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Biracial Children Essay

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Biracial children are abundantly filled with challenges that these individuals must overcome. Biracial children struggle with identifying with their own self identity and knowing both sides of their culture. In Identity Formation, children seek to look, act, feel, and be like significant people in their social environment. Biracial children face their own share of grief when referred to by ugly slurs such as "oreo" or "half-breed." Family can have the most critical influence on the development of a child. At a very young age, a child learns what is expected of them in school and in society. Children learn the difference in right from wrong. Children learn how they fit into the world. Children develop a sense of self. The family provides the first experience in life that influences a child's future.

BiRacial Children/Social Interaction 1

According to the 2000 Census report, the most recent numbers indicate that people of two or more races made up 2.4% (6,826,228) of the national population, and 42% (2,856,886) of them were under the age of 18 (US Bureau of Census, 2001). The Census Bureau estimates that there are more than 1.3 million interracial marriages.

BiRacial Children By Ethnicity/Race

Having a child of a different or blended race also has a habit of shaking up racial orientations. "I lost my white privilege; I began to experience reactions from people," says Jennifer Viets. That can be difficult if there are unresolved issues. Filippo Santoro, 34, an Italian American, is married to Trayce, 36, an African American. But he grew up hearing blacks referred to in derogatory terms. Even now, he admits, "Trayce still says I'm a racist." These feelings make both parents more conscientious in the raising of biracial Philip, 2, and Lena, six months. "You find yourself," he says of his evolving handling of the race issue. Indeed, the experience of being part of a multiracial family invariably heightens awareness of racism and often inspires parents to take action. Katz, for example, has written two children's books, Over the Moon, on adoption, and The Colors of Us, on skin hues. "Love is not enough," says Simon. "A child needs a sense of cultural identity and racial history." Which church to join, what mall to shop in, which dentist to frequent are choices to be examined through a new perspective. And they are especially important to children from disadvantaged minority backgrounds. "You must surround them with people who look like them so they know they are as good as they can be and know what they can do," says Felder.

Studies have shown that some people speculate that biracial children are most often raised in families which are consumed with conflict and this conflict has a negative effect on the childs development as well as the childs self identity. The most common issue with biracial children is the child feeling that he or she will not be accepted by either culture. This is a sense of rejection to the child, which can lead to more serious problems within the child. Some studies have found that it is more probable for biracial children to experience difficulty related to self-identity such as: gender confusion, alcohol/drug abuse, suicide, sexual conflicts, delinquency, and alienation. On a more positive side, studies have also found that biracial children show high levels of creativity and adaptability. One study found that most people (specifically blacks and whites in the United States) believe that biracial families and biracial children are a threat to the existing racial order (St. Jean, 1998). There is no substantial evidence to support claims that biracial marriages and their offspring are



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