Do you feel wrong to raise your babe without a large influence of their ethnicity? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 14 Old 02-16-2012, 07:01 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I never know what to do about having my son feel grounded with who he is

 

I've received a lot of criticism about living in a rural area with a black son.

 

"He never sees any black people, he will never have black friends growing up, he'll be around all white people, he'll become whitewashed, he'll be out of touch with his black community, he'll get made fun of, he'll be bullied all the time, he'll hate you for it, he is black, stop raising him white, he'll be lost because he'll be raised in a all white family"....

 

it really goes on, and ive been told it all

 

Unfortunetly, In my opinion, whether you are black or white, it doesnt matter, if your a negative influence in the life of a child, you will not be apart of my son's, and that is exactly the case with his biological side, which is where I heard alot of criticism, in addition to black friends/uncles back in the city

 

I agree to a point, its hard because I obviously cant change the fact that im white, and if its so important to his family, then they should step up and be that black influence, but it does get me thinking what I should be doing

 

I mean....music is kept broad for him, his favs are bob marley, stevie wonder, hiphop beats, funk, which doesnt entirely help..but its a influence

 

His grandaddy lives away but he knows him and is loved and played with when he's visiting, I see him growing up at least having his black grandfather as a foundation, but once again, not a overall good influence at all for a successful, stereotype-breaking black man

 

Ive brought him to the musuem for black history month now 2 yrs in a row.....what else can I do....

 

 


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#2 of 14 Old 02-17-2012, 08:56 AM
 
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Surely there are more black influences available than the Black History Museum once a year...

 

And I'm not sure I understand what it is about his grandfather that makes him "not a overall good influence at all for a successful, stereotype-breaking black man."

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#3 of 14 Old 02-17-2012, 09:07 AM
 
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Eh, how bad of an influence can they really be?  My family is so mixed that nobody even thinks about it anymore.  Honestly I stay away from the white side just because they are racist assclowns and my kids don't need to hear the stupid little jokes about mexicans and blacks.  That to me is a bad influence.  If you're deciding for him what a good infuencial black breaking stereotypes man would be... is your opinion colored with your white influence? 

 

 

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#4 of 14 Old 02-17-2012, 09:22 AM
 
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I'm guessing where you live there are not a lot of opportunities for in-person interaction (I'm somewhat familiar with the Georgian Bay area), so you may have to dig a little deeper to see what might be available. Churches? Even if you're not inclined, perhaps there might be some direction provided? There are always books - lots of biographies are available about successful men and women from all walks of life/ethnicities - although that doesn't provide quite the same influence. Is there any sort of Big Brother program? Perhaps someone at his school knows of possible options?

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#5 of 14 Old 02-17-2012, 11:51 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I mean not a good influence because of every day alcohol dependancy, loud partying, argueing and yelling with no regard for a child present, unable to get off of social assistance for years, former crack addict who brought around current addict friends, the bio dad is exactly the same as his father, but the father becomes extremely negligent and violent after alcohol consumption 

 

and this is everyday for the family, drinks every single day, no exceptions. and smoking cigarettes in the house was a big issue too

 

for me, that is a bad, unsafe, vunerable influence

 

i dont consider my view of a successful black man clouded by me being white.

i consider a succesful black man is someone who has defied the cycle of poverty and violence, supports family and maintains meaningful employment, thats successful for any colour, white or black, and that is not what my son would see, not even close, they absolutely fill every stereotype in a unhealthy way

 

no, the local musuems are all based on theme, there isnt big set exhibits, one or two at a time, im rural here!

 

he's still very young, so no school, and i really mean that there is little to no black, or any other culture within a 100 km around me

 

i have no idea what he should be exposed to, to everyone that has posted or newcomers, what do you think is important?


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#6 of 14 Old 02-18-2012, 04:43 AM
 
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food

picture books of successful induviduals of various ethnicities

videos

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#7 of 14 Old 02-18-2012, 03:15 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canadianhippie View Post

I've received a lot of criticism about living in a rural area with a black son.

...

Ive brought him to the musuem for black history month now 2 yrs in a row.....what else can I do....


