Raising a Bi-Racial Child

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by TYLERFAN, Jun 11, 2007.

  1. TYLERFAN

    TYLERFAN New Member

    Hi Family:

    I haven't posted on general in so long. I know alot of us are dealing with this issue, raising bi-racial children. I have been searching for a support board akin to this one with that topic as the main thing and have been very disappointed with what I have found, not very active boards. Man this board jumps. :warrior:
    Anyway, I am a White Grandma raising my half white/ half black grandbaby. Did I mention he is the most beautiful child in the world??? :bravo: :rofl: :angel:
    I have seen many more bi-racial children than ever before.
    What the literature told me was that it was fine for me to be raising a child who will be seen by all "as just black" as long as I realize that, come to terms with it and share that information with him...... :nonono: The article went on to say that if I raise my child in my world where I am accepted everywhere because I am white (by the way I've been to plenty of neighborhoods , where white wasn't so accepted), then my child will grow up with that same expectation and that would not be his reality. :grrr: This really sux. We still look at skin color.
    The article also alluded to the fact that while this child should and can live in a white family, the family must make sure to keep the child away from negative male black role models, including music.....make sure that college isn't an "if" it is a "where". Tell the child that the man who is raising him is his father, (especially if said biological father is not around). These children are apparently at risk when around the biological family or their lifestyle, the child will gravitate more towards that because he has and will be considered "just Black", not bi-racial. And to top it all off some blacks won't accept him as not being pure....(so hitler-esque) :devil:
    So there ya have it, some very interesting information that I haven't really pondered till this week. Alot of information I had no idea was out there on this subject. I will look for the Author's name and try to post the link for the page.
    Anyone have any thoughts on this?
    I wonder if we could add a forum about this if we had enough difficult child grandmas....we could talk about all the fun we are having rasing all our grandkids. :smile:
    Tell me what ya think.
    Blessings,
    Melissa
     
  2. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Melissa, a number of our CD family members are bi-racial so I imagine you will get some good info on the subject. Although I
    must stress that I have No, Zip, Nada experience...the info that
    you shared sounds a bit "out there" to me.

    I am sure there are excellent middle of the road experts that will provide guidance. My gut (which despite growing larger is
    not necessarily wiser..lol) would tell me that love and stability
    are the biggest issues. An integrated daycare and subsequently
    school and Y program would seem important. I would also guess that it would be important to find "like kind" adults to have as
    friends..........not like kind color of skin but like kind of interests, values and education.

    Anyway, I'm sure your grandson will flourish with your caring support. Hugs. DDD
     
  3. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I have biracial kids though they are not white and black, they are white and indian. Yes, it is much less noticeable in them unless you happen to live exactly where I live. They pass for white any place else in the US.

    We dont get the obvious racial implications that a different mixed race couple gets because most people dont even know we are a mixed race couple. In some ways, I almost wish the entire universe would just become one big cream colored world. The whole idea we have to worry about how to raise a grand child because of the color of the babies skin is absurd. My grand daughter is mixed of indian and white now too. She has the curly hair of the Lumbee Indians and my blue eyes and that lovely tan of the Lumbees here but it is slightly lighter.
     
  4. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Hi Melissa,

    whoah, talk about politics!

    I am also raising a biracial kid, who also happens to have a bit of native American ancestry, as well as Russian Jewish ancestry. (He's also Irish, so he celebrates St. Patrick's Day! LOL.)

    His bmom and bdad don't really listen to much hip hop, and his bgrandparents are very conservative and religious. So we aren't worried about "the general public" when it comes to black stereoptypes (not that we would be anyway).

    Yes, love and stability are the biggest issues. However, there is no fooling anyone that our kids don't look like us. At some point it will affect our kids and they need to learn to navigate our society. Some kids are shocked and hurt when they realize how out of the "mainstream" they have been, and they cut off their adoptive families altogether, but I suspect my son won't be like that... we have exposed him to all sorts of people and socioeconomic experiences and continue to do so. We also have friends from all socioeconomic levels and of all races, we openly discuss things, and we like to travel. Which leads me to my next point...

    It is imperative to get out and see things. Travel across the country and to foreign countries. It's a real eye opener. Too many people in America think that it's black, white and nothing else. NOT!

    Still, our family culture comes first.

    My son will most likely not be accepted into hip hop black culture, and I phrase it that way deliberately. He will be accepted into educated and middle class/upper middle class black culture. And white culture. And any other culture he cares to emulate and assimilate.

    At the moment, he's only 10, and he's interested in anything to do with-sports, regardless of his teammates' backgrounds.

