the same?
    I also would have loved up my children and tried, somehow, to explain that people sometimes say ugly things because they feel so ugly inside.

  70. OH MY STARS MAMA BEAR IS COMING OUT- what would i want to do- love the little boy like Jesus does, despite his sinful heart, which was the result of generational racism, (although not where i struggle in sin, i still have a sinful heart, that only through His blood on the cross am i forgiven)… but i would hope that i would be able to calmly talk to the boy, but clearly its the parents that need a softened heart. that breaks my heart for your kids. makes me sad for this child who is growing up with hatred towards people of other races. ahh gives me something to think about and what would my reaction be (as we are praying about adopting) as we live in the south and racism is still widespread

  71. HOw very very sad for one so young to hate because of the color of skin. It makes you wonder what goes on in his home life to place such hatred in his heart at such a young age.

    I have no idea how I would have responded. I probably would have said something along the lines of "Jesus loves you even when you are mean and hurtful."

    Blessings to you and your sweet kiddos,
    Suzanne

  72. How sad…..really I never know what to do in these situations. We have had them too, from adults none the less, who glare hateful looks, or shake their head in disgust.
    I will never ever, and have never ever understood such hatred. It makes me so so sad.
    Before I adopted children of another race, I would have told you that I did not think racism was alive in the US anymore…..I was wrong, very wrong, and sadly, I am not sure if the world will give my Asian children the chances that my Caucasian children have.
    This poor little boy is just a product of his raising. Thank you GOD that my parents did not instill hate towards different races to me.

  73. I would have ignored it. Sometimes it is just best to ignore hateful comments. But on the other hand I taught first grade for years and I did not ignore it. I got the two of them together and we had a discussion. About how it felt to be called names, and how it feels to see someone cry because you said something mean. I would take it as far as I needed to in order to drive home my point. Most times the two would shake hands or hug and say "friends forever." Once in a while it would take a missed recess to bring this to pass.

  74. How sad… That poor six year old must live in a very very hateful family to be snarling hate at such a young age. I would have pointed out that cats and dogs and birds and butterflies come in all sorts of colors, and God loves all of them and thinks they are all beautiful. People come in all sorts of colors, too, and He loves each and every one of them – including him. A boy steeped in that much hate probably doesn't hear that very often.

    Please give Elizabeth a hug from me and tell her that she is beautiful and very very loved.

  75. My heart breaks for your sweet treasures. I really don't know how I'd respond to that. I guess just tell your treasures to pray for the little boy. πŸ™

  76. and who taught the little one to not like the color black. worst to be predjudist and hurtful to another human being. Maybe you should tell him that he is PINK and that Pink and Black go together.
    Seriously, he doesn't know God for he would have been taught
    Acts10:34) At this Peter opened his mouth and said: β€œFor a certainty I perceive that God is not partial,
    I am sure that someone else will come along and say just the right words and thoughts. but I would have done the same and have, just kept quiet. Witness by action not words!
    Bella

  77. Oh, Linny! How awful! I think I might have just cried! What a terrible prejudice this little boy is growing up with. After that, I think I would just start showering him with kindness at every opportunity. How sad your kids had to experience that. Your family is beautiful BECAUSE (in part, of course) you are all so unique and different. I will begin to pray that God softens this little boy's heart toward others. ((hugs))

  78. First…I'm so sorry. Second…for a 6 year old child I think I'd have taken it as an opportunity to educate, after I picked my jaw up off the floor. I would have told him that it is his loss that his hate would keep him from knowing your beautiful children and having lots of new friends. That all people are the same on the inside. This kind of hate at 6 is not the child talking, but his parents. They've taught him hate and it's sad it still happens today.

  79. Linny,

    I'm a Pre Kindergarten Teacher in a city that is very diverse. However, we still have issues like this. A lot of my students- ages 3, 4, & 5 come to school and say the same things (and the other way around) to their classmates. It breaks my heart. Because a young child learns this from their parents. So my job as a teacher is to educate them about all races and ethnicity's. With the use of books and lots and lots of explanation I teach them to love EVERYONE; no matter what.
    As a parent that must have been AWFUL to hear. As much as I would want to yell at that little boy, I've learned that yelling gets you no where. When one of my students says something inappropriate, they expect me to yell at them. Instead, I calmly talk to them and that goes a lot further in their little mind. I would have nicely told that little boy that I would pray for him and his feelings and that I hope God would soften his heart to see how special all children are. I also might ask to speak to his parents. Some children act a certain way because of something they have heard or see outside of the home and I would want to make sure their parents knew. (Hoping they don't feel the same way though.) And if they did– then I'd be praying for them as well. And honestly the "not so nice side of me" would want to push the parents in the pool if they taught their child that feeling. πŸ™‚

  80. I think I would very tempted to start singing Jesus loves the little children all the little children of the world red and yellow black and white all are precious in his sight Jesus loves the little children of the world at the top of my lungs and probably off key but no matter. Oh please give Elizabeth a hug, she handled that situation well that boy was rude and I am proud of her.

