One of the most important considerations for parents raising biracial children, and especially for white parents raising children of color, is identity. We want our kids to be confident about who they are, where they come from and what they look like. In our society, that can raise some challenges, but taking care in encouraging our children’s unique identity is essential.
For my daughter, I don’t plan on telling her how to identify, but my hope is that she’ll feel comfortable in a variety of communities and social realms. I know though, that it’s my responsibility to help her to see her non-white identities as something of beauty. The world will tell her that whiteness is beautiful and good, without even trying, since she’ll view whites in most positions of authority, all over the media and even in her favorite Disney characters. But they may not tell her many positive stories about her identity as a woman, a Latina and a Mexican American. The world may not give her a reason to see these identities as positive or successful…that’s where my husband and I come in.
We will teach her the history of racism in this country, how she can move beyond it and why she is so amazing and beautiful just the way she is. And it’s not just prejudice from whites that she’ll have to worry about, but also the judgement from people who may say she’s not this or that “enough”. We want her to identify as she chooses and let go of others’ expectations for her.
I’ve written some tips about how to instill confidence in multiracial kids and I also talk about it in the podcast above, but I would love to hear other parents’ perspectives, especially those with older kids. How do you raise them to be confident in who they are and let go of the labels, expectations and stereotypes that society pushes them to identify with? Are there parents out there who have raised their children and could attest to how important this issue is?
Today is Multicultural Monday! Join in by writing up a post about something multicultural (this week’s topic is ACTIVISM & PARENTING) and adding your post url to the link up below! View all the multicultural blog hop posts.
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