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Biracial Parenting…But That’s An Indian Name

 

Biracial Parenting…But That’s An Indian Name

“I have to go to school to get my education.   Amaya Gupta, age 5
I’ve been teeter-tottering about publishing this article to give my 5-year-old daughter a bit more autonomy from social media. However, currently, she is adamant that she wants to be on television and on the box of her beloved toys.  All of which require more social exposure.
Furthermore, after reading an article on a Caucasian woman with a “black name” that persistently has to defend herself for not being black, I knew I had to share this post.
As many of you know, we recently moved to a new city in North Carolina.  The move has been arduous like most moves for the majority of families.  And finding a new school that meets the standards of our 5-year-old’s prior school for the summer has been daunting.  Therefore after numerous school tours and interviews, I found a 3-day program for her to help ease the transition.

Finding The Right School

Upon entering the school, I had done my research and knew the demographics of the school, curriculum, motto, mantra, purpose, stance on bullying, and security, etc. But more importantly, when we walked through the doors of the school, the staff made us feel like we were already apart of the school. Hence, as we exited the school and entered our car, my daughter raved; “I want to go to this school, Mom.’ It reminds me of my old school but smaller. ‘I have to go to school to get my education.”  And it felt right.

The First Day Of School

Finally, ready and more than eager for her first day of Pre-K/TK at school, I walked my daughter through the classroom door.  Her teacher greeted us, and then in seconds, she was encircled by a group of her female peers.  One girl, after the other, shared their name and then immediately asked my daughter her name.  Overjoyed, she stated, hi, I’m Amaya. Until one little girl screamed, “but that’s an Indian name.”

But That’s An Indian Name

To my astonishment, I watched my daughter stand frozen. The expression of excitement had left her face, and I wanted to rush in like any momma bear and grab her out of the circle of girls, but I did not. I stood and watched, and in her stead, I said: “her dad is Indian.”  To which the little girl (that blurted out, but that’s an Indian name), rejoiced, “I’m Indian too!”  Continued by another little girl, who said, I’m Indian.

Followed by other girls that exclaimed, “Indian people, watch this kind of movie and Indian people dance like this.”  I didn’t know whether to laugh or to be horrified, but all the girls chuckled in what I figured to be innocence. I smiled with uneasiness, and the teacher saw my expression and stated, “okay girls, can we show Amaya where she needs to put her backpack. And then she softly, said to me, “kids are so unfiltered at this age.” And so as I departed my daughter’s classroom, I could not erase the thought that not only will she have to defend her mixed-raced heritage someday but also her name.

After I picked her up from school, of course, I probed her on how the rest of her day went. She informed me that she had a great time and learned that the earth is not round but a sphere.  Which was swiftly followed by can I go back tomorrow, and this put me at ease.

Why Multiracial/Multicultural Resources Are Imperative

Subsequent to speaking with my husband about the situation, we believe the enforcement of the following is crucial for all parents of biracial/multicultural children.

1.) Being dedicated to teaching your child/children about their biracial heritage and its normality.

2.) Staying ever present as parents.

3.) Making sure your child/children have diverse representation in their books, toys, games, etc and also friends of mixed-race heritage.

 

“You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude toward what happens to you, and in that, you will be mastering change rather than allowing it to master you.” Brian Tracy

As a parent to a biracial/multiracial or multicultural child have you experienced this? Comment below! Pin this article below for later on Pinterest! Find us on Twitter @growingupgupta and on Instagram, Facebook, And Pinterest @growingupguptas.

 

 

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