Smith-Kang stocks up on crayons that fit a range of skin tones, and her children's shelves are filled with books, videos, and toys that depict diverse families.
She even organizes playgroups with other multiracial families.
"Educators can use those tools to create teachable moments," Thomas says.
"The child shouldn't feel the heavy burden of having to educate an entire community.
"The more cultural experiences multiracial children have to draw from, the better prepared they will be to cultivate an identity that 'fits,' and the less likely they will feel forced to choose one over another," Dr. But what happens if your mixed-race child identifies more strongly with one side of the family? Mixed-race children often have a f luid identity, seeing themselves one way at certain times and another way at others, notes Dr. A mixed-race child might describe herself as African-American, for example, because that's the side of the family she sees most.
Whatever the explanation, don't take it personally.
That means you are African-American and Mexican-American, and you got your skin color from both of us."Just try not to fall back on fractions (half-Peruvian, for example) says Monica Brown, Ph.Give them lots of opportunities to spend time with relatives from both sides of the family. Sanchez, a Puerto-Slovakian, hired a Spanish tutor to help her daughter, Noa, 6, explore her Latino ancestry.She also celebrates Jewish holidays to foster a connection to her husband's side of the family.When multiracial children see themselves reflected in media, they feel included instead of sidelined, notes Monica Brown, who is also a children's-book author known for her Marisol Mc Donald series, which features a multiracial main character."I write for children who might not see themselves in many other books," Brown says."Choosing one identity does not mean she is rejecting the other parent's love or affection," Dr. Let your child know you support her identity choice and that you still feel closely connected. Kids are trying to figure out where they fit in the world, and for multiracial children, who don't necessarily see themselves represented in popular culture, that can be even more challenging.That's why Los Angeles mom Sonia Smith-Kang recommends that just as parents childproof their homes, they take care to "culture-proof " them as well.So don't hold back when your kid comes to you with these questions. Rodriguez's son doesn't necessarily think of himself as either African-American or Mexican-American, or both.But every so often he points out, "My skin is darker than Mami's, and Daddy's is darker than mine." Soon he'll start to wonder why. D., a psychology professor at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey.So if your family has a heritage language or languages, speak them in the home.Introduce your children to foods and traditions from your cultural backgrounds.