Black Parenting : I'm white and need help with my niece.

baller

Well-Known Member
MEMBER
Jan 28, 2001
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the near north
I've met several sisters here--in Canada--who immerse themselves in their "white" friends, because that's who they're around most of the time. and, for whatever reason, do not want to be identified as black. Maybe her friends have negative stereotypes of blacks...and that's her way of distancing herself from those stereotypes. Maybe she had some bad experiences in her interactions with blacks, in her past. if that's the case, you can't fix that. AS FOR YOUR NIECE, it's not your responsibility to teach her blackness. stop trying. it's your responsibility to be the best AUNT you can be, to your niece...and to teach her to be the best person she can be. there is nothing wrong with you answering any question she asks you, if you have that answer to give...or if you can find the answer. that doesn't detract from her relationship with her mother...it should enhance it.

stop trying to teach her to be a good little black girl, and teach her how to be a good little girl. the rest will work itself out...even if the mother chooses not to set her up on that path. PLUS, it doesn't pit you against the mother going forward...and possibly having the mother sever your relationship with your niece.
 

Kemetstry

going above and beyond
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Feb 19, 2001
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My issue with it is that I am already uncomfortable. I don't understand the complete impact of what I am saying. I feel like I don't know enough to even say what her problem is, and anything I can say is speculation. She doesn't want to talk to me about these things, and I understand that. I don't see how what country changes it. In terms of I don't know who is reading this, I don't mean her, but I mean I don't how that lands. I was ganged up on because my intentions were misunderstood, and I'm ignorant on what's appropriate. (I'm not criticizing them for it, I get that I'm dense) I already made people uncomfortable, I don't want to do that again. America has a culture. The south has a culture. So to assume everywhere and everything in Africa or Europe is the same,.... Btw, because we have had losers come in and bait us in the past, we test everyone. :lol:

I think you're right about why she dated my brother. They did have a good relationship. I don't think him being white was the entire reason. They had marriage in mind before the child was born. Toward the end of their relationship, she started getting really angry. Their relationship ended. Now she only keeps white people in her company, and started saying messed up things. My friends (people that know her independent of me) commented that she's nice but they noticed a huge change in her. I think my niece picks up on that negativity. Which is why people should be very careful what they imprint on their children. Maybe the change is mental

My real purpose is wondering if I'm messing up my niece. If I should just back off totally, I want to be told to back off from her. If there could be some good in me trying to nurture her, I want to know that it's okay. I don't understand the effects of exploring this part of herself through her white aunt. If it's a recipe for disaster, I want to know. She is your niece. Thus, you cant back off. This is the classic example of it taking a village, .... . She needs to see positive in her life somewhere

I think what I have to do is read more on the needs of biracial children, and learn how to ask better questions. There is no such thing as biracial. The one drop rule was never over turned. The world sees her as black.

Thank you for talking with me :)

(I don't know if you read what I said earlier.... I tried talking with her. She told me that I better stay in my place and not go there. As far as I am concerned, I've been warned. I have to respect that. Her and I can talk about boyfriends, work, family stuff, things in the news, but I can't touch racial issues, or her past) BS! You are the child's aunt. This has nothing to do with racial. That is something she is using to hide behind. Don't fall for it





.
 

Heather

Active Member
MEMBER
Nov 18, 2015
27
5
I've met several sisters here--in Canada--who immerse themselves in their "white" friends, because that's who they're around most of the time. and, for whatever reason, do not want to be identified as black. Maybe her friends have negative stereotypes of blacks...and that's her way of distancing herself from those stereotypes. Maybe she had some bad experiences in her interactions with blacks, in her past. if that's the case, you can't fix that. AS FOR YOUR NIECE, it's not your responsibility to teach her blackness. stop trying. it's your responsibility to be the best AUNT you can be, to your niece...and to teach her to be the best person she can be. there is nothing wrong with you answering any question she asks you, if you have that answer to give...or if you can find the answer. that doesn't detract from her relationship with her mother...it should enhance it.

stop trying to teach her to be a good little black girl, and teach her how to be a good little girl. the rest will work itself out...even if the mother chooses not to set her up on that path. PLUS, it doesn't pit you against the mother going forward...and possibly having the mother sever your relationship with your niece.
This is what's happening with her. At least, on the surface, she cut everyone out. Like, everyone.

