A Guide for Helping Multiracial Children Find Their Place in the World
Race is being rethought in the United States thanks to the rise of multiracial offspring. In this way, you can instill in your children a sense of self-worth and satisfaction in their accomplishments.
Despite the progress made in our understanding of race, we still insist on dividing people into racial categories. Because of this, you’ll want to teach your children about their mixed heritage so that they may appreciate and value all aspects of their identity. So don’t hesitate to answer your child’s queries if they come up.
Why Aren’t We a Good Fit? Encouraging children’s interest in their own racial heritage is an important part of helping them feel good about their multiracial heritage. Avoiding the subject of race, on the other hand, may send the message to children that being mixed-racial is a bad thing. ‘We don’t see color’ doesn’t mean ‘We’re not racist,’ according to some parents. ‘Something’s wrong,’ is what a child hears. Don’t be shy about saying it: To begin, say something like, “Everyone’s hair and skin tone are a little different.” Explain then, “Daddy is of African descent, as evidenced by the dark brown of his skin. Mexican-American Mami has a lighter brown complexion tone, which she attributes to her ethnicity. If this is the case, you are both African and Mexican-American, and both of us are responsible for giving you the color of your skin.”
Try not to rely too heavily on fractions (half-Peruvian, for example). For mixed-race youngsters, fractional language conveys the message that they are neither fully of one race nor fully of another. Instead, create a lexicon to describe the multicultural nature of your family: Yes, I am a Kor-inican. Mexi-pino? Is it just a Latino-Asian mix? This teaches children to be proud of their heritage in all of its facets.
What’s My Story? As a parent, you’ll want to let your multiracial children decide how they feel about themselves. Encourage your children’s sense of self-determination by teaching them to take control of their own identity at any time. Children’s self-esteem suffers when they are forced to live up to others’ expectations of who they should be.
Children must first comprehend their origins before they may choose an identity. This means that you should try to use the language of your ancestors whenever possible. Teach your children about the meals and customs of the cultures that you come from. Give them many chances to spend time with family members from both sides of the family.
To be able to create an identity that ‘fits,’ multiracial youngsters need as many diverse cultural experiences as possible. This makes it more difficult for them to select between their various cultural identities.
What if your mixed-race youngster has a preference for one side of the family over the other? You need not be concerned. The identities of mixed-race children are typically ambiguous, as they see themselves in different ways at different periods. For example, a mixed-race youngster may identify herself as African-American because that is the side of the family she sees the most.
Regardless of the cause, don’t take it personally. She is not rejecting the other parent’s love or affection by choosing one identity. If you’re still in touch with your child, make it clear that you support her decision to live as she sees fit.
Creating an environment that not only supports but also promotes multiculturalism can be accomplished in numerous various ways. Children who identify as multiracial are less likely to be marginalized when they see themselves portrayed in media. Kids who don’t see themselves in many other novels are the target audience for the books I write.
Sharing resources with your children’s teachers is a great way to enhance your own multicultural mission. So you can assist your children’s classrooms be as inclusive as possible, while ensuring that the positive signals you’re sending are reinforced at school, as well. With the help of these resources, educators can turn ordinary moments into teaching opportunities. Children shouldn’t have to bear the weight of educating an entire town. It is possible for adults to take the lead.