Saturday, March 26, 2011

Raising an Inter-racial Child

At home
 I never thought i would be writing a post about this, but i could not get the thought out of my mind. First of all, i am the proud mommy of a 4 year old girl. You will notice that there aren't any pics of my daughter anywhere on this blog. I have made the decision not the place any, except for this post. To be honest i am ok with putting myself out there on the World Wide Web but i am very tentative to put her out there as well.(It seems weird, i know but this is my view on the topic. This does not mean i bash parents who post pics of their kids. Power to them i say.) 

As you can see from the pics that i have placed around my blog, i am black. However, my daughter is what i love to call a melting pot.  For my family race was never an issue, that would have been ridiculous seeing that my entire family was a melting pot. So, it was quite natural for me growing up in such a family and for most Jamaicans this is the norm. Therefore, when my daughter was born i did not give the fact that she was inter-racial a second thought. Not until she started asking about it.

  She started a new school in September and one day she came home more aware that she was different. It started with questions like:why is it my complexion is different from yours mommy? or mommy my hair is different from yours, why? 


At the book store
I knew these questions would have been asked at some point. However, i did not expect them to be asked at age 4. I was bowled over, speechless to say the least.   

So,i  had to have the talk. No, not THAT talk. I told her that she looks like both her mommy and her daddy. Then, i showed her what we had in common. That was good enough for my situation. But what about the people who have adopted a beautiful child, who just happens to be inter-racial or from a different race. What do they tell their sons and daughters?



At school-Christmas concert
I was having the same conversation with my mom and she proceed to tell me about a friend of hers, who is inter-racial. His comment was he did not realize that he was inter-racial until he was old enough to go to junior high (he grow up about sixty years ago). 

Is it that, we as society are pointing out the obvious to these kids? Or is it that we have kids who are more aware?

Leave a comment in which you share your views on the topic.




19 comments:

  1. Your post is great!. Writing this matter is interesting. Am also a descendant of massacred by racial conflicts, I'm Israeli and Jewess.

    Now I'm living in Brazil, predominantly Christian. When I tell for them that my religion is Judaism and that is normal for me people of different ethnicities (like Brazilians) because has Jews of all colors in various countries, they look at me "from the side ..." (laughs).

    I'm thinking about my baby Hannah. Does she still will find a world where children are not taught to understand the differences, accept and live normally?

    I think the parents should teach their children, before school.

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  2. Hi!
    I am now following you from MBC :-)

    You can find me here~
    http://debshere.blogspot.com/

    Thanks!
    Deb

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  3. I think it is good to talk about our differences but not just color even accents etc. That way the realize that there are so many different wonderful kinds of people....the timing however is so tricky. I usually bring these issues up as the child brings them up but I prepare myself in advance.

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  4. o yea! I am here from the hop! HEy!!!!!

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  5. I haven't gotten to this stage yet, my daughters only two but I know that the questions will come with age. I have suffered from identity issues myself as a child, my mom is dark, my dad is carmel, and I am somewhere in-between....My skin complexion changes so much it is ridiculous, some parts of the year I am light bright, other times red-bone, other times almost Hershey (especially when I am in the DR)....but one thing that remains with me through all my color phases is that we all are created equal no matter the color....I know that my daughter is gonna' catch some heck from some people, but the reality is that not everyone is gonna' like ya anyway...so keep it movin' and realize that God created you exactly the way he wanted you to be....

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  6. Thank you for sharing! I am a white American and my husband is African. We have two beautiful children and openly talk about race in our house and discuss how everyone is beautiful because God created them that way. I am dreading her starting school only because of what others might say to her. I don't EVER want her to feel bad for being who she is. I want her to be proud!

    I am following from TPRP and would love for you to follow me back!
    http://lindsaysfamilyreviewsandgiveaways.blogspot.com/

    Have a great rest of the weekend :)

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  7. Stopping by from Bloggy Moms to say hello and make new friends. This is an interesting piece. I raised my inter-racial son (19 y/o) and never encountered any questions. When he was an infant, we went to the mall and some lady asked me if I was his nanny. I think that is the only issue we ever had. On my blog, I don't post any of my families pics. I occasionally slip in a pic of myself. Once something is posted on the internet, we have no control over where it goes and we cannot get it back.

    http://www.ourbananamoments.com
    facebook fan page: http://www.facebook.com/ourbananamoments

    Marsha

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  8. I have had the same questions from my two little boys (3 and 5y/o). I am African American and my husband is Croatian and Italian. The boys even have different characteristics from each other and that makes for more questions. I think that we have answered those questions really well and they both seem fine with our answers. Every once in awhile they will say that someone they saw or met looks like one of us and we can tell they mean that they have a similar complexion.
    Thanks for writing about this and look forward to more great posts.
    Your MBC friend
    www.sunflowerdoula.blogspot.com
    www.townandrivers.blogspot.com

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  9. Thank you for your great post! I do think some children are more aware of diffrences. Athough my husband and I are both Italian, I have german on my dads side and my husband has Irish on his dads. My husband and I have dark hair and eyes, our oldest has blonde hair and blue eyes. He was always uncomfortable with the fact that he looked "different" than us. When my daughter was born with the same dark hair and eys as my husband it came up again. When I was pregant with our youngest, Tom kept praying that the baby would be blonde, blue eyed! Our son has very light brown hair and green eyes! This satisfied my son! Thanks for following me, I'm following back from MBC

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  10. She is beautiful! You handled her questions like a very thoughtful mommy. Stopping by to check out your blog. Dena from www.centsationalsaver.com

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  11. Thanks for passing by http://www.momstreehouse.com/ and I am now following you back. I know one day my son will ask me about the different language I speak (spanish) as I am the only one that talks to him in spanish. (my family is all over) so he learning more of his italian culture. I'm hoping he incorporates both, but only t ime will tell. Will visit soon again. : )

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  12. Best of luck to you and your daughter. I hope the world is kind to her.

    And, I think it's a smart call to try to protect your daughter's identity.

    Khareen
    www.notexpectingtoomuch.wordpress.com

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  13. I have four children. I am white and my husband is black. My kids' have very light skin and often are not recognized as part black...unless by other black people..lol. I have two very fair redheads and two with light skin and dark hair. My youngest even has straight hair while my two other daughters have super curly red hair. I get questions all the time! For the most part we have no trouble or have not been treated poorly. My kids do not seem to have any identity issues. Maybe because we are just causal about it or maybe because it just hasn't come up. I am waiting for the day it will be an issue. Now, I have been asked if my kids all have the same father before...we have had little things happen but more good than bad. I wrote a post on it over a year ago and it is still one of my most popular posts! lol. It's on my popular post sidebar if you are interested. :)

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  14. Newest follower with GFC through the weekend blog hop

    http://40plussinglebbw.blogspot.com/

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  15. Hi, new follower from the hop (wanted to be #100, but the next follower can do that I guess). Would appreciate a follow back please!

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  16. Stopping by from the trdc linkup, and wanted to tell you how eloquently you wrote about this, and am glad to hear how you spoke to your daughter about her heritage.

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  17. Your adorable daughter is obviously smart and curious. Your response was perfect!
    (Found you thru TRDC)

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  18. Smart answer for an unexpected sensitive question.
    I'm now following you.
    Here is my blog
    http://life-reflexions.blogspot.com

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  19. I've had to have the same talk with my son because he was asking the same questions and saying the same things and that was after he began kindergarten. Makes me wonder what if something is said, or if he just notice this difference.

    But these are great discussions and they grow up much more confidenct

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