This week I’m so excited to be able to introduce Jen from withgigglesandgrace.com to you.
She is a mama, wife, and pinterest enthusiast. Most of all she is a transformed Daughter of the King who is walking out her journey with the Lord and sharing what she’s learning along the way. To learn more about her heart for the Lord and genuine community, check out her about page!
After connecting with Jen a while back, it became clear that she and I have some things in common! The most obvious being that we both are in interracial marriages and have beautiful bi-racial babies. And you know what? I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to share her thoughts about how to teach our bi-racial children about their identity.
But what she shared, is so valuable and goes far beyond the color of skin. I know this post will inspire you to instill confident identity in your child, no matter what they look like! Take a look:
My biracial children are no different than your children. You know what…Scratch that, my kids are extremely different. Your kids are extremely different. The fact is all kids are extremely different, unique, and special in their own way. And that’s what we’ve always taught our children. They’re not different because they’re biracial; But because no two people are exactly alike.
The reality we have to deal with
Sadly, not everyone will accept (or like) my children, and that’s coming from all sides of the aisle. However, my husband and I are people who never needed anyone to accept us or make us feel like we fit in. We know that fitting in is just not part of our calling, so it’s also not our priority.
However, we’ve also come to realize that our kids are just that, kids. We chose this life as adults. We’ve never had to work through feelings of being uneasy, or not being able to find our place. Our children are straddling the line between two worlds, being biracial is something we’ve never had to deal with.
Not needing others approval and learning to love & accept themselves is a pretty tough concept for a kid, I get it. All kids just want to fit in, be picked for the team, they even want hair or skin that resembles their friends.
So, for the last few months we’ve been taking steps to help the kids feel more comfortable in their skin and their unique identity.
- We’ve started showing the kids pictures of other biracial children to help them understand they’re not as alone they think they are. This was a real eye opener for us, we realized how much they needed to see this. It really opened up their world, knowing that there were so many other kids that looked like them.
- As a second part to that lesson-It’s good to surround them & yourself with kids and parents who have similar interest, goals & parenting styles. Not to be separated, but because it’s a great way to gain and share some insight to the issues your kids may be dealing with. We’re blessed to be part of a church that has so much amazing diversity. Being around lots of diversity is something we’ve always done, but as they’re getting older we’re realizing how important it is for our kids.
- We let the kids choose their own clothing and hairstyles. I know this is something a lot of parents do, but for our kids, it’s helped them to be comfortable in their choices and in what they see in the mirror, which has a big impact to helping them love what they see looking back at them.
- We acknowledge our differences, whether it be skin color & hair texture or clothing choices & favorite sports. We try to make it clear that differences are everywhere, and in everything we choose to do. So for that, WE’RE ALL DIFFERENT, and being different is something that everyone has in common. Shame on people for pointing out our differences in a negative tone and kudos to those who choose to love the differences within (and without) each other.
Our children are still young, and although these few things may not seem like a lot, it’s already helping them be confident. We don’t want to overwhelm them, harp on the issue, or teach them beyond what they need to know right now.
Fitting in isn’t part of the plan
For all the lessons we teach, we try to bring it back to a biblical truth. The truth is we live in a world where Jesus, a perfect and innocent man, was (not only) not accepted, but also hated. If that’s the world we’re trying to gain acceptance from, then they can keep it. The world around us is not who will ultimately judge us, or redeem us. The world around us can’t save us or bring peace.
People change their minds too often. We’ll never be able to stay within the worldly definition of acceptance unless we’re continuously changing/faking who we really are. This is way too exhausting and unrewarding to keep up with; we’ll just end up confused and unhappy people.
So here are a few verses for you to share with your kids. Tuck away as confirmation in your own heart, for when days come and wear us down with “cool crowd” talk:
- John 15:20 (ESV) – Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours.
- John 15:25 (ESV) – But the word that is written in their Law must be fulfilled: ‘They hated me without a cause.
- John 17:14 (ESV) – I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.
- John 17:16 (ESV) – They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.
I’d love to say that one day this will all be worked out and we’ll live in peace. The truth is, we live in a fallen world. However, while we’re here, the best thing we can do for our children is to accept ourselves just as we are. We must lead by example.
Let’s teach your children that, no matter what people think, we will love ourselves and not be shamed by judging eyes or words. Stand with your shoulders high and strong, knowing that you are chosen, loved, and accepted by the most high God, and that’s surely better than being accepted by man.
More than our skin color, hair texture, or ancestral lines, we’re first and foremost children of God. Let’s teach them to stand in that identity!