This was in part the root of a discussion my wife and I were having the other day.
Our conclusion was that while there are certainly real challenges involved with accomplishing that task for a kid with mixed heritage, it is not necessarily or inherently more difficult than raising any kid, particularly any minority kid, with the goal of being a proud and good person.
At first it seems obvious that it would be a more difficult task for parents of Mixed kids. Making sure they do not feel like oddities, or caught between worlds, making sure they feel connected to both or all of their ethnic worlds, making sure they know there are many others like them, these are some of the issues Mixed parents have that most other parents do not.
But there isn’t a good parent out there that isn’t also dealing with helping their kids connect to their roots and feel comfortable in a multicultural world.
A counterbalance to the extra work involved in dual ethnic lessons and effort, is the bonus Mixed parents get from having kids who know instinctively what it means to blend and see many sides, to have a kid who is automatically able to cross ethnic lines when others can’t. And it is great to have a kid that is the walking embodiment of the ultimate social goal of cultural diversity and people seeing each other for more than their skin color.
With our kids, no one has to explain that concept or teach them what it means.
So in the end, our job as parents of Mixed kids is not harder or easier. It just involves different challenges. But I wouldn’t trade it for anything. As someone who has lived my life and my professional career trying to bring cultures together, our kids are the ultimate example of living up to that mission. And they don’t even have to think about it. It is just who they are.
And they are changing the world just by being who they are. In that sense, our job as parents is quite easy.