As a developmental psychologist, I spend a lot of time chatting with kids. I was talking to four-year-old girl recently and the name “David” entered our conversation. Here is a short transcript of the conversation that followed:
Girl: My daddy’s name is David!
Me: Really?!? That’s great. You know what…my little boy’s name is David too!
Girl: You have a baby?
Girl: Can he walk?
Girl: Does he sleep in a crib?
Girl: Are you two daddies?
Up until this point, this conversation was pretty standard stuff, but this question stumped me. After a few minutes of question and answer, I figured out that the little girl had seen me working alongside my research assistant (a twenty-something young man), and she was either asking me if I was gay or if he was my partner in raising my son. Whatever her motivation for asking if I was “two daddies,” I was pleasantly surprised that such a young girl had been exposed to the wide variety of ideas about what constitutes a family.
If you want your child to be as awesome as this little girl, or if you own family is a little different in some way, I want to recommend Tom Parr’s books. Three of his books are particularly good. It’s OK to be Different is about accepting the many ways that people are different. If you’re an average family, a mixed race family, a mixed religion family, or if you’re two daddies (or two mommies), check out The Family Book. Finally, Parr’s book on adoption, We Belong Together, is an awesome way to talk to an adopted child about their place in your family.
Sauce: Todd Parr