Dispelling Racial Myths In The Media

The media is a powerful tool that affects children at an early age. Children receive a lot of information about the world from television, books, and movies. But what the media teaches is not always right or true. The media tends to stereotype people and races. In fact many children’s programs are built on stereotypes. Judith Myers-Walls professor of child development at Purdue University points out that the television show “Smurfs, for example, presents characters with one personality trait each, and they are named for that trait. The same is true of the Seven Dwarfs. In general, children’s programs deal … Continue reading

Book Review: Orientals: Asian Americans in Popular Culture

My last blog wondered about the impact of anti-immigrant feelings, worsened by economic conditions, on international adoptees and their families. In that blog, I quoted from the book Orientals: Asian Americans in Popular Culture. This blog will be a further review of that book. The first thing I should note is, as I said last time, that the word “Orientals” is deliberately used by the author to demonstrate negative stereotypes of Asians as too irreconcilably different by nature to ever fit into American society. Do not use the word “oriental” when referring to people today. Use Asian-American if you need … Continue reading

Group Apologies and Ethnic Shame?–No Thanks

The director of my daughters’ adoption agency in Seoul has issued an apology on behalf of Koreans for the actions of Seung-Hui Cho, the young man who killed 32 fellow students and faculty at Virginia Tech University last week. (Cho was a South Korean citizen but a legal resident of the US who came here at the age of eight.) The apology was disseminated by an American adoption agency in Virginia which partners with the Korean agency in placing Korean children for adoption in the US. My local newspaper featured a Korean-American state legislator issuing a public apology and a … Continue reading

Other Kids’ Reactions to My Adopted Kids’ Skin Color

My son Patrick, who is European-American, was nearly three when his sister Meg arrived. Six months later, the two of them sat near me while I read a picture book about a Latino boy. “Hey mom,” Patrick said pointing to the picture, “that kid’s skin is different from mine.” “Yes,” I replied. “And Meg’s skin is different from mine.” “Yes,” I replied. “And mommy, your skin is different from mine.” Although this was a bit unexpected, I do have a rosy undertone (in fact I remember telling someone when I was a child that I was a pink person, not … Continue reading

Celebrating Black History Month

February is black history month and it is wonderful opportunity for any family, regardless of race, to enjoy and have fun learning a bit about African American History. I have a few plans, that center around food and music mostly, but also look to build off the lessons and events surrounding the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. and the day of service organized last month in his honor. I intend to serve my wife and daughter a diverse menu this month, featuring some soul food: ribs, pulled pork (barbecue), sweet potatoes and more. We are going to talk about … Continue reading

Dealing with Stereotypes about Homeschoolers

I just read a post (on a paid membership blog site) written by a mom who is currently homeschooling one of her children due to the child’s diabetes. She says she was treated rudely by homeschoolers because she was not dressed in a skirt and blouse like other “homeschooling freaks”. Her t-shirt and jeans made her stand out and the freaks looked at her as if she were the freak. I was shocked and appalled, as I had been reading this persons blog for a while and they had never said anything so careless before. The comments were hard to … Continue reading

Talk About Television

The television is a wonderful source of information but it also contains a lot of information that is misleading and inappropriate for children. So as parents it is important that we talk about T.V. with our children. The publication “Five Core Concepts” helps gives parents guidelines and suggestions they can use when discussing television. The author J. Francis Davis outlines five important points. We do not need to believe and do everything that we see on television. Children need to realize that they are smarter than their T.V. Parents can help their children realize this by making connections between television … Continue reading