Managing transracial contact.

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My dd has a different bf from her half siblings . Consequently they have different cultural backgrounds and more importantly for my daughter different skin colour. My daughter does not like her brown skin as her immediate peers are all white. Have you got any tips for managing contact when colour is a big issue? She used to try and scrub her skin white.... Despite having brown skinned family members in her adoptive family. She has not had contact with her birth siblings for over 3 years. She also suffers other trauma....

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Oh and sorry about the term transracial... It's not a term I would normally use but it was at the heading for this section and then I couldn't edit it out....

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The link above has some really good advice and factsheets including 'what do I do if my child wants to be white?" I hope the link works! If it doesn't just google transracial adoption resouces.

You don't mention how old your daughter is but I know I started to struggle with being a different ethnicity from my parents from late primary onwards. You mention that your LO doesn't have any freinds in her immediate circle that reflect her ethnicity. Is it possible for her to access clubs etc somewhere local but more diverse? It wasn't possible for me but my mum brought lots of posters into my school (without me knowing) and overdosed us with books and stories containing non white characters. Could your LO connect a bit more with the extended family members that you mention? For me seeing other ethnicities reflected back to me in others reduced my isolation a bit but it was still very hard having the double whammy of feeling different for being adopted and different ethnically. My Mum used to take me on regular visits to our nearest city to go to cafes, hairdressers etc that reflected my identity. Some of these things may help hopefully as will wondering with her about how she may be feeling about looking different.

Re: the contact with birth siblings I'm not sure if you are worried that seeing them will reinforce her feelings of being different or if you are worried it may trigger her generally. I'm guessing she will need some preperation if she hasn't had contact for three years. I assume some gentle life story work could help with that.

Good luck.

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Perhaps you need to focus more on boosting her self esteem and accepting herself. Simba very occasionally says he wishes he was the same as me. We have a chat about him being mixy mix as he calls it, and have had done interesting chats about 'jeans' , took a long time to untangle that one.

The friends thing can be difficult. When he first came Simba went to a tiny special school, lots of Asian children and a couple of African/Caribbean . In his mainstream class there are more black boys than white boys. So what does he do? Make a bee line for whitest blondest child around.

If you have family who are dual heritage can you not enlist their help ?

Simbas heritage is African, I travelled a lot around Africa before he came. My house is full of photos, books, bits and pieces I've brought back from my travels, so there are lots of images of black children around, it's just the norm here and I do think it helps

Pink fizz can I ask you something, as a white person, I really hate the term non-White, as the reference point is whiteness and it seems to me to imply that it's 'normal' to be white, which in turn implies that it is preferable. Does it bother you at all ?

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Serrakunda, I didn't mean to cause offence by using the term non white. I actually wrote BME in my original post which I don't really like either as it's so pc / worky. However, I accidentally deleted my original post while trying to copy the link so it probably reads a bit more clunky than intended due to just wanted to get the damn thing written again. Point taken though.

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I wasn't offended at all pink fizz. The language we use can be so sensitive. And what is acceptable changes over time. I agree with you some things are a bit too PC. It can be difficult to pick your way through it all. Galaplogos seems uncomfortable with Trans racial, I don't have a problem with that one though. Non white is a term in common use, and as a white person I just feel a bit uncomfortable with it, but I could just be being an oversensitive white lefty/liberal type ! I just wondered what your take on it was. I think the language we use is an interesting and useful discussion, particularly for those of us with children of a different heritage

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It's a mine field. I see my beutiful Floreana who has different colour skin from me. I always try and build her defense and a relative has just returned from the carribean and got her some gifts. I have been to her birth country and felt the odd one out so I get ere she is coming from about being different. My concern will be that her skin colour is different from her birth siblings. This may make her desire to be white stronger. Bless her. I say if anyone picks on her to retort at least my skin won't get old and wrinkly. We live in a predominantly white area .... Say there are about 5/6 people out of 16,000 odd who are brown skinned....we had to move from our bohemian multicultural area due to the cost of housing etc as her needs meant I couldn't work. She is five years old. In a local town ( 20 odd miles away )! They do street dance but only take children aged 8+

The,language we use has changed and I always find it difficult as I just see my daughter as a lovely girl. However I remember growing up and terms such as half cast were used. Then people were referred to as black . So BME. Was coined. Then some people said hey weare not black we are brown and did not want to be referred to as mixed ethnicity . And others wanted to have their ethnicity noted. The there's transracial. It's all an attempt to fit people into categories which is fine to an extent but actually each child is individual .... My child is brown, English with an accent reflecting both her previous south east accent with a more rural twang ( she keeps correcting my diction) ....and her birth grandparents are fro cultures further afield from that have their own language as well as English...... So what does my poppet say.... Yes I going to do the corum life story work hopefully.....

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