And thank you about telling me I can't teach her. I have a question about this. I don't try and explain significance to her. I really don't go there. What I get from reading things is different than what she'll get, or when I listen to music. It's a different sort of appreciation. I share things that we might have in common. With the records, I don't tell her what to put on, but she'll pick the records with portraits. I don't push. What I had in my original post, (this might hurt people coming, I'm sorry), We'll be hanging out, watching treehouse and 4-square comes on. My niece makes a comment that black isn't beautiful. She went on to tell me that even tans aren't pretty. I took this as her hating on herself too. So, I put up an anonymous portrait of a woman in my house just so she can look at it. (She always comments on the art in my house) After 2 months, she often comments how pretty the woman is. Does this fall into "teaching blackness" because I consider it trying to sneak in confidence, which is related to trying to teach her that beautiful isn't just one thing. BUT the focus is race and I'm actively doing something. Is this crossing a line?

I think I am just trying to help her be a better person. That's always been my focus but lately she's been bringing up race. Sometimes I feel a bit overwhelmed. I guess I just need to find some sort of sweet spot in the middle with her. Thank you for your honesty and time.

I hope that her mom is just going through some phase. My dream in my head is that maybe I can lessen any possible negativity. Let's hope. She's the sweetest girl in my entire family, entire. I think their relationship will be okay.

And KEM if you see this, I will write you tomorrow. It's like 3 in the morning. :p.
 

baller

Well-Known Member
MEMBER
Jan 28, 2001
3,798
672
the near north
Again, it is your responsibility to be the best aunt you can be...and to teach her to be the best person she can be.

Teaching her that a race of people isn't bad because of their skin tone is something you should teach her. Teaching her to be confident in who she is, is another thing you should be doing. Like other posters have said, she needs positive influences in her life. as for the art you have in your home, that's your right. if she questions/comments on it, it's your responsibility to answer her questions. of course, she's going to have questions about her heritage, she's different...even at five, she can see that. in these formative years, she needs someone who's straight with her. DON'T SHY AWAY FROM THAT...and don't think you have to sneak around to do it. SHE'S YOUR NIECE. as an aunt, you have a responsibility for her...just as the mother does. YOU CAN ANSWER QUESTIONS WITHOUT TRYING TO TEACH HER HOW TO ACT BLACK--Black people do it like this...isn't an accurate statement because Black people do it a million different ways...just as every other race does. it becomes tricky when the mother has specifically asked you not to do something that you're doing but, even then, you can argue your responsibility in your niece's life.

WHERE IS YOUR BROTHER? why isn't he involved in her upbringing?

i understand that they're no longer together, but that doesn't release him of his obligation to his daughter.
 

Heather

Active Member
MEMBER
Nov 18, 2015
27
5
Again, it is your responsibility to be the best aunt you can be...and to teach her to be the best person she can be.

Teaching her that a race of people isn't bad because of their skin tone is something you should teach her. Teaching her to be confident in who she is, is another thing you should be doing. Like other posters have said, she needs positive influences in her life. as for the art you have in your home, that's your right. if she questions/comments on it, it's your responsibility to answer her questions. of course, she's going to have questions about her heritage, she's different...even at five, she can see that. in these formative years, she needs someone who's straight with her. DON'T SHY AWAY FROM THAT...and don't think you have to sneak around to do it. SHE'S YOUR NIECE. as an aunt, you have a responsibility for her...just as the mother does. YOU CAN ANSWER QUESTIONS WITHOUT TRYING TO TEACH HER HOW TO ACT BLACK--Black people do it like this...isn't an accurate statement because Black people do it a million different ways...just as every other race does. it becomes tricky when the mother has specifically asked you not to do something that you're doing but, even then, you can argue your responsibility in your niece's life.

WHERE IS YOUR BROTHER? why isn't he involved in her upbringing?

i understand that they're no longer together, but that doesn't release him of his obligation to his daughter.

I don't know if this is a good thing or a bad thing, but I don't know what blackness is. I just try and listen to her. Thank you for your guidance.

In terms of my brother. He's really involved in her life. He works a lot and after work he comes by my place. They spend full days on the weekend together. My brother deals with her crying sometimes about things she heard. She's mostly switched to me. I think it's just because of the relationship we have. I try nurturing her curiosity. My brother told me she had a question about cats, and said she's going to wait to see me for an answer. He tried but she said no, she's going to wait. He text me so I could be prepared for it. (hee) It's not that my brother is neglectful, or doesn't want to be there. It's that she prefers talking with me about every thing she wonders about.

Now, my brother tried talking to her mom. He didn't say you need to teach her anything. He just asked her to tone down the negativity because the comments seem to be affecting their daughter. She responded with violence. My brother said he'd call the police. She said she'll make it look like he started it. My brother is scared of her. He's not weak, but he's gentle. I saw my brother with a swollen face, and I tried talking to her about this incident. She cried and said she just reacted and knows it wasn't right. She's not a terrible person, she just gets really emotional sometimes, and it's unpredictable. My brother feels like his hands are tied. I'm sorry if that's too much info.
 

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