Today literally hundreds of thousands of people identify as being biracial according to the US census, and those numbers are growing rapidly. Seems biracial is trendy nowadays, but there are still some old school haters out there are that make it impossible for our children to grow up untouched by old school racism. How do we prepare them for the world they will all too soon encounter? What do we as parents need to know?
Charliegh is Creole, African American and Caucasian. I say Caucasian because I have no idea what my bloodlines truly are. Seems is you are white that is explanation enough for the world, so my family never traced it back. Maybe they were scared of what they would find? I mean at the end of the day, most in denial about our children are biracial themselves. I for one would love to get a DNA kit from Ancestry.com. However, that’s another blog in the making.
Anyways, not being able to identify with a journey other than poor and “caucasian” I cannot truly identify with a biracial journey. Often I underestimate things, and this includes some of the things I say or do. I am learning as I go, and that is ok. That is ok as long as we are willing to learn and correct things once we see that it is either wrong or not working.
Here are a few thing I have found on my journey as a mom to a wonderful Biracial child to date:
1. You can’t stop your child from seeing color. My child is 6 and from my previous blogs you know that she is already identifying as brown, and it is obvious that they are already talking about race. The world we live in makes being colorblind absolutely impossible. They see the color of their parents, they see their color and they see the color of their friends. They see the color of those who are kind and they see the color of those who are not. You cannot protect them from what is and what will be, but you can prepare them as best as you can. In the meantime you be the positive force in what they see when they do see color. Help them see the true beauty behind diversity.
2. Other people see color and are all too happy to make that clear. I do not need a white woman giving me nasty looks, asking is she mine or a ticket to being “in the in crowd” at a black function because my child id mixed…stop it! I want to be seen for me and my child for who she is, but that is not how it works. Even when I pick Charliegh up at school or camp children as young as 5 and 6 will ask, “is that your mom”. People are pre programmed in today’s society to see culture.
3. We must respect the way our child identifies racially. It happened earlier than we think. At 5 Charliegh was seeking. She identified as a rainbow, because we were talking a lot about what is on the inside is what you are kind of thing. Today she clearly sees herself as brown, and that is ok. I support and nurture that. I do not try to sway her in any direction at all. Our children tell us how they identify through their personality and preferences. They are not denying any one side or preferring the other. This is based on them and the way society have received them. It happened naturally, so do not try to interfere with the process least it will harm them emotionally.
4. Confidence is power. Understanding is critical. Our children are just like any other child, but they need some things more than the average kid does. We have to reinforce their self confidence and genuine love/understanding for who they are. We have to teach them to rise above the stereotypes and lies of the devil.
5. Our children must know that their difference is amazing, beautiful, barrier breaking and awesome not weird or an abomination. The amazing thing is that more corporations are using blended families as the face of the American Family, and there truly has been a biracial boom. Unfortunately that old belief system is still alive in remote corners of society. Until it is snuffed out entirely we need to reiterate that our children will someday embrace their uniqueness and continue reminding them of that.
This is a journey our children have to make on their own, but we as parents can unite on blogs like this one, interact and share in our journeys hence helping those who come after us. Please leave your comments after the blogs you read here on the BiracialBoom website. When it is left in Facebook comments many never get a chance to learn of/ from your contributions.
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