The number of mixed race families in this country is on the rise.
It’s refreshing to me to see other multiracial families at church, at my children’s school & in the community. Even though diverse families are the new norm, people still act surprised when they see mixed race families together.
It’s always interesting to see the looks on people’s faces when they meet my husband or see my kids for the first time. They try to hide their surprise, but most don’t do it very well.
Don’t Assume That a Child Does Not Belong to the Parents Because their Skin Doesn’t Match
Gone are the days of everyone in a family looking the same.
While some parents have children naturally, others are building their families through fostering and adopting (domestically & internationally).
Furthermore, some parents adopt children from an ethnicity different from their own. It is hurtful when strangers question whether or not you are the parent.
Asking if a child has been adopted or questioning the mother because her skin color does not match her child’s skin is not a good way to start a conversation with mixed race families, in fact, it’s a quick way to offend a possible new friend.
Don’t Ask Questions about a Child’s Ethnicity Unless You Have a Close Relationship with the Parent
If I had a penny for every time I’ve been asked about whether or not my children’s father was white, I could pay for all of their college educations.
Questions like that are intrusive, and simply not necessary. It often catches families like mine off guard. I’ve started rehearsing a few responses so that I don’t get offended and my children can learn how to respond, even from a young age.
I’m not sure what that has to do with my groceries. Thankfully my children were young enough to not internalize that question.
I often wonder what the ramifications will be for my children when they are constantly confronted with questions about our skin color.
Don’t Ask a Child Why their Skin Color is Different From Their Sibling
Some of this may sound like common sense, but this exact scenario almost caused a fight at my school. No one chooses their physical features, so they should not be questioned about it.
Especially with an audience. This is embarrassing and causes the child to question themselves. Not a good idea.
Do Ask Hair Care Questions
It’s perfectly acceptable to ask what products someone uses to get such bouncy curls or to fight the frizz.
Honestly, it’s flattering when people stop me to ask what I use in my hair, or what products work best for biracial curls.
What do you think? Have you ever asked a well-meaning question, but ending up offending someone?