  81. Wow. I guess I'd go home and privately get all the kids down on their knees to intercede for that little one and his family. And then I'd have to pray for myself and my own difficulty with anger and forgiveness….

    If you do move into that neighborhood, may God use you to break that cycle…

    So sorry that happened to you all.
    Maria

  82. A six year old has learned that behavior/those words from home. I think, if it were me, I would pay a visit to the home of that little boy. Those parents need a lesson in human relations and also need to hear of God's love for all people. How sad that as we are hearing so much about racism re: the Trayvon Martin murder that you and yours had to experience it first hand. How sad that it was from the mouth of a six year old who, unless he is taught better, may grow up to have this hatred just because of the color of someone's skin. I am sorry for you but I am also sorry for the little one who is learning this at home.

  83. I would have wanted to say a lot of things to that little boy. But I probably would have gathered my children and headed home and cried. Such hatred is taught. Shame on his parents!

  84. Gosh, Linny, that just made me remember of an incident at school some years ago.

    I was hired as a teacher of the deaf (being deaf myself) for a few deaf children in a public school. On my first day, during an outdoor school game, this young boy, around 9 years old, snarled and spat at me and other deaf children, hating us because we were deaf. He swore at us. As a teacher, I was displeased and called another teacher about this, and she said she'd talk with him.

    This boy was in my class of grade 3-4's, and had this aversion of us deaf. I worked with this class and somewhere in the middle of the year, a deaf boy in my class had a birthday, and his mother brought a huge, delicious blue whale cake for everyone to share. I watched with interest as the deaf boy distributed the cake and brought a slice to this mean boy. I marvelled that the deaf boy generously shared the cake to his "enemy" and saw the mean boy's face start to soften.

    At the end of the year, when I left the school, no child hugged me goodbye, except for this "mean" boy, he came up to me and hugged me goodbye. I was taken aback, surprised by his sincere hug. My heart melted, I loved how God was working in his heart, helping him to change from being hateful to loving.

    My advice is, just be good to the mean ones. Still standing up if they're doing wrong, but always being kind. Somehow, He will work a way in their hearts and you will be blessed πŸ™‚

    I am sorry your children was subject to this, I pray that they will be able to see Him working changing the mean one's hearts and give glory Him.

  85. That is the saddest thing. I once had a t-shirt with a black child and a white child playing together, and it said "Nobody's born a bigot." Someone taught him that. Such a modern new age we live in but still primitive hatred of those different than us exists. I don't know what I would do as I am not good on the spot. Probably ignored him and talked to her about how some people have not been blessed to be taught about God's love and that we are ALL made in His image! I once had a boy about 8 dance around my adorable little Chinese daughter at the park pulling his eyes out in a slant. Frankly I wanted to smack him! But I tried to pray for him instead.

  86. I would scoop up my kiddos in a hug and exclaim "Well I love them and I would love them if they were green." The problem with a 6 year old is that he does not know the gravity of his statement….he is likely repeating a phrase he heard elsewhere. Sadly racism is still very real in this country and your reaction is a way to attempt to quash in now and not use it for negative attention later.

    You should be very proud that Elizabeth did not quip back in hate, simply stating "rude" shows immense maturity.

  87. Hmmm, hard stuff. The simplest thing I've told my son, who is now 8, to say when and if anyone ever says anything mean or in a making-fun-of-him way, is that "God loves me the way I am and that's all that matters." And he's always told to just walk away after that. He's had to do it once, and I'm glad he knows that God's opinion is greater than that of a kid that knows no better.

  88. Oh my GOODNESS. I have no idea. I think I probably would have just simply told him that was not a kind thing to say, and then left. What DID you do?

