While combining races in one family is a beautiful thing, it still comes with its fair share of difficulties. In order for a transracial adoptive parent to understand how to properly raise their children free from identifying issues, they need to take action from the moment they bring their child home, to the moment they leave for college and even beyond. Let’s consider how adoptive parents can make sure their child grows into a confident and well-rounded individual.
Don’t Shun the Topic of Race
Neglecting to address the “elephant in the room” may seem productive initially. In fact, it’s the basis in which many transracial adoptions happen. In your eyes, race doesn’t have any effect on much you love your child. However, failure to address race causes more problems than good.
Your child is not blind. They can look at you and look at themselves and see a reasonable difference. If each time race is being brought up the topic is shunned or ignored, they may start to associate negativity with race.
Therefore, let your child express their concerns and curiosity regarding the workings of the world. If a sensitive situation arises, discuss it openly with them. That’s the only way they’ll feel confident in their own skin.
Speak Highly of Their Race
This seems to go without saying but, some may need a little refresher. Often times, due to deeply ingrained prejudices, some people are used to saying seemingly minor racist things. This can have a dramatic impact on how your child views you and their racial identity.
Make it a point to speak highly of all races, but especially that of your child. This will help them avoid self-hate and a prejudiced mindset.
Introduce Them to Their Culture After Adoption
It’s always good for adoptees of a different race to be exposed to their culture by their family. This not only introduces the child to their homeland, but it also raises awareness for the parents as well.
Introduce them to the music, food, and people of their culture. By showing them examples of others like them, they’ll feel like they have a place in the world. In addition, expose them to peers who are of the same cultural background as them. This will help them develop a larger perspective of their culture in a more relaxed manner. This is key for making sure your adoptees are comfortable in their skin.
Make Sure They Know Where They Come From
It’s easy for a child to assimilate to the culture in which they’re around 100% of the time. This can prevent them from truly getting to know themselves. It’s best for adoptees to constantly remind their children of where they come from. However, be careful so as not to create lines of division between you and your child. You want them to know that you love and accept them regardless of their skin color.
Adoptive parents have a huge responsibility to instill the art of identity into their children. Do the proper research into your child’s culture and they’ll grow up to be well-rounded individuals.