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Parenting Advice?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by ScorpDX, Sep 21, 2011.

  1. ScorpDX

    ScorpDX Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    Of all the forums I'm a member of I chose this one because...well I don't know why. Just seemed like a good place to ask!

    To make the story as short as necessary, I have a sort of adopted/step daughter from a relationship 10 years ago. The mother died about 9 years ago and the daughter and I have remained close though she lives with her grandparents. The father is unknown though the mother did know the few possibilities that it could have been. The 3 were all middle-eastern descent and the mother white. Tests were never done and the info needed for answers died with the mother.

    The daughter is 13 now and is slightly dark complected. She sort of looks to be mexican and she has decided that's what she is. She's big on the whole "brown pride" thing. She fits in and hangs around with all the other mexican kids at her school so no one can tell without knowing the past. I'm perfectly ok with all that I just wonder if I should let her go on thinking she's of mexican descent or tell her what little I know about her father and that there's no mexican in her?

    I realize 13 is a hard age to take anything so I haven't said anything. Other parents have any thoughts? Or you as a person, would you want to know the truth about your ancestry even if it wasn't what you thought?


  2. B2L

    B2L Android Expert

    Don't have any kids yet, but if that was me I would definitely want to know my heritage. It might be best to say something now before she finds out later and is extremely embarrassed by the group of people she hangs around with.

    Kids can be extremely mean, especially around that age.
    ScorpDX likes this.
  3. cds0699

    cds0699 Android Expert

    I agree, if I was in her shoes I'd definitely want to know the truth.
    ScorpDX likes this.
  4. Not to sound cold blooded, but, what truth? Are you referring to the fact that the mother may or may not have guess that someone may or may not have been from some part of the world?

    How did the mother know that the men where not Mexican, saying they where middle eastern, to separate themselves from the illegal image?

    You should tell the child the truth, which is in fact, you don't have a clue about who they are, where they are, and what they are, if that is the truth, do not lie. I

    Until you have the 3 men in one room and willing to find out the truth yourself, you should tell the child the truth as you know it. Which is, I do not know. I was not there, I have no clue who they are, and where they are.

    To tell the child a "possible truth" to stop her from telling a "possible lie" is still lying to the child.

    Now about the "brown pride" thing. Even though it is kind of pointless at the age of 13, you should trying to install the values of who a person is, is more important then what they are. Brown pride, white pride, black pride...is racism. To allow a child to base someone's worth on the fact of skin color, is an injustice to the child, to the society we live in, and to the culture that created the society she is "empowering". It is ok for her to feel that sense of pride from where she came from, which is apparently American. But to allow a child to feel empowered because of the color of their skin is wrong. A persons value should be judge on performance, dedication, and interactions with the greater community.

    I have a feeling that the "brown pride" is a way for her to describe her undermined background. Which is why you asked the original question.

    But let me ask you this question. Lets say you tell her she is middle eastern? Which nationality? If you say, Egyptian (I know, not middle eastern) and she gets on this "Egyptian power kick" and she is really "Indian" what are you going to do then? Tell her is in "Indian".

    Now let look at from a different point of view. Lets say you find the father and it turns out she is Arab? She learns about how women are treated in Arabia, now what? You just took the only thing that can define her, away from her.

    There is certain alienable lies in life. My nationality is American, but I was not born in America. My place of birth is Mumbai, India. But my mother was Iranian, and my father was British/American. What am I?
    dan330, IOWA, ScorpDX and 2 others like this.
  5. B2L

    B2L Android Expert

    I couldn't agree more with this statement, you made some awesome points.
  6. Frisco

    Frisco =Luceat Lux Vestra=

    She'll get wiser with age and ask, discover etc things as she needs to, with time.

    No need to take any action at all, in my opinion, other than supporting and loving her for being a good person in this world. That's what kids need, then they'll trust you more when they need to come to you about those things. :)
    ScorpDX, 330D and RiverOfIce like this.
  7. 330D

    330D From My Cold Dead Hands

    I like your style Frisco. I agree completely with your sentiment on the matter. Just support her in any way you can, ScorpDX. Seems like she has some caring people around her and that is the most important thing for her. Keep on being the supportive father type you have been through the years, and all will be well.

    I have a stepson who is eleven. We never told him until last year that I wasn't his father. My (ex now) wife thought it would be best if he knew. I didn't want to tell him until he asked, but she thought it better that he knew. He has since asked to meet his deadbeat father. I highly doubt real dad will want to have any part of my boy's life, and am sad for the day when we have to tell him his dad doesn't want to know him. But the cat is out of the bag, and we have to do our part in trying to find the idiot and ask him if he will see his kid.