  89. Fellow Phoenician "delurking" here. Love your precious family and your amazing faith. I've been following since we started our adoption process for our two-year-old son from Ethiopia (who has been home a year now and is one of our 5 little treasures). My niece who was adopted domestically has the same doctor that Ruby does at PC for hydrocephalus and my S-I-L says he is great!

    I'm not sure I would have said anything to the little boy (to spare more comments to my children) as he clearly had no filter or respect. But I would surely find his parents and tell them what had happened. Perhaps he learned this sentiment at home…but maybe somewhere else instead. I would want other parents to come to me so I could correct my children if an inappropriate situation arose. If the parents did teach him this they would probably be too embarrassed to admit it an would make him apologize. We had this happen once to an African American family who was living with us in our little 99.9% white town. When the parents found out they baked a cake and made their son apologize. It's also good to remember that children really don't understand things like adults do. For an adult, this kind of comment has a huge history and vast emotions that come along with it. A six-year-old doesn't…he is saying he hates what is different than him. That doesn't make it any easier for your precious ones to hear, but it gives us perspective on this type of situation. Please assure your little ones that they were made to be exactly who God created them to be and God never does anything but perfection! And, if I saw you in public I would probably run up and hug you all as if you knew me the way I feel I know you. And then you would think I was a weird stalker…Ha ha!:)

  90. I have contemplated all day to try and give an honest answer to your question. My first emotion was anger at the words spoken by this child, which later turned to sadness at the fact that he is just mirroring what the adults in his life have said. That being the case, there wouldn't have been any use in talking with the adult in charge, would it? We currently have a daughter with special needs (in addition to her typically developing sister) and are in the process of adopting another daughter from Ghana (we are caucasian). Though I have come to terms with the stares from the general public over the years (and feel prepared for the stares to come), I have never prepared myself for such hurtful words to be said face to face. And it breaks my heart.

    Without having a whole day to think of an appropriate response, I probably wouldn't have said anything… mostly out of pure shock. Knowing me, I would have put on a good face in front of the kiddos, gotten everyone packed up in the car, then explained to Elizabeth (and any of the others that overheard) how some people just don't understand about the love that God tells us we are supposed to show ALL people, and then pray together for the little guy, asking God to show Himself to him and his parents. After I was alone, however, I would have probably cried my eyes out and thought really bad thoughts that I would need to ask God forgiveness for later.

    And considering the fact that I've had all day to mull this over, I feel like I need to be prepared to say something BACK (in the event this might happen to me) and I ask myself, "what would Jesus do?" The only response I can come up with is to say, "Well, we love YOU, little guy. And God does too!" I chose these words not because "love" is something I would feel toward someone making a comment like that, but because God has commanded us to. And to turn the other cheek.

    Thank you for sharing this story with us, as painful as re-hashing it was, I'm sure. Thank you for inspiring first-time adoptive moms like me and letting us learn along with you on your blog. May God continue to pour out his blessings on you and your family. Oh, and sorry for the LONG comment!

  91. I am honestly not sure what I would have done. I am so sad that this happened though. Sad for you guys and sweet Elizabeth that she had to hear it, but almost more sad for this boy who is being raised by or somehow influenced by someone who is so filled with hate. I would like to think I would have been able to question the boy as to why he would say such a thing (obviously repeating somthing he had heard) but I think that confronting it out loud is the only way to begin to change the cycle of racism that still plagues our country. I was born and raised in NC, and if anyone thinks racism is a thing of the past, sadly, it is NOT. I can't guarantee I would have said anything though, sometimes I am just so shocked by what some people have the nerve to say, I am just speechless. So, what did YOU do??

  92. I have been thinking about his since I read it yesterday and I am still speechless. I frankly do not know what I would do, but I am dying to know what you did.

  93. unbelievablly sad linny. it makes my heart hurt that your sweet children had to hear such hatred. i don't even know what i would have said. you can't go to the parents because at that age, i'm sure he got the attitude FROM his parents. i guess i would have taken my kids home and talked about it and used it as the learning lesson of turning the other cheek…..so so sad…..

  94. This brings me out of "lurkdom" because oh my this hurts my heart!!!

    For you, your children and the 6 year old boy.

    I don't know what I would do in the same situation.

    Praying is the first thing that comes to mind.

    Jennifer

  95. I might have said (and I say *might* because the wind would have surely been sucked from my lungs), "I'm not sure I understand. Can you tell me more about that?".

    And wow. Poor kid. Prayers for him.

    And wow. Elizabeth. Gift of discernment. WTG.

