Talking Race As The White Parent

As the white parent in an interracial relationship, my experience with talking about race is very different from other parents of white children. I attended an event a few nights ago titled “Raising Race-Conscious Children” (more info at raceconscious.org), and the underlying discussion was to bring up race before it is brought up by the child. This can normalize the fact that people are different skin colors. For example, when reading a book, look at the different races of people in the book and point it out. Studies show that kids begin to see race as early as 6 months and begin to react at a couple of years and by the time they’re 5 or 6 are beginning to act in accordance with the beliefs but they’ve picked up. What I find so fascinating is that as a parent of a multiracial child, there’s no question that race will come up. He’s only one and a half years old and it already has come up a number of times. But for parents of white children, it takes an effort to raise the topic of race and to bring up a child who is aware of race.
I’m in a place of privilege that I don’t feel the stigma of raising a child who is a different race (even though he is) because our skin tones and eye colors are very similar. But I see the looks when my wife is with us. Continue reading