Tips for raising a confident biracial child.
Unfortunately, there is no handbook that gives you the exact rules for raising a biracial child. The good news is that just as our children are born with a few extra challenges in their journey we as parents are born with a few extra instincts that will kick in when you need them most.
You’ve got this, so breathe.
There are however a few good tips I have found and held close along the way. Our power is in sharing these things with one another. This is why BiracialBoom.com and the Biracial Boom Facebook page is so important. We can become that village that it takes to raise our children with confidence. We can confide in one another our journeys. This way we always know we are not alone. The hard questions are put so much more into perspective and they become far less intimidating when you have a support system. That is something that you will not want to put off building.
We all have traveled the thought train to what our children’s futures will be like. We have all been concerned, excited, saddened or hopeful. That is unless we are one of those parents in total denial, which does our children no good. See, when we deny that they will face unique challenges we fail to offer them the support and confidence builders that they will need throughout their personal journey. We leave them alone. Acceptance that our children’s journey will be different but it can be in a beautiful way is absolutely mandatory. They are developing their true self, their identity. We live in a diverse nation, but all too often all it sees is color.
We do not want to force our children into a box that is not uniquely theirs. We now can empower our children by empowering ourselves. We live in a connected world. We have unlimited resources and support at our fingertips. We can help one another while also finding all the facts that can educate them and ourselves about the beauty in their entire self, the beauty of diversity. Never force a “race choice” on your child.
When society spits out negative responses you react! If you witness someone acting in a negative way towards your child no matter their age you must stand up proud and defend your child with that pride, that fire, that love. I am not saying fall into their stereotype, but handle it with as much grace, intelligence and class possible, but do handle it. Be the model for how you want them to defend themselves when you are not around.
Have real conversations about heritage and where they come from. Do not make it a one-sided favor, but their entire heritage should be embraced. This goes for any cultural events, keep a healthy balance. Keep yourself open to their questions, and if you do not know the answer ask Google, together. Make sure that you are always focusing on the positive more than the negative. You want them to feel good about who they are.
Separate from their own identity you want to create your family’s identity as well. This means that you equally share your child’s entire culture as a family together. You can do this in many ways from the meals that you eat, your religious practices, the music you listen to and even in the events that you attend. Even living in a multicultural community is a great idea if that is an option.
Be sure that your child is open to and encouraged to interact with children of all races and cultural backgrounds. This is very important when deciding on a school. Let them know from an early age our differences make us beautiful.
There will come a time when our children may choose to identify one way or the other. Allow them these moments even if it changes several times. Support the labels that they choose for themselves.
Please go to our Facebook page and subscribe to the blogs here at BiracialBoom.com. Let us be the change that we want to see in the world for our children and for one another. Also leave a comment if you have any advice for parents trying to raise confident biracial children. ~ Spring
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