    Now, which of your kids has the gift of evangelism and which has intercession? Have them get on it. πŸ™‚ Linny: I know you walk in hospitality. And wow … that child needs all of it.

    Let us know what Jehovah Sneaky does for this lost child. I add my prayers to yours.

  96. I grew up in small town Louisiana , the only hispanic
    And had to deal with racism every day. My parents always
    Said the sticks and stones thing and it did not help!
    As a parent, who is now back in lousiana, I have seen a few instances like what happened to you, here. It truly breaks my heart.
    I think , as the parent, I would have said, you may have been taught to hate me, but I still love you. Jesus loves you, too.
    I know too much of how painful it is for a small child to hear that. In the 2nd grade, when we moved to Louisiana, I was surrounded by a circle of kids every day as they made fun of me. They called me the n word, said they hated me, asked if I ate bugs, pulled my hair and slapped me.
    If only I knew Jesus loved me then! If I was in that situation, I would really focus on Jesus's love. There is hope and confidence in his name, even for the small children. Jesus was tormented, mocked, beaten and spit on. And yet he forgive in the face of all that.
    My daughter is only 2 but I know I will have to talk about racism with her at an early age. I think having a talk with your kids about racism and letting them express their thoughts on it would be really great. You could go over ways on how to address it and react in love. And lastly, praying for the little boy and his family. May the hate and ignorance be removed from their hearts and be replaced with God's indiscriminate love.

  97. Oviously, this young boy is repeating what he has heard from adults and is anticipating a shocking response in order to give him the attention he craves. To react the way he expects only feeds into the pattern of behavior that he has found to be successful to him-even if it is negative reinforcement. My response would be: "we will love you anyway," and then leave quickly explaining to Elizabeth that she had it right all the time: HOW RUDE! Lori Luhrs

  98. I'm speechless. Truly at a loss for words. To say that I'm sorry doesn't begin to express what my heart is feeling for you and your BEAUTIFUL, PERFECT children. I honestly don't know what I'd do. Sadly, my first instinct would be to gather my child(ren) and leave but that seems so cowardly. The other side of me would want to go over to that kid and give him a piece of my mind. Then you'd have his parents to deal with and I can only imagine what he's been taught at home so would it end up being one big scene? Our kids are worth making a scene over but would that only hurt them more? I just don't know. I haven't experienced anything that awful with my Chinese treasure other than staring or dirty looks. IF I notice children or adults staring, I will look at them until they make eye contact with me, when they do I smile, If no smile is returned (gesturing kindness or innocent curiosity) then I will blatantly move my daughter to where they can't see her. Sadly, I know our time will come so I am going to follow closely here and try to gain info from others. I'm SO very, very sorry.
    What did you do Linny?
    Hugs from Oklahoma to you and your sweet kiddos.

  99. oh wow. that made me cry πŸ™

    I have no clue what I would do…

    It would range from a.- snapping and spanking his butt to.. b.-hugging him and sobbing uncontrollably as I try to explain to him that Jesus loves everyone, even him.

    What I really want to know is what you did!? My wise momma friend!!

  100. Oh I definitely would not have done "nothing!" We have had to deal with this a few times, only not about race, but because of my daughter's missing arm. Because of this child's age, you know he had to have learned this behavior somewhere, so I would take this as a teaching opportunity (I'm a teacher by trade, so never can pass up an opportunity) and tell him that "That's too bad you hate, because we love you, and God made and loves us all," or some other simple phrase. If the parent came by as you were talking, I would tell he/she exactly what the child said and repeat what you said, because I'm guessing they need to hear it too. I'm assuming you are teasing us and will reveal what your response was in a separate post???

  101. wow. punched him in the face? : )

    truly, a child that young with such hate clearly has gotten it from his home life. so i don't know that there is much to do except to pray for him and whomever is influencing him. there is no way anything rational could be said to such venom.

    i hate that you had to experience that, and especially elizabeth. what an awful, awful experience. surely God will use it for something. but boy, what a horrible experience to have to endure as a mom.

  102. It's SO SAD to hear this comment came out of such a young one. That's the part that makes responding so difficult in my imagination. Where did he pick up such hatred? Who failed to teach him that all friends come in many colors and all are beautiful?

    Truthfully, I would have been so shocked that I probably wouldn't have said anything. Later I may have wished I said, "I'm so sorry to hear that. We actually love you, and think all kids are precious. We love kids of every color. Maybe you just don't have a black friend yet. When you do, you will see how all colors can be friends." My husband says he would have sought out the boy's parents and had a talk.

