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Playground Encounter Has Mom Pleading With Parents To Talk Race With Their Kids

It's not wrong to not want your kids to grow up too fast. After all, we were kids once upon a time too, and we know the importance of hanging onto the happy memories and the fun times.

Unfortunately, to get those little minds to the point where they'll develop into healthy, well adjusted, responsible adults, parents will have to have some uncomfortable discussions with them.

After her daughter had an unfortunate playground encounter, one mom wants to remind all parents that it's important to talk with their kids about race.

Twitter | @mathangiwrites

It's definitely not easy, but it's absolutely necessary because if you don't, the rest of the world will, and that won't be the kind of lesson you can control.

Mathangi Subramanian and her three-year-old daughter were at the playground when some friction arose.

Unsplash | Annie Spratt

As she related in a Twitter that has since gone viral, "two blonde girls at the playground told my daughter she couldn't play with them because she doesn't have blonde hair. The girls' parents didn't intervene. You better believe I did."

Mathangi wrote that she and her daughter had a "heart-to-heart about race and exclusion" on the walk home that day.

Unsplash | Joshua Eckstein

But it wasn't for the first time — she had already had to talk to her daughter about race once. "The first time was when she was two, and she came home from preschool saying that her skin was black, and we talked about how dark skin is beautiful."

What Mathangi really wanted to drive home is that she didn't have a choice about talking to her daughter about race.

Unsplash | Markus Spiske

"Parents of color talk about race with our kids all the time," she wrote. "We have no choice. It's there, everywhere, and we can't avoid it. I told the blonde kids that they can't exclude people. I did it calmly and politely, while their parents watched. But those parents should have intervened. They should've said something. My daughter was watching. Their daughters were watching.

"White parents: TALK TO YOUR KIDS ABOUT RACE. I know it's uncomfortable. But the rest of us do it all the time. We need you to do it too."

Mathangi's story resonated with a lot of people online who see things like that every day.

Many shared stories about times in their lives when their friends or co-workers discovered, too late, why not talking about race with their kids resulted in some surprises for parents.

After all, kids are going to reach their own conclusions in the absence of guidance from their parents.

And chances are they won't be good conclusions. Kids don't always make great choices — I mean, I know I didn't — even when they have good intentions.

And yes, it should really be the parents doing the talking.

It really is worth underscoring just how important it is that these critical discussions come from kids' own parents rather than having them start at random, and/or with strangers.

The outpouring of support did help Mathangi and her family somewhat, she said.

"Just want to thank everyone who has responded and retweeted," she wrote. "I'm still angry, but I feel a lot less alone." And she didn't let any of it stop her from taking her daughter right back to the playground.