The great debate goes on, “is raising biracial children really different than raising any other child”? The answer is yes, and denying that fact will put your child at an increased risk for behavioral issues, feelings of abandonment, loneliness and so much more. They have a journey unique to them, and they need the support of their parents to travel that journey to becoming whole and confident adults.
Raising a Biracial Child
All children will travel similar journeys. They just do not face as many challenges. For instance, a white or black child will never wonder which side they belong, if they belong or face the question “what color am I? They just know. Biracial children will encounter peers that reject them for not being “white” enough or “black enough” leaving them only to wonder is there a place in the whole scheme of things that is just for them.
These children are amazing, beautiful and have so many possibilities. The old timers once believed that a biracial child would suffer for their lack of an identity, and that is simply not true. The days of the one drop rule and the tragic mulatto myth are long since gone.
Helping them Form Their Self-Identity
Our children are finding themselves and parents are uniting to support them along their way. The main thing is allowing them to decide how they want to identify, letting them know that they do not have to choose one side or the other. Simply being biracial is a beautiful and very valid status. Encouraging them to embrace all of who they are is essential at an early age. It is important that as they go through their different developmental stages and choose to identify one way or the other that they have the love and support of their family to do just that.
As hard as it may be, keeping negative and derogatory family members away from them especially early on is critical. If someone is being judgmental of you and making your child feel any less than the perfect creation that they are then they have no place in your child’s life. The exposure to these type of people will only cause your child to have self esteem and self confidence issues. Sometimes it is hard to keep these people at arm’s length, but when your child sees your defending them is important then they will know that they are important too.
Thinking that raising a biracial child is no different than raising any other is travesty. The effects are so bad for them. Imagine a world where you feel you are all alone, and no one understands you. This is a big world to be lost in, so it is up to us to hear them out, and help them find their way.
It starts with accepting and understanding that we as parents face unique challenges in raising these wonderful children to reach their fullest potential. Letting them know that different is good, not bad. The great news is the multiracial and biracial numbers in our communities are on the rise. Finding groups, schools and events that bring your children together with others that look like them and face the same struggles can be great for your child. Joining groups online that supports parents, like BiracialBoom’s Facebook page is great for parents when they face the tough challenges or even have simple questions. There is strength in numbers and power in understanding. Together we can and will make the difference in our children’s lives by loving them entirely and helping them to love themselves the same way. ~Spring
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