Raising a multiracial boy in a multicultural family can be tough. You want to celebrate your child’s unique blend of cultures, languages, and genetics, but it can feel like there’s an extra amount of pressure when you have one parent who is white and the other who is not.
If you’re going through the same thing, here are some tips on raising a happy family, we’ve learned along the way that might help.
Multiracial family meaning
To identify as a multicultural family, you must have two or more races in your family tree. People who identify with many races may also refer to themselves as being “biracial” or “mixed race.”
In numerous demographic surveys, racial and ethnic groups are utilized, including:
-Native American Indian
-African American or Black
-Latinos or Hispanics
-Hawaiian or another Pacific Islander native
Despite their limitations, these categories do provide some information on how Americans define themselves.
Be open about where your child gets their hair and skin color
When your child is young, it’s important to be open about where your child gets their hair color and skin tone, so that they can begin to understand the why and how. In our case, our son’s skin is whiter than most kids around and his eyes are much rounder. Having a caucasian father and a Korean mother makes him special and unique, and that’s why I’m here today to explain our story.
When your child is little, he may be the one who chooses a favorite parent. It’s a normal part of childhood; the other parent will feel left out. In our case, my son was and still is joined to the hip with me. This is partially because we do everything together and I bring him everywhere possible.
Also from an infant until the age of five, we both slept in the same bed. Yes, this might seem extreme for some, but those nights together, sleeping side by side, made our bond even stronger.
Telling stories is essential to help build a sense of self
Telling stories is important to help build a sense of self. It’s important to tell him stories about themselves. When you tell your son stories about where they come from and who they are, it’s important to talk about stories from the past and the countries of the parents.
In our case, my son has never seen Canada, so I try to relate stories to him from my past.
Help your child understand why people have different opinions about race
Race is a complicated issue, but it’s important to help your child understand why people have different opinions about race. Especially if you’re living in a homogenous country such as South Korea, where there are not many different races compared to Canada.
Your son needs to understand where some stand on the topic and how being multiracial will affect his future, positively.
Being Bilingual or Multilingual
This one might be different for some, your family might be monolingual or maybe speak a second language. If both parents‘ mother tongue is different, I would highly recommend that your son learns both or even a third depending on your situation.
I’m a French Canadian living in Korea, so my son is fluent in Korean and English and I’m teaching him, French. Anything is possible these little guys are like sponges.
It’s essential to be open about where your child gets his looks from in all details. Embrace him in all his perfectness and his multicultural family background Be careful with what you say around him. Telling stories is important to help build a sense of self and let him understand that he’s not alone.
Help him understand why people have different opinions about race.
It’s important to explain where your child gets their thoughts and ideas. It’s also important to explain privilege and racism. This was a small piece of a large pie. Race and raising a boy abroad come with a very unique set of challenges. We will touch deeper into the subject in other posts.
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