Raising children presents tough challenges — sometimes when you least expect them. But raising biracial children might challenge the entire family because of the ignorance and lack of tolerance you are likely to face in the world. Your job as a parent will be to shield your kids, yet prepare them for life at the same time.
Find a Strong Stance
The foundation for how you raise your children starts with your own values and ideals. When you want to raise strong and well-adjusted kids who show empathy and tolerance, it starts with your own behaviors. Your biracial kids will need to see, hear and feel you being strong in the face of racism. Your strength will transfer to your kids as you model how to rise above prejudice and racism.
Prepare a Response
Having found your strength, an effective place to start showing your kids how to fight back is with a response to insensitive questions. The first time it happens, it might be shocking, but you should expect that people you encounter out in public will ask questions such as “Is he yours?” Decide how you want to respond to these questions and use your response every time to show your kids how to rise above racism and intolerance with strength and smarts. If you regularly hear questions such as “Where’d he come from?” a sassy retort that says it all might be, “My uterus.”
Get your family and friends on board to help provide strength and support to your kids. There’s no room within your inner support network for anyone who isn’t supportive of you and your kids. Talk to your loved ones to ensure they are prepared to demonstrate positive support as strong role models for your kids. Anyone who seems lukewarm might be better as a distant contact as you raise your children.
Teach Your Kids
Raise your kids with the belief that it takes all races, colors and cultures to make a world. The belief that no one’s outer appearance has anything to do with the inner person she is should be a strong and recurrent message in your home from the time your kids are babies. Tolerance is a personal value that grows as kids get older, but it’s never too early to begin teaching by example and with words. Prepare your kids gently for the fact that some people hate other people who look or sound different than them. Teach your kids they are human beings first without any emphasis on color or culture.