    Here's an interesting article on the subject: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/05/27/AR2007052700926.html


     
  5. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Melissa, my difficult child is bi-racial (dad - black; me - white). When she was little I did not really pay much attention. One day she asked me why I had white skin and daddy had black skin. I told her 'daddy is black, mommy is white and you are brown.' I had/have no idea if it was 'correct' to respond this way. It does not seem to have affected her.

    In school, things are different. She did get some racial remarks on the buses and playground. She did seem sad a few times.

    As she got older, she gravitated to rap and hip-hop music. I figured it was just like me wanting to listen to Salt N Peppa's 'Push it' song that my mom hated so much! LOL!

    She does seem 'gangsta'-like sometimes that her father and I scratch our heads about. Neither of us are like that. She seems to turn it on for certain friends (I think this is partly GFGish behavior). I recall my difficult child sister acting fake sometimes depending on who was around.

    I am lucky that Dex is still so involved that I do not really even think about the identity thing much. She does get the African American family experience from her dad's side of the family. She does seem to prefer black boys to 'date' (like). That is OK by me. I do not care who she dates as long as they treat her (and me) with respect.

    Sorry, I guess I am not much help here because I just do not worry about it much. Right or wrong - I do not know.
     
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I have two Asian kids, a black son and a bi-racial daughter. My bi-racial daughter identifies herself pretty much as being black. It isn't what others define her as, it's HER defining herself that way. We don't have that many black families in our small town, but we know them all :smile:
    I guess I'm not "enlightened" because I raise her pretty much the same as I raise all my kids, and don't stress on the race issue. My black friends seem to think I'm doing ok with her. She is adopted--her birthmother white and her birthfather black and has pictures of both. She's only had one incident where somebody has called her a name in school.
    I am guessing she'll date boys of all races. We couldn't care less about race. She'll probably eventually like hip-hop. My Asian daughter even did as a teen--it's popular. We banned it from the house, but she listened outside of the house. My daughter has Learning Disability (LD)'s and is very athletic. My guess is she'll go to tech school and not a four year college--she's a great kid, but not particularly studious--we'll see. In no way will I force any child to go to college--I think that's silly. Some kids are cut out for it and some aren't. I also think it's silly to think you can keep kids away from "bad" people of their own race. My daughter is already well aware of black crime and injustice just by watching television.
    I wouldn't stress over it or make it an exact science. Just enjoy your grandchild. All kids are different. The best advice I can give is it's good to have close friends who are black and will understand if she hits some rough times. Other than that, I have no real advice. JMO :smile:
     
  7. wldinnh

    wldinnh New Member

    My significant other is black and I'm white and he has a young son from a previous very brief relationship with a white woman. I consider this sweet boy my "step son" as he has been in my life since he was very young and lives with us several days out of the week. It seems the advice you read is racist in many ways: assumes all blacks are into the hip-hop culture, don't value a college education and are a culture to fear will harm your son in some way. My significant other is a college graduate, from a loving and kind middle-class background and he hates the hip-hop culture, and is one of the most "old school" people I know in many ways. Your grandson can only benefit from being exposed to black people as the older he gets the more he will be exposed to racisim as society begins to view him not as the adorable little bi-racial kid but as a black teen and a black man. Black friends/mentors will be able to "show him the way" so to speak in navagating a society that still discriminates in many ways. There must be a predominantly black church near you. Perhaps you could go talk to the minister and ask his/her advice for incorporating more black people into your grandson's life.
     
  8. formyson

    formyson New Member

    MELISSA, HI! I JUST WANTED TO LET YOU KNOW THAT YOU ARE NOT ALONE. I KNOW PEOPLE'S ATTITUDE CONCERNING MIXING THE RACES CAN VARY ACCORDING WHAT PART OF THE COUNTRY THEY LIVE IN. I LIVE IN CALIFORNIA, BUT WAS BORN AND RAISED IN ILLINOIS. GOOD PEOPLE IN BOTH STATES. MY CHILDREN ARE PART BLACK/FROM THEIR DAD AND PART HISPANIC/ME. BECAUSE OF WHAT I BELIEVE TO BE A MORE ACCEPTING ATTITUDE OF MIXED MARRIAGES/CHILDREN, I STAY IN CALIFORNIA. THERE ARE SO MANY DIFFERENT CULTURES HERE AND VERY UNPOPULAR TO BE RACIST. I WANT MY CHILDREN WHO ARE 9YRS AND 7YRS TO NOT HAVE TO FACE RACISM AT SUCH A YOUNG AGE.
    I JUST RAISE THEM TO BE GOOD AMERICANS. AND TO UNDERSTAND THAT THERE WAS A TIME WHEN THE LAWS DID NOT PROTECT BLACK PEOPLE, BUT THROUGH THE EFFORTS AND SACRAFICE OF ALOT OF PEOPLE THESE LAWS WERE CHANGED.
    I DON'T KNOW IF WHAT I AM SAYING IS ANY HELP TO YOU. I WOULD JUST SAY TO NOT MAKE A BIG DEAL ABOUT WHITE, BLACK, ASIAN, HISPANIC OR NATIVE AMERICAN. JUST LET THEM KNOW THEY ARE LUCKY TO HAVE SUCH A RICH HERITAGE AND BE PROUD.
     
