We all have things to explain to our children. If a child’s two parents come from different countries/backgrounds/faiths/race etc., there will be many basic things that they have to communicate and explain, for example different mother tongues or food and the need to appreciate both. In our case we obviously had to explain the difference of skin colour.
We saw it as our duty to explain to baby Sam right from the beginning that we had adopted him and that he was dearly loved. That bit was easy enough, but he also needed to understand why he had brown skin and we did not and why his hair was curly and ours was not.
As I have said, we often visit our cousins’ farms in Herefordshire. Some facts of nature become clear to children when they see the animals. However when they are very small, they can jump to their own erraneous conclusions and sometimes our attempts to explain things go a bit wrong as well.
I think that I started by explaining to Sam about flowers. For example, flowers like poppies had seedpods and he could see them. Red poppies had seeds that grew into more red poppies. Blue flowers had blue flowers.
So far so good.
(At the back of my mind I was blocking out the fact that some white sheep have black lambs.)
I then turned to hens, but alas – as I was in mid-sentence, in front of us walked a little bantam hen. She was followed by a grey chick, a black one, a yellow one, a white one and a brown one!
That was one biology lesson that failed.
Another day I’ll tell you about my Australian friend’s attempt to explain things to children. Her husband was a Malaysian and they were bringing up their family in Malaysia.
I don’t feel the need to be serious all the time in this blog. We might as well laugh when bringing up children. Despite our best attempts, our explanations don’t always succeed.