Writer Maria Guido is fed up with random folks approaching her with advice on how to care for the natural hair of her own children. Read on for her take on these awkward encounters:
Maybe I’m just not the type of parent who likes unsolicited advice or people getting in my personal space, but one of the things that I’ve noticed about parenting a mixed-race child is that the general public seems to have no boundaries.
When you become a mother, you notice that the boundaries people usually have when dealing with others start to chip away. It begins in pregnancy when you may start to hear an onslaught of unsolicited advice from strangers, about everything from your diet to the probable sex of the child you’re carrying. Not to mention the complete strangers who come up and put their hands on, around and under your pregnant belly.
Then you have the child, and you become used to the “how cute” comments. Not a big deal. It’s not uncommon for people to comment when they see what looks to be a “brand-new” baby in front of them.
I understand that all parents experience this kind of attention, and it’s not necessarily negative. But after your child begins to grow, that attention usually wanes. As a mother of mixed-race children, I have yet to experience this “waning.” Maybe people have no boundaries when it comes to kids in general, but in my experience, having mixed-race children turns it up a notch.
My children essentially “belong” to both cultures, but there is a real gray area that exists in the boundaries people have when they identify something as their own.
My partner and I have two children together. He’s African American and Laotian; I’m Greek and Italian. One of the things I’ve learned while raising these beautiful kids is that the general public feels very obligated to comment on the way they look. White women pet my kid like he’s a show pony. Black women offer me endless, unsolicited advice on how to care for his hair. What’s the deal?
Read the rest at TheRoot
What are your thoughts? How do you think the writer should respond to the unsolicited advice?