White Father Worries Because Kenyan Daughter “Wants My Skin Color”

unnamed“My wife and I have been together long enough for both of our daughters to not remember any other type of family unit.  My Caucasian daughter is nine and my cultural (Kenyan) and step daughter is 6.  Mya the 6 year old recently told my she wanted her skin to be my color. 

I asked her why. But she was shy and would not give me a clear an answer.  I felt she was struggling and felt some hurt around what she was trying express. That day after we got home I found written in the snow in front of our house was “Mya is black”. I stomped it out before she saw it. I believe it was put there by our neighbors kids who seem to be bullies. So it seems she is getting teased when we are not there.

I tried to express the beauty of all of our colors and confided with my wife about the event, and she also addressed the issue. But Mya still laments her skin tone. 

The issue is also amplified by the fact that the older sibling with more privileges is white and has two very interactive fathers. Her father is reluctant to parent. 

My question is “How do I guide her through this maze of obstacles from a 6 year old’s perspective?”
Thanks for all your videos. I just listened to your play list on Youtube questions of the week. All 76 of them.”


Sometimes, I really hate humanity. I do. This loving couple married interracially and inter-culturally to create a beautiful blended family, and people who have nothing better to do than be a-holes come to muck it up. Yes James, indeed you have some children who came into your Eden to tell your daughter she was “other.” Like when Adam and Eve realized they were naked, they felt shame as your step daughter now does. The part that gets me riled up is that this crap is about 99.9% the fault of the bully’s parents who probably feel it’s their “Christian” duty to “inform” their children about how “God” created the races and meant them to stay separate. If that were so, we would not have Barack Obama. Again, sometimes I really hate humanity.

There is little you can do once your daughter goes outside your home, but while she is with you, it is your responsibility to FEED her. You will feed her the following:

  • Give her a sense of history and pride in her Kenyan heritage.
  • Buy her dolls that look like her. Let white dolls be the minority. Make sure the black dolls are BEAUTIFUL.
  • As the only father in her life, it’s your responsibility to make her feel beautiful. Make sure she knows she is your little princess. Tell her you love how she looks, and that girls like her grow up to be beautiful women, and that’s part of the reason you married her mother.
  • Find affirming pictures of girls and women that look like her and comment on how beautiful they are.
  • Consider moving to a more diverse and racially tolerant area. This isn’t always feasible, but if it is, you should.
  • Try to connect with families who perhaps have adopted black children so they can be a source of support for you, and enable your step daughter to realize she’s not some strange oddity.
James and his wife

James and his wife

It’s #LovingMonth for God’s sake!! If we can accept a former Olympic gold-metalist having a sex change and dressing up for Vanity Fair magazine, we should be able to accept the beauty of ALL families!!!

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