Families are diverse. Sometimes, family members do not look like other family members. There are blended families, adopted families, and families where the parents are different races. Unfortunately, sometimes those families face racism in their lives.
On Reddit, one dad with a diverse family ran into a woman while shopping with two of his adopted children—and this woman demanded he show proof that he was the children’s father.
The OP wants to know if it was okay that he let one of his children call her a “racist b****” without consequence.
“Ok so I (34M) have 5 kids 2 bio, 3 adopted. I’m black (Haitian) and my wife is mixed (White and Mexican). So I was at Target shopping with 2 of my daughters (13F and 7F) they are both adopted from China. As we were looking at clothes for my 7YO a women (I’ll call Linda, just seems fitting) came up to us and said “Excuse me, are you their babysitter because I’m sure their parents would want you to be distancing.” I replied, “I’m their father.”
“She looked shocked and then turned to my 7YO who has extreme social anxiety and said, “Honey, is this man your father” my 7YO didn’t reply and just turned and hugged my leg. Linda rolled her eyes and turned to my 13YO and asked the same thing. She (obviously annoyed) replied, “Yes he is,” then Linda said “I can see both of them are hesitant to answer” or something like that. I get this type of thing a lot but it was starting to be a little more than normal.
The woman then told the OP to step away so the kids can tell her “the truth.” The OP was getting angry and refused to leave his children. The woman kept asking.
“Then an employee came over and asked if there was a problem. Linda basically said exactly what happened as if everything she was saying was perfectly reasonable. The employee basically said for her to leave us alone. She insisted that he ask of identification so I can prove we all have the same last name.”
Hey, guess what? Not all family members share the same last name! But that’s beside the point here.
“Now heres where I could be TA: The employee said that we didn’t have to do that. Finally when it was over Linda left the store and we went to check out, as we were leaving the store Linda’s car was parked in front and I think she was waiting for someone. My 13YO gave her the finger and called her a ‘racist b*tch.’ Now I didn’t encourage it because she rarely curses in public, but I didn’t want to punish her.”
What did Redditors think? Was the OP’s response acceptable given the circumstances?
“While I’m all for not encouraging disrespectful or vulgar behavior I think exceptions can be made and this was the right time to make one,” said GothPenguin.
“If I learned anything from my dad, it was that swearing is best reserved for when you really mean it. Too often and it loses emphasis. The daughter here did it right. NTA, OP if you see this comment, please tell your daughter that while it’s generally impolite to swear, sometimes there’s no reasoning with rude people and you just have to shut them down. And that she made an internet stranger literally laugh out loud, high five,” noted UnexpectedBrisket.
“NTA and your daughter has some inspiring cahones. Nurture that,” said Pikachinito.
“Normally I wouldn’t condone children being disrespectful but there are some cases where the person has shown their true colors and don’t deserve the respect. Plus she’s 13 years old, she understands the implications of what ‘Linda’ was saying to you,” said kaismama.
“Your daughter used it in the correct context against someone who in her mind, threatened her family. Offensive language is part of life. Your daughter needs extra love and to feel safe, that stuff can do real psychological damage and have long term, knock on effects, even if you think she’s forgotten or she’s okay right now. Kids are amazing at bottling away these memories and pulling them out later to examine and think over, finding ways to blame themselves or just reliving or rebuilding the anxiety. Please please don’t just high five her for screaming out at a stranger- even though she was in the right. Rebuild positive associations with that store and strangers,” advised what-no-potatoes.
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