  9. wldinnh

    wldinnh New Member

    I totally agree with the part of the country you live in really making a difference. I'm unfortunately in a very white state but because my DEX and I have a child together that we share 50/50 custody with, I could only move if he moved too! My significant other is likewise stuck here too as his son's mom is equally involved in his raising. My parents live in the southwest and his in the midwest and every time the plane lands and I get off of it I think "oh yhea, this is what the rest of the country looks like!" because there are so many different races and mixed race people,which is the environment I was raised in. Where we often get stares here (whether his son is with us or not), people don't even notice us in other parts of the country (unless they're making a joke about him being 6'5" and me 5'1"!)
     
  10. guest3

    guest3 Guest

    My neice and nephew (twins) are bi-racial and C looks very "black" and J looks very "white" (looks = hair and skin) that being said I hate using the words "black" and "white". My son is "white" and he is more "black" then my african american Brother n law, LOL. Location, I guess influences people's attitudes but here in NJ Bi-racial is a norm. I always said if we were to adopt I had no issues with adopting bi-racial. Of course with current difficult child issues I'd be nuts to think of taking on another child!!!
     
  11. peg2

    peg2 Member

    I also believe that the part of US you are in has a lot to do with raising mixed race children. I live in NJ and it isn't any big deal, I have 3 boys-----------black/white and the issues with 2 of them are not race, but the fact that dad abandoned them. Any child without their father around(esp. boys) causes major emotional problems, I believe that is the biggest issue for my boys.
     
  12. TYLERFAN

    TYLERFAN New Member

    Interesting responses from you guys.
    I agree that the article did seem alittle "out there" as DDD suggests. On some level it does make sense to me. A child can grow up in a warm, loving home, and not have a clue as to how the rest of the world sees him. To not prepare him for the possibilities seems cruel. It's not that I am obsessing on the race thing here, I have no worries about how much my family and friends love him. Listen, I live in NY and there is still a stop and stare here when we walk around with our grandson. I have seen people look at me then at SO and then at the baby...confused.
    Here is the link to the article.
    https://web.archive.org/web/2013062...smagazine.com/Parenting Biracial Children.htm

    Blessings,
    Melissa
     
  13. Just keep swimming

    Just keep swimming New Member

    Melissa,

    Hi, long time no see! As you know husband and I are white, we adopted Aly as a newborn and she is African American or as she calls herself "brown". Jayme is 1/2 white 1/2 Hispanic. husband is part Cherokee and my easy child 2 (bio) has the same coloring as his Great G'ma, so is Native American looking except for his lightish hair.

    So, we always have considered ourselves the Rainbow Family or a family of many heritages. We celebrate Easter, Cinco De Mayo, Christmas, and Kwanzaa. We have just recently started back doing foster care and are being considered for an 11 yo Native American girl.

    All this above history of our family is to show that yes, we are white, several of our kids are of different races, and somehow it all works! Aly does get more into a "ghetto" mode if she listens to Usher or what have you. I finally listened to the words carefully of his CD and then it "accidentally" broke! Ugh, not good!

    We did respite care for an 11 yo AA boy last week and I did notice Aly picked up a few of his mannerisms quite quickly. But he is a sweet boy so it wasn't anything bad.

    I have a friend who has adopted about every race out there and her oldest is half AA and half white. She is in her Freshman year in college and this is the first time she has felt she didn't fit anywhere wholly. I talk with her alot and she said we should expose Aly to as much GOOD black culture as possible NOW so that she won't feel odd when she is around more of her same color classmates. We live in a very white, mountain town that is slowly changing to multiculture.

    As for websites, I use adoptions.com and they have a transracial forum on there and I have "met" a few understanding parents and we have traded emails and chat now and then. They are not nearly as well visited as this site is but when I used to visit, I did gain some valuable info.

    Also, when at a park or where ever, if we see a multiracial family, we slowly start talking with them and we have made several friends in this fashion who are raising their children the way we are. We are teaching good solid morals, strong children who are proud of their heritage(s) and also offer as many multi-cultural events as possible.

