How To Prepare For A Multicultural Family
While I was pregnant, I found myself daydreaming over my little baby. I wondered what he would look like, what type of personality he would have, and how my life was going to change forever.
As a mother expecting a multiracial baby there were a few other things that came to my mind as well. I started to wonder how I would raise a biracial child.
How would I be able to blend cultures in their life?
Would I be able to show them the best from both of their cultures?
Would it be possible to teach them about Indian culture as I was just learning myself?
I had to remind myself I had time to figure it all out. My baby wouldn’t come out expecting me to have their whole life planned out. All my baby wanted was my love, cuddles, and kisses right away.
When people ask me how they can prepare for their own multicultural family I talk to them about three things that have helped my family tremendously.
Start Building A Foundation Of Communication
As I welcomed my newborn into my life, I quickly realized how important communication was in our family. Raising a biracial child means you’re going to have to talk about everything from racial identity to what they want to be when they grow up.
It’s important to think about how you can create open lines of communication from the beginning. Obviously, you have a few years before these communication skills will mean anything to your little one, but the more you work on it now the more natural it will be as they get older.
Often times, we think we have all the time in the world and end up waiting. Even as a toddler, your children need to know they can come to you with anything.
Start building this foundation in your relationship as parents and then it will be natural to continue it with your children. Your child will look to their parents to figure out what good communication looks like and whether or not it will be important to them.
Establish A Family Identity
My husband and I started to develop a family identity as soon as we got together, but it changed when we had our baby.
When you welcome a child into your family, your family identity starts to change again. Now, you and your partner aren’t the only important things in your lives. Now, you have a beautiful little baby you have to consider in all decisions you make. It’s important to think about your family identity early on.
How will your family blend cultures?
What values will your family pull from your culture?
What traditions do you want to pass on to your child?
As you think about these things, you will begin to develop a family identity. No two family identities look exactly the same and that’s what’s so beautiful about it. You have the freedom to make it what you want. As time goes on, you’ll even notice things changing. Things that worked at the beginning may need to be different years from now.
That’s ok. Your family identity will change and mold into what you need at each season. The most important thing is to discuss your values, beliefs, culture, and traditions as time passes. Then you can hear what everyone needs in each season.
Bring Diversity Into Your Child’s Life
As parents of a multiracial child, it’s your job as a parent to teach them the beauty in diversity. Many children face a time in their life where they struggle over being different. They want to be like their friends and look like the people they love.
It’s your job to remind them diversity is beautiful. How can you do this? Show them how diverse the world is.
While you’re pregnant, be sure to think about diversity when you register for baby items. Look for books that show main characters of different ethnic backgrounds. Find baby dolls in an array of colors. As they grow up they should see diversity as the norm.
It’s important to be intentional in teaching your child about the world around them. The more they learn about the world around them, the more comfortable they’ll be in their own identity.
Start Preparing Today
As you prepare for your multicultural family, think about how you can begin to think about all three of these things. They’re going to help you as you prepare for your new baby and throughout their childhood.
Today, I’m joining up with four beautiful mommas to talk about multicultural motherhood!
Will My Child Look Like Me? Thoughts from a Multicultural Mom /Raising Whasians
Books for the Multicultural Family / Are Those Your Kids
Raising Multiracial Babies: Expectations vs Reality / Baby Making Machine