Don't feel bad ...  not everyone has a strong ethnic/racial identity whether they're black/white/asian/etc - and that's complete fine.  Some of us think of ourselves as I-am-an-individual first, the ethnic/race/nationality/etc part is just one of the many aspects of ourselves.  There's no right/wrong way, I believe,  but there are pros/cons indeed.

 

Have you considered letting your son guide you instead - that is if/when he wants to learn more about his heritage, then you'll figure it out together?  In the mean time, just love him and cherish him - that probably matters the most in the long run.


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#8 of 14 Old 02-18-2012, 03:57 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaMunchkin View Post


Don't feel bad ...  not everyone has a strong ethnic/racial identity whether they're black/white/asian/etc - and that's complete fine.  Some of us think of ourselves as I-am-an-individual first, the ethnic/race/nationality/etc part is just one of the many aspects of ourselves.  There's no right/wrong way, I believe,  but there are pros/cons indeed.

 

Have you considered letting your son guide you instead - that is if/when he wants to learn more about his heritage, then you'll figure it out together?  In the mean time, just love him and cherish him - that probably matters the most in the long run.



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#9 of 14 Old 02-19-2012, 08:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by MamaMunchkin View Post


Don't feel bad ...  not everyone has a strong ethnic/racial identity whether they're black/white/asian/etc - and that's complete fine.  Some of us think of ourselves as I-am-an-individual first, the ethnic/race/nationality/etc part is just one of the many aspects of ourselves.  There's no right/wrong way, I believe,  but there are pros/cons indeed.

 

Have you considered letting your son guide you instead - that is if/when he wants to learn more about his heritage, then you'll figure it out together?  In the mean time, just love him and cherish him - that probably matters the most in the long run.

 

Thats very true orngbiggrin.gif i should be listening to him..not those from the outside. I didnt know what i should be realistically considering as advice, but i just need to consider him and what i want to expose him to


 

 


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#10 of 14 Old 02-19-2012, 11:34 AM
 
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It's funny--when I read your post, it sounded like your son was adopted. I mean, you make it sound like he doesn't share YOUR ethnicity. But he is your biracial, biological son right? So he has tons of contact with people from one side of his ethnic background. When you talk about "his family" and "his biological side" it sounds like he doesn't share your family and your biology, but if he is your biological child, then he does.

 

It seems odd to me that you refer to your biracial son as black. I mean, he is black AND white, right? My biracial black/white friends would never just refer to themselves as black. Anyway, of course it is important that he have a connection to both of his ethnic communities, and it would be ideal for him to have connections to other biracial people. I would at least raise him talking about his ethnic identities and reading books with biracial characters, looking for them in movies, etc. I think it's also important for him to feel connected to YOU and your ethnic identity, especially since you are raising him. 

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#11 of 14 Old 02-20-2012, 07:21 AM
 
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I wouldn't worry about this. A loving supportive environment is what is most important. You can still provide him with access to his culture and background of that side of his family. 

 

My kids are raised far away from the U.S. but still have a strong American identity. The fact they have two nationalities is not an issue. 

 

I come from a mixed religious background. I no longer tell people just because I was accused of "denying" one of them. Well yeah, I only knew one side of my family growing up so big surprise, that's what I consider myself. I have never practiced or believed in the other religion (although I do acknowledge it as my heritage). It's not denial, just reality. I realize that it wont be as easy for your son to stay private on this matter, since it's more apparent.

 

What if he were adopted? I went to college with a girl whose parents died in a car accident when she was a baby. Her mother's Asian family rejected their marriage so she was raised by her African-American father's family. She used to talk about it but she made no apologies. She didn't hide or was embarrassed about being Asian. She just didn't identify with it or speak their language. Plenty of children don't speak their heritage language for whatever reasons. At least your son wont face a language or geographical barrier. There are lots of other people with similar dilemmas, even if not exactly the story or background.

 

Wish it were as simple as taking him to language classes and/or traveling to see his family members! 

 

Sometimes fate dishes out a less-than-ideal situation and you work with what you have. You also might be surprised how much he relates later on and where his interests take him. It's not just about how a child is raised! 