    I really don't think our world will ever be "color blind" but I have always told my children that no matter how we look on the outside, we match in our hearts and love and that is all that really counts. Not sure I am doing the right thing but it feels right for now.

    Hugs,
    Vickie (aka Jungleland)
     
  14. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    I know a lot of people hung up on the color thing. My kids don't have a problem. They have heard me tell others that everyone has a brain, heart, sole just like everyone else. I can really go off on the people that are just so clueless and carry around their prejudice.
     
  15. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I agree with-the part of the country being a big factor.
    My son also calls himself brown. I like it because it describes his skin color with-o being a political term.
    I've never actually told him that. Maybe I should...
     
  16. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    wldinnh, I would not consider the repsonses racist at all. Stereotyping, maybe, but not racist.

    Is it stereotyping to assume every young black person is into hip-hop - YES. But, it is a common theme among the black teens. I would say white teens are also into hip-hop, but it seems not as large a number (in my own experience, of course!).
     
  17. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Melissa,

    I'm white, my soon to be ex bonehead is black and therefor our children are mixed.

    I did not get a chance to actually read the article you referenced in a later post, but the majority of it is cr*p!!!

    Certainly our mixed children and mixed grandchildren (black and white) are considered black. Their birthcertificates bear that information. In most states, if not all, a child is considered to be whatever minority is in them. What do they mean "hare that information with him?" What information, that he is black?? Are we stupid?

    If you raise a child to think he will always be accepted in life, every one of them is in for a shock at some point in their life! Noone is accepted by everyone. Being raised in a while family does not guarantee a child is raised with a sense of entitlement. You teach all children that people do judge, unfairly, about skin color, religion, freckles, body size, hair color, glasses, social status, level of education, and what dag-on shoes you are wearing. No, son(daughter), it's not fair, but you define who you are by what you do not what you look like.

    "Keep the child away from negative black male role models" - what the heck, keep the child away from as many negative role models as possible irregardless of race or sex. How simplistic.

    College a where and not an if. Parents should accept that every child is differnt. Some will go on to college, some will find and learn a trade, and some will work at CVS or McDonalds. So? No parent should force their child into a lifestyle to make a point. You support and encourage your child to find their passion.

    Lie????? Tell a child the male role model in his life is his father. Great, so now we are lying to our child and modeling that behavior? Good.

    Some blacks won't accept him/her because they are not pure, some whites won't accept him/her because they are not pure, some Christians won't accept him/her because he is a Jew, some social snobs won't accept him/her because his bank account is not high enough, and on and on.

    Raise your childre and your grandchild with love. Raise them to believe in themselves. Raise them to understand that a person is given this life as a gift and should life it to their full potential. Raise your child to understand that they are defined by the choices they make in the difficult times, not the fun they are having in the good ones.

    When your biracial children or grandchild ask about their heritage, be honest and straight forward. One parent is black and the other is white and you are a combination of the best in both.

    Ok, I'll step off my soapbox now. Sorry. I just get so aggrivated when things are made more difficult than they are and it causes folks to stress out and doubt themselves.

    Life is what it is, why make things more difficult. Raise your children to be an American and take pride in all their heritage. Celebrate their history by choosing books and movies that show folks with their common background who have risen above and succeeded to become good people. Be informed about ethnic holidays so that you can begin new customes in your home.

    But most all, teach your children the infamous words of Martin Luther King, Jr. He dreamed of a world where his children would be judged by the content of their character and not the color of their skin. If we all do that with our chidren, we wouldn't be having this discussion and they wouldn't have to have it in the future.

    Sharon
     
  18. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member


    Good point!
     
  19. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    This is significant. Everyone, even racists, think babies and kids are cute. When the kids grow up, the whole thing changes. It's one reason I try to keep my difficult child out of baggy pants and do-rags. Sure, there are lots of very nice kids who wear those things. But the clothing is a "uniform" that screams "delinquent" whether they realize it or not.
    Luckily, my difficult child doesn't want to wear baggy pants anyway... they interfere with-his sports and ability to run, mostly in baseball, but also ice skating.

    It's very hard to explain to a 10-yr-old why certain clothes can be a turn-on or turn-off, so I wait until he says something and THEN I explain it, since he's already noticed it. One thing he has noticed and has commented on repeatedly is the attitude and demeanor of certain kids, in that they look "mean."

    "Mommy, why do black and brown kids always push people in the mall with-their shoulders, and have those mean looks on their faces?" (It breaks my heart to hear him say that.)

    "It's learned behavior," I tell him. "They think they're cool. Do you think it's cool?"

    "NO."

    "Do you see white kids doing that?"

    "Sort of... they can be rude but they're not as scary."
     
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