When you first begin your parenting journey, there’s a lot of books you can read to try to prepare you for what’s to come, but in reality, there’s no manual that’s giving you exact instructions.
It’s more educating yourself, trusting your gut, and adapting to what works best for your child.
However, when you’re parenting a biracial child, all the regular parenting books that you’ve probably read are missing a critical piece.
That missing piece is essential to your child growing up empowered in their unique identity.
When raising a mixed race child, you need diversity in their lives, you need to understand how to prepare and protect your child from racism, and that you need the support from a community of other parents who know exactly what challenges you face.
You know your child will experience life differently than you and you know they automatically start off disadvantaged because of their skin color, and you want to give them everything you can to help them succeed in life.
You want to step up and be the advocate your child needs and to do that, you need this 3 part framework.
What Your Biracial Child Actually Needs (Beyond Private Schools, Tutors, and Salons)
You can’t just rely on private schools, tutors, and salons to teach your biracial child everything they need to know about their identity.
While private schools and tutors may offer diversity or give your child a better education, they don’t cover the entire holistic approach to nurturing your mixed race child.
These resources are great tools to have, but they aren’t the entire picture.
Just because your child is in private school or is being tutored, doesn’t mean they are being educated accurately on their cultures history, racism, discrimination, or microaggressions.
These resources are also not providing you with the necessary education on what to do when a racist situation or a microaggression happens.
Your child learns from watching you, so if you don’t know how to react in those situations, your child won’t either as they grow up and these situations happen to them when you aren’t around.
You can’t expect the schools and tutors to do the work for you because supporting your child’s unique identity starts in the home. If they aren’t understood and supported at home, they could end up needing therapy in the future.
(Therapy for mixed race adults is on the rise in large part due to feeling like they didn’t belong in any group growing up, and not feeling supported with their identity).
Another missing piece is hair care.
Could you take your child to the salon and get their hair done? Sure!
Your child will definitely need to visit a salon at some point, but to rely on them to completely care for your child’s hair is disempowering to you and your child.
Learning how to do your child’s hair, allows you to teach them in the future how to care for their own hair.
I remember all the trial and error, and at times frustration I had learning how to do my oldest daughter’s hair.
It was a new experience for me and as biracial kids get older, their hair can change so everything that was working, isn’t anymore, (this happened with my daughter).
I’m proud that when people ask me questions about her hair I can confidently answer them, and when I take her to the salon, I know exactly how to explain how to cut her hair.
Learning your child’s hair care is a great bonding experience for the two of you and helps your child feel confident because they’ll know how to take care of their hair without needing to go to the salon all the time.
Parenting a mixed child can feel isolating because you may not have many friends or family who are in the same situation as you.
I have definitely felt this way because for a long time I had no one in my life who could relate to raising Black and white kids.
They’re not as aware, (or not aware at all) of the challenges you face in supporting your child’s biracial identity and holistically nurturing them so they learn to love themselves despite living in a society that tells them otherwise.
You need a community of parents who are just like you. Where instead of feeling judged or misunderstood, you feel relief that you’re among people who can actually help!
Your child has unique needs beyond just private schools, tutors, and salons, a proven 3 part framework, and a like-minded community of parents just like you!