Advice on how to build a strong bi-racial identity when you don't look bi-racial

Percy Abram, PhD, explains how to build a bi-racial identity in children, even when they don't "look" bi-racial
Parenting and Family Advice | Building a bi-racial identity in children
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Advice on how to build a strong bi-racial identity when you don't look bi-racial

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One of the challenges of raising bi-racial children is that phenotypically they may favor one parent or the other. In the case of my son who has physical characteristics that look like me, but does not have the same pigmentation, it is hard for him sometimes for him to know and understand and identify with being a young black kid, which is in fact what he is. What we do is we ensure that he is very closely in the presence of and is constantly talking to members of my family who favor me, but don't necessarily favor him. And helping him to understand that his grandfather and great-grandfather being dark-skinned in Texas, what their experiences were like. And that their mother's side of the family, who comes from a German background in Kansas, had very different experiences. But all of those experiences together help make up who he is. And that for him should be a source of pride and nothing to be ashamed of.

Percy Abram, PhD, explains how to build a bi-racial identity in children, even when they don't "look" bi-racial

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Percy L. Abram, PhD

Head of School

Percy Abram is the Head of Gateway School.  Gateway School is a Kindergarten – 8th grade independent school in Santa Cruz, CA.  Prior to joining Gateway School, Dr. Abram was the Upper Division Director at Brentwood School in Los Angeles.  An LA native, Dr. Abram received his B.A. (Economics) and M.A. (Education) degrees from UCLA, and his M.A. (Sociology) and Ph.D. (Education) from Stanford University.  Dr. Abram and his wife are the parents of a 10-year old daughter and 7-year old son, and despite running a school and being responsible for 260 students each day, he still finds parenting his most challenging job.

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