    There is no science behind doing the right thing by our kids. Each and every one of them has needs that are different from the rest. The only constant is being there for them when they need us, and it sounds like you are, so keep on keeping on....;)
    ScorpDX and Frisco like this.
  8. Vihzel

    Vihzel Destroying Balls Everyday

    You can say that you're just multiracial. You can really determine your own race since race isn't biological but societal. A really good example is:


    What is he? Mark-Paul Gosselaar (from Saved by the Bell) calls himself an Asian American, even though he looks Caucasian. His father is American while his mother is Asian (don't recall what nationality).

    On topic: I would recommend that you tell her what you know about her, whether it's right or wrong. Emphasize that you're not completely sure. You can say that she has the right to determine what race she is due to her situation and that it's not biologically determined. (insert sociological explanation here). It's better than her blaming you in the future for not telling her in the past about what you know right now and letting her believe something that could really mess with her brain worse in the future.
    ScorpDX likes this.
  9. MPG's father is Dutch(lineage from the Netherlands where he was born). his mother is from the Dutch East Indies, so likely she has Dutch in her also due to the Dutch mixing with the native people of their colonies in the Indonesian archipelago.

    as for the OP:

    these sound the best.
  10. ScorpDX

    ScorpDX Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    Thanks for all the advice! I'm leaning towards the wait until she starts asking questions and then tell her what I know.
    Frisco likes this.
  11. IOWA

    IOWA Mr. Logic Pants

    Couldn't have said it any better myself.

    The ironic part of it all is.. when you tell someone that "brown/white/green/red/blue" pride is racism, they tend to call you a racist. :rolleyes:

    I'm proud to be an American.
  12. Vihzel

    Vihzel Destroying Balls Everyday

    I don't think having pride in one's heritage (even if it's not his/her true heritage) is racism. It matters on how that person treats that pride. If they're proud to be of a certain race and believe that they're "superior" to other races, then obviously that's racism. If they're proud to be of a certain race or nationality because of having the opportunity to understand, experience, and learn more about their own heritage than what a typical person would know, I don't see how that would be racist.

    For example, I'm very proud to be Korean American. I am incredibly thankful for having Korean roots and parents but also for growing up and living in the US. Would that be labeled as "yellow pride"? "yellow-white pride"? racist? I personally don't think so. hehe

    One of my classes actually had a discussion on cultures and what it means to be "American" and the significance of having established labels like "Korean American", "Italian American", etc. There was a challenge to the notion that growing up in the US means that you're an American and should just see yourself as American. Of course at least half of the students in my class are of different skin color so we definitely detested that idea.

    Long story short, there's not just American culture but also Korean American culture, Indian American culture, etc. that defines the wonderful melting pot that is the US. Having pride in one's own heritage and culture is definitely not wrong at all and I would greatly encourage it with my children. I love that the US has such a huge variety of cultures all present and flourishing in this great country because we can really take it for granted the vast cultural wealth that we have (of course depending on location).
  13. There is a difference between being proud of being "Korean American" and "Brownpride".

    One is based on the fact of your genetic and cultural background. The other is based only on your skin color. Brown pride does not care if you are Mexican, only that you have a certain color of skin. "white power" only cares if you are white, not your cultural background.
  14. Vihzel

    Vihzel Destroying Balls Everyday

    Oh... I guess it's based on interpretation and context-sensitive. I thought "brown pride" was more on the lines of "black pride" vs. "white pride". I understand though that people will take it differently. I know there isn't one set definition to describe pride of any color as it depends on who is making that claim, what their personal beliefs are, and how they interpret that label. I've actually never heard of someone being proud strictly of having a certain skin color (perhaps like proud of being tanned after months of tanning?).

    It seems to me that Scorp was talking about his daughter as proud to be Mexican American. If I misunderstood that, then my apologies.
  15. dan330

    dan330 Extreme Android User

    it is hard... in each situation.. based on the environment and what is happening..
    make your decision on what you think it right for the kid that you have.

    all you can do.. is try your best and be there for them.

    but i do agree.. you dont really know what the truth is.. and all it might do is make the waters more muddy..
  16. OutofDate1980

    OutofDate1980 Android Expert

    In the meantime, you may want to point her to some educational resources that skin color is just that and overtime (6,000-10,000 years) can change based on environment.

    Human skin color - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Melanin in the skin protects the body by absorbing solar radiation. In general, the more melanin there is in the skin the more solar radiation can be absorbed. Excessive solar radiation causes direct and indirect DNA damage to the skin and the body naturally combats and seeks to repair the damage and protect the skin by creating and releasing further melanin into the skin's cells. With the production of the melanin, the skin color darkens, but can also cause sunburn. The tanning process can also be created by artificial UV radiation.

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