    I'm sorry for this hurt your family faced.

  103. How sad…

    I find it easier to say something to a little kid than an adult (who expresses something like that.) I think that I would have said something to the effect of "Yes, we're black, we're brown, we're white…we're all God's children."

    I then may have said, "This is such a nice pool" or "Do you live around here?" Since many kids get their views from their parents, I would have been looking around to see if his parents were watching or had heard what he said.

    *hug* Elizabeth!

  104. I think I will teach my future black children to reply with I love you even though you're white…. I don't know thats the first thing I thought of…. I have more time to think and pray about this than you do, but the verses that come to mind immediately include phrases such as "love thy enemies" "pray for those who persecute you" and "turn the other cheek." I wonder if a butt cheek counts… that kid deserves a butt in his face! I am guessing that probably isn't the route I should go though… ha!

  105. oh my goodness… that just gave me goose bumps and brought tears to my eyes. I am married to a black man and have 2 daughters who are biracial. I am not sure what I would have done at that moment. I would and will definitely pray for the young man that his heart is changed. The sad thing is if he is saying that at 6 he is hearing that somewhere, possibly at home, adn therefor a lot of prayer is needed.

  106. Linny,
    I am a lurker, but really needed to comment on this post! I have to commend your precious Elizabeth! I love how she remarked rude to the very rude boy, but looked to you for your words of wisdom! I am sure you handled it perfectly! I think you are a wonderful mother and I can only try to be as wonderful of a mother as you are to your children. You inspire me to be a better person and to help my children to become the best they can be! If this happened to me, I think I would not have said anything to acknowledge the rude boy, but I would have focused my attention on Elizabeth since she obviously was affected by this boy's insensitive comment. I would have just loved all over her and told her that she is perfect just the way God made her!! I would let her know that in her life she will encounter people who are just not nice. I would also have told her that if we would meet his parents they would have that same hatred in their heart and that the little boy probably didn't even realize what he said is wrong. His parents are teaching him this hatred toward others. I would tell her to pray for that little boy that he finds a way to accept all people regardless of how they look. I constantly tell our sn angels that they are perfect and God made them that way because he loves them!
    (Please don't post my response, just my thoughts on the situation)
    Tricia
    http://www.hosterthappenings.blogspot.com

  107. Linny, I am interested to hear what everyone else says, too. Since we are in the process of adopting two kiddos from DR Congo I know I must gird myself up to occasionally have encounters like this, but oh, it makes me feel sick to my stomach just reading about it. The idea that a young boy would already have such venom to spit out of his mouth would have left me shocked and probably speechless, but afterwards I'm sure I'd regret that I didn't have something to say that would both rebuke him and show my sweet ones I'm their defender. What did you do, Linny? Would you please tell Elizabeth and Elijah that I think God made them wonderful and that their brown/black skin is beautiful to me?

  108. I would have told him, "I am sorry you feel that way. However, we love you regardless of how you feel." I then would have gone on to tell my children how much I love them loud enough for him to hear. You know that he has learned that from somewhere – parents, friends, etc. So, you hate the attitude but love the boy.

  109. I am very sorry this happened to you, Elizabeth! It is normal for a child to notice the difference between himself and another child's physical appearance. It is NOT normal for a child to be racist! That is a learned behavior! I am not sure what I actually would have done. I know what I would have like to have done. I would like to have scolded the child first while also making him aware that God created us all and then located his parent and discussed it with them in a hopefully adult way. However, if the child learned that behavior at home, that may not have been possible. It is so hard to handle these situations as Jesus would have. Would he have kindly addressed it by showing the value of every person or would he have turned the other cheek and forgiven? I hope you never encounter this again!

  110. That absolutely breaks my heart. I guess since punching him is not on the list of acceptable responses, well…I have no idea. Honestly if it had been me I probably would have been too stunned to react at all. Praying not all the kids heard him πŸ™
    lauren

  111. Wow – just hard to imagine that children are still being taught that way! YIKES You family speaks volumes even if you don't say a word. I'm so sorry Elizabeth had to hear that. BOO

  112. Oh my goodness! We just recently had some friends move from Phoenix because of constant racial discrimination. Praying that your family will be a light and catalyst to changed hearts. And as for the boy-I probably would have asked to see his mother…

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