5 Things Every Parent Should Remember When Raising Multiracial Children

I was a biracial child and I am also the parent of two multiracial children. As someone who is biracial and have faced ignorance, unwanted questioning, curious stares, and even racism, I would be the first to tell you that it is no walk in the park to be mixed race. Despite the media telling us how beautiful and smart mixed race children are, what the media doesn’t tell us is that there are more struggles and turmoil lying beneath the surface. Therefore, there are certain things that every parent should remember when raising multiracial children in order to raise them to be honest, tolerant, accepting, and positive members of society.

An interracial couple lying on the floor with their mixed race daughter and looking at a laptop together.
5 Things Every Parent Should Remember When Raising Multiracial Children

Love them for who they are

The most important thing that every parent who has multiracial children should remember is that they should always love them for who they are. They should love their children for who they are inside, and not just because they are their children, or being mixed race. The fact that they are mixed race is probably the least important factor about them. The most important factors include loving them for wearing polka dot pants and a striped shirt, eating only broccoli for dinner, screaming at the top of their lungs in the car, or playing outside for so long that they get covered in dirt. You know, the little, everyday things. Parents should their multiracial children for who they are, and not what society may perceive them as. By doing this, we are teaching the next generation that race and the color of the skin are ultimately of no significance.

A baby rests on the bed while the parent dresses her.
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Teach them to not let color be a barrier

While parents should absolutely love their children for who they are, not focusing on their race, they should also teach their children to not let the color of their skin be a barrier. Even if we teach our multiracial children that the color of the skin is unimportant, society still plays a huge focus on it. Society is still adamant at categorizing people by race. Because of that, the outside world still perceives people to be of a certain race, and then makes assumptions based on those perceptions. Sometimes those assumptions can create a divide of sorts, putting unwanted pressure on the child to do certain things, or refraining them from doing things. Parents should teach their multiracial children to not let their race or color of their skin dictate who they may or may not become. Multiracial children should be allowed to be whatever they want to be, whatever is in their heart’s desire. They should not be told to do sports or take advanced math classes because it is in their blood, but because they genuinely love it.

Two hands reaching out, but not close enough to hold hands.
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Teach them to see beyond the color of the skin to the person within

While parents should love their children for who they are within, they should also be taught to see beyond the color of the skin to the person within. They should be taught to not categized or make assumptions about other people based on appearance. They should be taught to always look closely at what is on the inside. This is a lesson that I have had to learn the hard way. Growing up, I always had people judge me based on exterior appearances, instead of getting to know me on the inside. Plus, it doesn’t feel good to simply dismiss someone as just being Asian or black or white or Latino/a. What is on the outside is the least important. We must dare to look beyond what is on the surface in order to get to know people, and ultimately, ourselves even better.

Be open about racial struggles

No matter how old the multiracial children are, parents should always be open about racial struggles. Parents’ natural instinct is to protect their children. It might seem to be more protective to protect children from any racism or race issues that arise in society. But another way to protect them is by equipping them with knowledge. When children come to know what kind of treatment to be expected from the wider society, then parents and children can create conversation. Together, the next generation can work at trying to eliminate these racial struggles and issues once and for all.

Two women stand with a crowd of people at a protest holding up signs that say 'Black Lives Matter' and 'BLM'
Photo by Life Matters on Pexels.com

Don’t label your children

And finally, I think that parents should not tell their children what to identify as. I am of the belief that it is up to the individual what they choose to identify as. Whether that is black, latino/a, Asian American, hapa, multiracial, or simply human being, it is up to them. No person has the right to tell another person what they are. No person has the right to tell another human being which race they should identify as. For multiracial children, this journey of self-identification may be harder than that of children who are not mixed race simply because it is more complicated for them. But with the right guidance and love, these children can ultimately identify as the thing that they most feel suits them, and not because of what society may tell them to identify as based on the color of the skin.

Conclusion

When raising multiracial children, the most important thing is to simply love them for who they are, while also teaching them about the ways of the world. Multiracial children are no different from monoracial children. They all want and need the same things. The only difference is what society has made it so. Because society insists on categorizing and differentiating people based on skin color and race, parents must teach them to act in a way that society can accept while also meeting the need of the child. And that can only happen when the children are ultimately happy in their skin, without fear of racism and ostracism from the wider society.

What would you add to this list?

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Hi! I'm Helen and I am a 32 year old biracial millennial mom raising two multiracial children. I am a writer, English consultant, and social media manager. I am a self-proclaimed chocoholic.

10 thoughts on “5 Things Every Parent Should Remember When Raising Multiracial Children

  1. I know young people who are proud of their biracialism and they somehow don’t let bullying make them feel “less than.” I wonder how they became proud instead of sad.

    1. Thanks for commenting Margie! I think that as long as kids have high self esteem and are proud of who they are, then they will ultimately thrive & be happy with being biracial or multiracial. Having a good supportive home life as well as a society that ACCEPTS them for WHO THEY ARE and not what they are perceived to be or the assumptions that come to mind will help these kids thrive in this multifaceted society

  2. I have a Eurasian baby with a second on the way. My daughter is unique in her own way – we tell her that and she has very high self-esteem (unlike me). The last thing I wan to do is take that away from her. My husband has Eurasian cousins, and my cousin has 2 Eurasian kids. Little kids do not question race – I think the issues arise as they grow older, sadly. Every kid should feel accepted.

    1. ABsolutely! Kids do not know what race is. They see the color of the skin, but it is the same as the color of the hair or eyes. At least that is how it is with my own multiracial children, as well as how I perceived my own parents growing up. It is when they grow older that society teaches them to choose one race. We must walk away from this & encourage them to take their own path & just be themselves without that extra barrier of race that society pushes on us all

  3. I agree with you..back in the day we were taught that we “lighter” skin even though we are from the Caribbean and most of us are black. They categorise all of us.. so odd. Because we are all the same. So strange to me. My kids don’t pay attention to the color of your skin for them we are all human. And that’s exactly how I want them to see everyone. Treat everyone with the same love and respect

  4. Kids do not know what race is as you said Helen they see the colour of the skin but it is the same as eyes or the colour of their hair. If you are a multiracial child the society will tell them to choose “ONE RACE” which is not right. This idea/thought needs to end and people should be themselves with out the worry of race. We should treat people with the SAME love and the SAME respect ✊🏼 (we shouldn’t treat one person differently because one is white and one is black etc) we are humans and we were all created by God and no race is superior. and we should push the stereotypes away

    1. Yes I absolutely agree! I hope that as there is an increase in the multiracial population, this system of categorizing people will end.

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