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My son is bullied about his dark complexion, what should I do?

Q: My son is 10 years old. He is very intelligent and a sensitive child. Recently I found a slight change in his behaviour. He gets angry too fast, without a reason. I thought its due to the age factor but I came to know that its due to his skin colour, which is black - not even wheatish. Both of us are of wheatish complexion. When my son was born, he was fair but when olive oil was applied for massage, he turned dark. We are not so worried as he is a healthy and intelligent child. He reads a lot and knows the scientific reasons behind the colour. But, recently he has been bullied by a boy in his school bus about his skin colour. My son did not have the guts to tell me at first but after a lot of persuasion he told me that he sees dreams like taking off his skin and getting a fair coloured skin. Should I see a psychiatrist to make him over come this problem? Is there a skin treatment available for him?

A:Be happy that you have a bright and healthy child. Skin colour and pigmentation are not problems. However, I do see that the classmates he has in the school have made it a problem. I think you should talk to the head or Principal of the school and have him talk about human values to the children. No trait, whether it is disability, skin colour or texture of hair should be considered a matter for discrimination. The school should take up this issue seriously and bring out the importance of friendship and good relationships. Since your son does seem to be bothered enough about his skin to have dreams about fair skin, it would be a good idea to see a Psychologist or Psychiatrist, for at least a couple of sittings. Your role as parents in reassuring him that he is valued and loved by you should be emphasized. If there is an international school which he can attend, he will see that people of all colours, sizes and shapes inhabit this world and no one is superior or inferior to another on the basis of appearance.

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