Positively Reinforcing Multiracial Identity in Kids: Comments and Affirmations from around the web
“Multiracial kids/people are disruptive to stereotyping just by existing.”—unknown
RAISING A BIRACIAL CHILD
As parents we want to be prudent in nurturing and fostering our biracial daughter’s understanding of who she is. Neither my husband nor I intimately understand what it is to biracial. I am African-American with two African-American parents and he is Indian-American with two Indian-American parents. Hence, this got us thinking about biracial identity and upbringing.
Many of us have heard that biracial/multiracial kids inevitably have an identity crisis. They find themselves torn between ethnicities, race, and/or cultures. Invariably trying to figure out where X marks the spot on census data: White, Black, Latino, Asian, Native American, Other? And more often than not, they end up having their racial/ethnic identity defined for them by society merely for how they look. Case in point our prior President of the U.S., Barack Obama. Barack Obama had a Caucasian mother, and an African father but he was considered to be the first Black President of the U.S. Does this not make him the first Biracial President of the U.S.? His identity and the cultural experiences he realized because of his mother did not just disappear due to his appearance or what society dictated him to be.
Thus as parents how do you reinforce the totality of a child’s multiracial identity? Here are 7 affirmations and comments of how to do so from children, teens, and adults of multiracial identity around the web.
7 Affirmations and Comments from Multiracial Children, Teens, and Adults Around the Web
- “Keep your child/children exposed to a racially balanced group of high achieving and emotionally balanced mentors and heroes. And include yourself in that distinguished group being mixed is not easy.” (Source: Affinity Magazine. Where do I belong. The Struggles of Being Biracial. http://affinitymagazine.us/
2016/05/22/where-do-i-belong- the-struggles-of-being-bi- racial/).
“Labels reflect only what’s true to you—nothing defines who you are except you. Learn to just not want/need to fit in.” (Source: Affinity Magazine. Where do I belong. The Struggles of Being Biracial. http://affinitymagazine.us/2016/05/22/where-do-i-belong-the-struggles-of-being-bi-racial/).
“Being biracial is its own race.” Source: Affinity Magazine. Where do I belong. The Struggles of Being Biracial. http://affinitymagazine.us/2016/05/22/where-do-i-belong-the-struggles-of-being-bi-racial/).
“You can’t teach or educate your child to be “black or white” or mixed but you can show them through example how to love everyone around you regardless of what they look like or what country they were born in/come from.” (Source: MsAfropolitian, What being mixed race has taught me. http://www.msafropolitan.com/
“Parents purposely teach your children customary traditions from each race/ethnicity.”
(Source: CNN. Mixed Emotions Being Biracial and Racism. http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/
“Biracial people may experience completely different situations than those who are not biracial and others should be aware of this and sensitive to it as well.” (Source: Biracial problems and issues. pitjournal.unc.edu).
“I am a whole person not simply half my father and half my mother.” Source: CNN. Mixed Emotions Being Biracial and Racism. http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/
As a parent how do you cultivate or nurture your child’s biracial/multiracial/multicultural identity? What tips do you have? Feel free to comment below and share this post!