top of page

How to Deal with your Mixed Child's First Incident of Racism

How one biracial family deals with their mixed child's first run-in with racism
How to Deal with your Mixed Child's First Incident of Racism

Let's be clear from the outset—I am not naive. I am well aware that the world is not a utopia. Racism exists, and it is an unfortunate reality that we must confront. But our biracial, multicultural, multi-religious household, and our culturally diverse friends, sometimes make it hard to imagine that the world, while it get better every day, is still far from accepting. Despite our efforts to raise culturally aware and accepting children, we've encountered instances that serve as stark reminders of the challenges we face in nurturing a truly inclusive society.

In our journey as parents, my husband Craig and I have always made a conscious effort to expose our children to various cultures, broaden their horizons, and instill values of acceptance and diversity. I think this is a huge part of why we travel as much as we do. Even local travel exposes our children to ways of life different from their own. We believe that fostering an understanding of the world's rich tapestry contributes to raising compassionate, open-minded individuals. However, a recent incident has abruptly brought us to the realization that not every family shares this commitment to embracing diversity.

A Painful Reality

One poignant incident left me emotional, introspective, and deeply concerned about the world in which we are raising our children. It involved hearing another child use hurtful language directed at ours, a moment that cut deep and prompted a cascade of emotions. As I grappled with how to navigate this distressing incident and confronted my own feelings, a stark truth unfolded.

As an African American father, Craig was profoundly saddened for our son, but his reaction revealed a resignation of sorts – "It was bound to happen, and I'm happy it happened as late as it did." On the other hand, my response was one of sheer outrage.

As a Caucasian mother, I was ready to unleash fury. I felt an urgent need to confront the other child's parents, speak with teachers, and meet with the school's principal. The hurt and anger I felt for our sweet boy fueled my determination to take immediate action. In the midst of this emotional turmoil, my husband pointed out my white privilege. He highlighted how, if approached the way I envisioned, he might be perceived as an "angry Black man." Craig emphasized that addressing the issue should begin at home, within the confines of our own family.

Yet, the reality is that I do have white privilege, and I can make waves if I choose to. It was a sobering moment that made me realize precisely why it falls upon individuals from other cultures and races to advocate for minorities. Their privilege affords them the ability to assert themselves in ways that others may not. The incident became a stark reminder of the systemic imbalances that persist, and the responsibility that comes with privilege to be a vocal ally and advocate for those who may not have the same platform.

What did we do? After lengthy discussions, we did what felt right for our entire family. Kid's included. I did speak to my son's teacher several times. And she spoke with the other child and our son. I also reached out to the other boy's father, who to my relief, found the incident as upsetting as we did. The hole ordeal came to a quick resolution, but left a big scar.

Navigating Conversations with Our Children

As parents, Craig and I found ourselves facing a difficult conversation with our child. Explaining the hurtful words and the reasons behind them was a delicate task. It led us to reflect on the importance of not only continuing to teach our children about diversity but also preparing them to navigate a world where not everyone values acceptance.

In the face of adversity, we recognized the need to equip our children with resilience and empathy. We focused on fostering a strong sense of self-worth within them, emphasizing the richness of their cultural heritage, and instilling the belief that diversity is a strength, not a weakness.

Understanding that ignorance often fuels prejudice, we believe in the power of education as a catalyst for change. We have actively sought out children's books and movies that celebrate diversity and highlight the beauty of different cultures. We also believe that our travels truly open our children's minds and hearts to other cultures. By incorporating these resources into our children's lives, we hope to nurture a genuine appreciation for the richness of human experiences.

While we cannot control the actions of others, we can control the values we instill in our children. Our journey as parents has taught us that raising accepting and diverse children requires ongoing effort and a commitment to facing the challenging aspects of reality head-on. By fostering resilience, empathy, and a deep appreciation for diversity, we hope to contribute to a future where every child feels valued and accepted, regardless of their background. The road may be tough, but our determination to create a more inclusive world for our children remains unwavering.



  • Black Facebook Icon
  • Black Twitter Icon
  • Black Instagram Icon
  • Black Pinterest Icon
  • Black YouTube Icon



bottom of page