I recently finished reading the book, I’m Chocolate, You’re Vanilla: Raising Healthy Black and Bi-racial Children in a Race-Conscious World by Marguerite Wright. This book has been very encouraging for me in that the author is very positive about the outcomes of thoughtfully and lovingly raising children of all races in transracial homes, as well as natural homes. It has caused me to think about a lot of what I want both of our children to learn from us about life and others and themselves. I would highly recommend it to any parent who wants to be sure their children grow up with healthy self-images and opinions of others.
One thing which has struck me is the author’s emphasis on how much children learn from our reactions to others and to situations even at a very young age. Basically, we need to be careful of what we say to our children, about our children, and about others. When we display it with our actions and words, it helps our children to know we really do believe that character is more important than outward appearance. I am so thankful that J and I both came from families where this was the case. I just hope we are able to express to our children the incredible value we have for all human life. Our kids definitely deserve to know exactly how amazing they are.
Here are some of the other points I want to remember:
*Be sure to positively respond to comments made about your family.
*Teach your children that diversity is an asset and provide early contact with people of all races.
*Shield your children as long as possible from racial issues – they aren’t able to process the experiences early on. Have zero tolerance for racism.
*Tell your children how wonderful they are and tell others great things about them, too.
*Make sure your child has role models of similar race as them (what a blessing to have T see our current president as he grows up). This counteracts the negative influence that racism still has in this country.
In our house chocolate and vanilla taste pretty sweet together! Here you can see our two little cuties last weekend.