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#12 of 14 Old 02-28-2012, 10:55 AM
 
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My husband died when my kids were teens. He was West Indian, and was the only member of his family living in the States.  My family pretty much disowned me when I married so we were on our own.  I maintained the West Indian/American identity as much as I could, but, of course, the primary influence on the children was me. I'm white, Midwestern, rural, Protestant. Their dad was black, West Indian, urban, Catholic.  I got a lot of criticism for not giving the kids a black identity, a black American identity, or an urban identity.  I remember a long conversation with a black friend in which i asked how fair it was to expect me to bring up the children without imparting anything of myself to them.  They have West Indian family--that family could have been a lot more involved and could have had a lot more influence. It didn't happen.  I finally stopped feeling guilty and trying to change what was.  I chose to live, to love my kids, to give them what I could, and to not worry about everything else. As I grew more secure and confidant, they thrived.  I couldn't artifically give them a black American environment--I could bring in the West Indian influences--music, food, videos, friends, etc--that I knew about and liked.  I didn't bring in things I didn't like.  And, they had their father for a percentage of their childhoods.

 

We homeschooled K-12 for many reasons.  They did have some culture issues when they started at the university, but they all did well and, today, have completed advanced degrees and are thriving in adult life. They self-identify as multiracial and multicultural.  One is Catholic, one is Anglican, and one is Evangelical.  Somehow, it all worked out. Hang in--just enjoy your child and enjoy life. The rest sorts itself out with time.

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#13 of 14 Old 02-29-2012, 08:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by thanneaKS View Post

My husband died when my kids were teens. He was West Indian, and was the only member of his family living in the States.  My family pretty much disowned me when I married so we were on our own.  I maintained the West Indian/American identity as much as I could, but, of course, the primary influence on the children was me. I'm white, Midwestern, rural, Protestant. Their dad was black, West Indian, urban, Catholic.

 

  I got a lot of criticism for not giving the kids a black identity, a black American identity, or an urban identity.  I remember a long conversation with a black friend in which i asked how fair it was to expect me to bring up the children without imparting anything of myself to them.  They have West Indian family--that family could have been a lot more involved and could have had a lot more influence. It didn't happen.  I finally stopped feeling guilty and trying to change what was.  I chose to live, to love my kids, to give them what I could, and to not worry about everything else. As I grew more secure and confidant, they thrived.  I couldn't artifically give them a black American environment--I could bring in the West Indian influences--music, food, videos, friends, etc--that I knew about and liked.  I didn't bring in things I didn't like. 

 

And, they had their father for a percentage of their childhoods.

 

We homeschooled K-12 for many reasons.  They did have some culture issues when they started at the university, but they all did well and, today, have completed advanced degrees and are thriving in adult life. They self-identify as multiracial and multicultural.  One is Catholic, one is Anglican, and one is Evangelical.  Somehow, it all worked out. Hang in--just enjoy your child and enjoy life. The rest sorts itself out with time.

 

nod.gif  this is exactly it for me ! thank you so much for your post, I can relate completely

 

and congrats on homeschooling thumb.gif I would love to

 

I am lucky because my DP has played a big role in my LO's life since he was 1 yr 1/2, and he is very verse? as you could say, i mean, he has more positive black male friends than his bio dad and grew up in the outskirts of Toronto his whole life, he's amazing for the babes  

 

My son's godfather figure would always be on me about not raising him rural white, he was born into the same situation as my son, unfortunetly he passed away and I feel obligated to remember his advice and to do the right thing, just questioning what!
 

 


A Toronto born young mama blowkiss.giffreshly moved for a new adventure in ALBERTA! with Superdaddy superhero.gifand her intact and vax free, breastfed and babyworn Aug09 babenono02.gif attending college for early childhood educationwhale.gif   and being blessed with #2 just in time for Valentines Dayheartbeat.gif pos.gif

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#14 of 14 Old 03-01-2012, 03:07 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MamaMunchkin View Post


Don't feel bad ...  not everyone has a strong ethnic/racial identity whether they're black/white/asian/etc - and that's complete fine.  Some of us think of ourselves as I-am-an-individual first, the ethnic/race/nationality/etc part is just one of the many aspects of ourselves.  There's no right/wrong way, I believe,  but there are pros/cons indeed.

 

Have you considered letting your son guide you instead - that is if/when he wants to learn more about his heritage, then you'll figure it out together?  In the mean time, just love him and cherish him - that probably matters the most in the long run.

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