tips for raising healthy biracial children

Interview with an Expert of Biracial Studies

Happy Friday! In the past couple of weeks I’ve been busy writing two guest posts, two Huffington Post articles and completing this interview with Dr. Wardle. I came across his book, Tomorrow’s Children after an assignment in graduate school. We were tasked with picking an issue we were passionate about and finding ways to educate our fellow colleagues about the issue. Surprisingly to me, there was little research surrounding educating and raising biracial children. Dr. Wardle’s view on raising biracial children was a refreshing take and his book was a quick read.

As you can see, my book is now falling apart at the seams. As I was thinking about this next post, I considered reaching out to him to see if he would be interested in allowing me to interview him. I found his contact information on his website, The Center for the Study of Biracial Children. He emailed me back quickly with his home telephone number and we scheduled a date for the phone interview.

tips for raising healthy biracial children

If you’re unfamiliar with Dr. Wardle, here’s a brief bio: he has published eight books, two on multiracial children. He has also published about 400 articles in journals, national and international magazines, trade publications, interracial organization news letters, and popular newspapers, on a variety of subjects including interracial families, play,young children, playgrounds and education. He received his Ph.D in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus on Early Childhood from the University of Kansas in 1983. Since 1997, he has been teaching at Red Rocks Community College in the Early Childhood department, serves as a teacher/mentor at the University of Phoenix School of Advanced Studies, and last but not least, he is a writer.

biracial studies

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To Offend or Not to Offend

**This post was published by the Huffington Post as How Not to Offend Mixed Race Families. **

To Offend or Not to Offend

My first experience with a biracial individual was in 5th grade. Our teacher was doing a race count for FTE funding (schools get more money based on the number of minority students they have). Our teacher called out all the different races, then got mad when she counted and realized someone didn’t raise their hand. She said very loudly, “Who didn’t raise their hand?” (We’ll call his name Jason) Jason said, “I didn’t.” She then screamed at him, “Why not?” To which he replied, I’m not sure which one to pick (black or white). She screamed back, “just pick one!”

At the time, I didn’t realize how damaging this conversation was. It was insensitive of the teacher  to demand him to pick one race, when he was clearly a combination of two. How mortifying it must have been for him to have this identity crisis in front of all of his peers and teachers. This anecdote is an extreme example, but some people just don’t know what to say without being offensive.  I came up with a small list to help.

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