Race distinguishes people based on the physical characteristics that make them appear different from each other. Race in the United States of America is more prominent in describing different people. During the slavery period race would justify the mistreatment of people who were enslaved.
The people of the United States of America thought that those who were enslaved had negative traits. The concept of race should not be ignored because there is discrimination of people based on race that need to be solved so that all of them are treated equally. Bi-racial families should teach children to have self-esteem so that self-hatred is avoided for proper functioning of the mind.
The development of a child in a bi-racial family
The healthy development of a child in a bi-racial family is shaped by emotional acceptance. The mixed race people identity is unique and helped by interacting with others who do not reject them.
The healthy pathways originate from having open communication about factors that influence identity. The bi-racial children encounter challenges in their development because of self-worth. The families and caregivers should help these children understand that they are bi-racial so that they can reject historical stereotypes (Tokar, 1991).
The parents are able to prevent their children from damage of self-esteem by telling them to ignore those who talk about their race as well as skin color. The schools, families and peers tend to privilege the people with lighter skin, which lead to difficulties in accepting those from bi-racial families.
Honesty is significant when communicating about race especially when bi-racial children are involved so that they are not discriminated. The bi-racial families fail to discuss about race with clear conversation even if children are from mixed race. This creates confusion on how to interact with other children making biracial children not to value them.
Development of identity is very important for the children to grow well because the bi-racial children are many. Children develop from early childhood to adulthood where the whole process requires them to know who they are and the answer to the question is difficult to find.
There are several aspects involved in development of children in bi-racial family due to the impact of culture and history of the family. The characteristics of a person shape his or her identity and depend on mental functioning of how he or she perceives himself or herself (Cross, Vandiver & Worrell, 2002).
The way people think is linked with believes of how others perceive them. When they receive negative messages from the people they relate with the identity development becomes negative. Self-identity develops throughout the life of a person and the circumstances that lead to its fluctuation may affect it.
The beginning of identity is when a child is born, which becomes more prominent during adolescence and continues until adulthood. Bi-racial families should concentrate on identity because it influences behavior and the way people relate with each other.
When children are born they rely on the information they receive from other people about their privileges in order to develop positive attitude towards the race. The family may teach children about the race where they belong as well as the people they relate with based on hearsay.
The parents should not discuss about issues related to race and fail to inform children that all races should be treated equally. When people realize that they are discriminated based on race, they develop anxiety and guilt leading to depressed mood and finally conflicts arise due to lack of self-acceptance. The children in bi-racial families should be informed that it is not due to lack of effort that they belong there so that they can interact freely with others (Nash, 1995).
Pro’s that come from growing up in Bi-Racial family
The bi-racial family has the best experience of bringing up children rather than having children of the same race in the same environment. The children who are orphaned receive better care from a family that does not regard skin color.
The love of the children is more than when they are in a family with same race provided they are accepted without discrimination. Bi-racial adoption helps children to integrate and live together. When a family is childless, this is the best experience when they want to adopt a child and bring him or her up with love and care.
Bi-racial children from countries that are developing have excellent opportunities to be away from disadvantaged environment. They grow up in a prosperous family with many opportunities because the economy is stable. The children who do not have parents to take care of them are adopted in bi-racial families where they grow and are happy throughout their lifetime (Helms, 1984).
Cons that come from growing up in Bi-Racial family
Children in bi-racial family will not have opportunity to know their culture or develop positive self-images. The family will not teach them the shared beliefs of their race and therefore lack information about their origin.
The white parents are not able to relate with children from different races, which makes them prepare to inform them that there are bad experiences in a world that is racially divided. The needs of the children in bi-racial family such as taking care of their hair and skin are unique and the parents may not satisfy them well.
There are political issues involved in bi-racial families because if African-American children are not aware of what faces their communities, they fail to support them incase of political agenda. Bi-racial families take care of children from different race because it is not expensive to adopt them.
This discourages the family from handling issues that result from raising the children if they realize the cost is high. When the children realize that they do not belong to the same family they blame the parents and say that they were stolen from countries where they belong. These children begin to search for their identity as well as the culture of their original home (Tokar, 1991).
The individuals from bi-racial family should recognize the difference between them and other races. This develops positive attitude, cultural identity so that they can relate freely with people from other races. The white people should avoid activities that promote racism and confrontations so that no one is oppressed.
When the white understand that bi-racial people are not inferior, they accept them and understand that all people are equal. The children who are brought up in bi-racial families are supposed to accept the way of living so that they can benefit. The personal characteristics of an individual are very significant in finding solutions to the challenges of bi-racial families in order to reduce discomfort.
Cross, W., Vandiver, B. & Worrell, F. (2002). Validating the cross-racial identity scale. J Counsel Psychol, 49(1), 71-85.
Helms, J. (1984). Toward a theoretical explanation of the effects of race on counseling: A black and white model. The Counseling Psychologist, 12(4), 153-165.
Nash, R. (1995). Everything you need to know about being a biracial/bi-ethnic teen. New York: The Rosen Publishing Group.
Tokar, D. (1991). An investigation of the validity of Helms’ (1984): Model of white racial identity development. J Counse Psychol, 38(3), 296-301.