Monday, September 23, 2013

Building a Positive Identity

Today during our play time Ari began to color her pictures. At first she used the crayon box with all of the colors and then she saw a box of multicultural crayons and she was intrigued by it. Then I began to think...
Multicultural Crayons

Building positive identities  means teaching our children to love themselves and to provide opportunities to immerse in good relationships with everyone regardless of who they are. This begins at home! We all want kids to grow up in a world free from bias and discrimination. We want our children to feel loved and included and never to experience the pain of rejection or exclusion. But unfortunately, the reality is that we do live in a world in which racism and other forms of bias continue to affect us daily. Discrimination hurts and leaves scars that can last a lifetime. Even before I had Ari, I feared her growing up in a world with so much hatred. My little beautiful biracial little girl will be judge because of the color of her skin, her hair, her culture and many more. This topic has been dear and close to my heart. I have played over and over again how I would react  to raising a biracial child and how I would feel if someone mistreated my little girl (Besides trying to hurt them! lol). Since having Ari, the fight to make sure that Ari grows up with a positive identity has became my number one priority to the point that sometime I worry.. if perhaps I worry a little too much. I try to make sure that school is a diverse place and even church needs to be diverse. The world is ever-changing and though we are changing our churches have not. When I married my husband, I decided to join his church shortly after an incident at the church made me feel uncomfortable. On that day I knew that my daughter would not attend that church and then I began to search for a church that our entire family would be welcomed and loved. From time to time I observe the interaction between children at my school and wonder how would Ari react to the world around her. Will you triumph over adversity and became a woman with a strong identity? Or would she question her beauty and identity because of what society may say or do? My plan is to build a strong woman who believes that her worth is based on the love she gives, the relationships she builds and how she makes a difference in this world.

This is my plan as I raise my daughter.
1. Provide opportunities for Ari to interact with other children who are racially/culturally different from her.
2. Respectfully listen to and answer Ari's questions about herself and others. Talking is key! 
3. Teach Ari to value the differences between people as much as the similarities. 

In the meantime I am going to continue to LOVE HER IN EVERY WAY she never has to feel the need to obtain the love from anyone else. For now, I think I'll let her use the colors of the rainbow to color her pictures and teach her that each color has its purpose, but together will always make a beautiful rainbow.


  1. I love it! Having known you, Cynthia, I expect nothing less from you. You've never judged anyone based on color or nationality or any other determining factor. Ari will grow up loving and accepting of others and your prayers and protection will guide her.

    I, too, worry about my daughter's experience in this ever-changing world. Will she be taunted for looking different? Will she be accepted just as she is?

    The only thing we can do as mothers is to prepare them in advance.
    I love this post!

    1. Thanks Chanell! I am sure that your daughter will grow up to be as confident as her mommy! :)