There is a girl at her daycare who is about three months older than my daughter. Our daycare provider always raves about how this little half-white, half-Asian girl knows her ABCs, children's songs, and now her shapes. Anisa knew all of that when she turned two as well... besides the shapes. Maybe I'm overly paranoid or hypersensitive, but my half-black and half-white girl is as smart and equally verbal as the other girl, and my fear is that the daycare provider, who is otherwise kind, generous and loving, does not see that because of my daughter's race. I worry that at age two she is already being underestimated as a learner.
This possibility has inspired a strange reaction in me. I'm thinking about the long road ahead of us on which we may be forced to prove others' assumptions about our daughter's intelligence wrong. I am noticing around me the manifestations and defiances of the myth of white superiority, Asian model minority and Black inferiority. I have never been a drill sergeant-type mama; I never felt the need with my white son. So, I hardly recognize myself already starting to feel protective of my mixed-race daughter. I'm seeing how bias, albeit unconscious, could hold her back in the future and I'm feeling the urge to compensate for this. Should I be more deliberate and structured about her learning, already at age 2, than I ever was with my white son who is about to turn 10? Should I start teaching her some explicit lessons besides casually teaching her words in Czech? For instance, teach her the names of shapes and the sounds of letters which is not something I worked on with my son at this young age because, since he is white, the thought of having to prove anything about his capabilities to anyone had never occurred to me? I wouldn't want to do this to burden her. We would have to have fun as we do this--my criterion. But it somehow feels important to arm her with quantifiable knowledge for the long road ahead. Is that what King's father was thinking when he and his son embarked on Learning Time with Daddy?
My 3yr is a whiz kid. Is your Three year old on this? and he just turned 3#father#power#eachoneteach2
Posted by Donald Hill on Wednesday, May 13, 2015