Biracial Families - Raising Kids to Feel Good about their Skincolor
by Rebecca Agli
I happened to search on Google and your article on raising biracial kids came up. A mother asked you how to answer her son's question about why his skin color was different from his mom and dad's new baby. I felt that your response was right on. (For those visitors who want to discuss issues with regard to raising biracial and multiracial children, click on the link to take you to our message boards.)
I am raising a biracial son whose biological dad passed away when he was one and one-half years old. Later, I married a man who is not African-American, but biracial (Japanese and Italian). My new husband adopted my son and is the best father in the world. My son has never felt out of place. My husband and I decided in the begining that we were always going to be honest with Deven and answer any questions he had about himself and his biological dad.
Deven had a lot of questions one about being adopted which were easy for me to answer because I too was adopted. He also had questions about his race which both my husband and I did a lot of research to answer. Deven's godfather is African American so he has been a huge help.
We keep the communication open with Deven, always asking him if there is anything he wants to know and if we can't answer his questions, we find the resources. We are fortunate to have many friends that have biracial children
so we all try to get together now and then to help each other out.
Recently, I asked Deven, who is now almost nine years old, what race he considers himself and he said, "Mixed." I asked him what that means
and he told me, "I am both black and white." I asked him if he is ever bothered or confused by this. Deven told me, "No, mom, I feel lucky because I am the best of both ... I am a little rock and roll and a little soul." This made me smile because now I know that I am doing the best that I can for my son.
What bothers me is when a white man/women or black/man or women, who do not even have biracial children, write articles or books telling parents like me that my child needs to choose one race. This is total BS. This kind of thinking only keeps the world in this segregated place that is impossible to escape. We all have the same blood that runs the same way through our hearts.
It just shows me how backwards some people are in their thinking. I wish there was a way to get people together to see this. There should be some kind of organization, program or message boards for parents of biracial kids
, so we can discuss the issues. And in the U.S. Census, there should be a check box for biracial or multiracial people to check. I know so few people who can claim only one racial background. As for me, I am an American Irish Scottish Native Indian Jew! Times have changed, people of different racial and cultural backgrounds marry and have biracial and multiracial children. It's time that people recognize this. After all, this is supposed to be America ... home of the great melting pot. Resources for Biracial Kids and FamiliesParenting Book
that illustrates how one parent combined ideas from two different worlds to raise her biracial children to feel good about themselves and their heritage.