I’ve read many accounts of parents of mixed race children talk about how their child had questions about why mommy and daddy look different at ages as young as two or three years old.
Never really gave this phenomenon a second thought because obviously we live in a very race/color focused society. Not having had children, I didn’t have any experience in this realm.
Until I had my #1 kid and he approached the same age range. Then I noticed something.
He has yet to ask us anything about skin color. He has met various relatives from both sides of our families. His playgroup friends are diverse both in race and religion. But still, no skin color or race questions.
Am I doing something wrong? Should I be talking to him more about race? But then I thought, why should I bring it up if he isn’t asking any questions?
This is what I am wondering: do some parents of mixed-race children unconsciously project their racial viewpoints onto their kids? And do social interactions at school and other places introduce non-authentic internal racial conflict for kids that is further reinforced by well-meaning parents?
Many minorities bristle at the idea of colorblindness. It is equated with downplaying or ignoring someone’s culture. But I don’t think so. I think colorblindness is something to strive for and I define it as being able to see beyond race or culture to connect with and accept the individual.
And do I need to say this is a good thing? Well, it is.
But you have to go through a process to get that point. More about that in part two.