How do we teach our multiracial children to be proud of who they are?

 

IMG_4622When my son was in kindergarten, he came home one day asking me if he was a Chinaboy. His question took me by surprise because it was out of the blue.  The first thing out of my mouth was, ” Why, do you think you are Chinese? Who gave you that idea? We don’t even look Chinese!” He said some kids at school was calling him that. I told him, “When you go back to school, you tell them you are Spanotian (Spanish and Laotian). From that moment on I knew I had to step up my “cultural lessons” at home.

As a parent, raising two multiracial children, I have always try to expose them  to both sides of their roots: the Lao roots and Latin roots. I am Lao but my grandfather is Vietnamese. Their dad is Spanish (father’s family is from Spain, Native American and Mexican( mom’s family from Mexico). Both of us are proud of who we are and tried to teach our children about both cultures. Even though my children’s father and I are no longer married, we both agree that it is important that our kids get expose to both cultures. For example, I teach them about everything that defines our Lao culture such as language, dress, food, traditions, stories, values, music, behavior, and  etiquette.  In my house I cook Spanish food and traditional Lao food. Both my kids love sticky rice and pho. My son loves Lao food more than my daughter but my daughter loves Spanish food more than Lao food.

Even though I want my kids to be proud of their Lao roots and Latin roots, I also teach them to be proud Americans. I talk to them about politics, voting, the census, civic responsibilities, and civil liberties. I just don’t talk about those things but show them through actions instead of just words. For example, I am a registered voter. Before hitting the polls, I asked them who I should vote for and why. Then I tell them who I was going to vote for and why. For census 2010, I showed them the forms and explained to them why I was going to check other next to race write in Laotian so our ethnic group can be accurately counted.

Just because we no longer live in Laos, doesn’t mean we should forget our roots. I’m trying to not be a lousy Lao!

My children's favorite Lao food
My children’s favorite Lao food
After standing in line for hours to vote, I am home to show my souvenir
After standing in line for hours to vote, I am home to show my souvenir
Sou and family
My cousin’s multiracial children
My children's favorite dessert
My children’s favorite dessert

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

7 thoughts on “How do we teach our multiracial children to be proud of who they are?

  1. I love the idea of writing in “Lao”. I will try to remember that when completing forms. Thanks. And love your blog! It’s the first of its kind for me!

    1. APUSH Teacher

      Aura thanks for visiting! That is the only way we Asians can be counted specifically instead of being group under the heading Asians.

  2. I just hate the thought of my biracial daughter going to school. I just know kids are going to say something to her about her being 2 races. ( black & white ) I am so sorry that your son had to go through this. BTW , I love this blog. Following 🙂

    1. APUSH Teacher

      Thank for visiting! When I sent my son off to Kinder, I didn’t think talking to him about race because I figure at that age they are too young to notice.What happened to my son made me realize not all kids are raised in a loving and accepting world like my kids. This reminds me of what also happened to my friend’s son. He is half black and half white. She and her husband adopted him as a baby and it’s open adoption. When he was in kinder he came home asking if he was black because the kids said he was. My friend and her husband are both Caucasian and they both have dark brown hair. They also raise their kids (her biological son has blood hair and blue eyes whereas her adoptive son has light brown skin and light brown curly hair)in an open and accepting environment. What happened to her son happened way before my son was born about ten years apart. Goes to show you some kids re still being exposed to some outdated thinking.

      I know we want to protect our kids from everything but sometimes we can just have to let them experience the world as it is:glorious but wretched at times.

      1. That is awful. I just posted a blog post about intereracial dating and hoped everyone would read it & stop to think about it as well 🙂 Wishful thinking. I hope your son is doing ok withth is now. No one should be judged or called names because of race !

      2. APUSH Teacher

        My son is like little wise old man: he takes Everyting in stride. He’s in fifth grade now. Nothing bothers him for long.

      3. That’s great. I just hate when little kids get their feelings hurt. Over something that should not even be an issue 🙂 I hope you & you family have a wonderful year !

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s