Are you teaching your child their history?

[deleted account] ( 19 moms have responded )

I have been going through some things that I wonder who else is dealing with it. I was born in 1970 in a black home. I have a 7 year old daughter who is black/white. When her father was around he had issues with me going over black history with her. I obviously am not a black panther mentality, but I love my history and culture and I want her to know that side of her. Since I am now a single mom i teach her both sides of who she is. She know good and bad.

I have a few friends who refuse to do this. The reason they give is ............ its the past. it is because of the past that blacks, irish, indian, and women are able to participate in the life they have today. I want my daughter to understand, respect, and carry on that process to continue to improve and change the world as it changes. I don't understand why others find that unnecessary?

What are your thoughts?


Meagan - posted on 02/21/2011




I'm an anthropology major, so history is a MAJOR part of my life! lol My daughter gets to hear about the history of all sorts of cultures, but right now, she's not really old enough to understand. She's 22 months. But, never hurts to read her my history textbook as a bedtime story, right?

ANyway, I do have every intention of teaching my daughter her history. My grandparents (her great grandparents) don't really like that idea, and don't like me identifying her as mixed, but they aren't really the BEST people, so I kind of brush it off. My daughter, my choice, right?

I think it's important for children to embrace the history of their people, even if it is contradictory towards their other half. At some point in history, every single race has faced oppression. In the US, immigrants of every race suffered, and we had our own detainment camps for Japanese immigrants. (I think German too, but don't quote me on that.) Maybe white as a whole hasn't faced discrimination, but when you break it down to ethnicity, they have, and en masse. People have been persecuted for literally everything in history, from race, to ethnicity, to sexual preferance and gender, to religion. It's important to teach a child their history so they have pride in their heritage, but history is also important because history is written so we can learn from our mistakes and improve upon situations from the past.

For example, in one desert region (in the middle east I believe, but don't quote me on this), the temeratures during the day are really high, but at night really low, and farming season is short, and fails. Because archaeologists went in to figure out how ancient people survived this weather, they discovered a farming method that's effective in that region, using a small canal system to cool/heat the crops when needed. Now that method is being used in a formerly dying region.

History can teach us so much and explain so much. I cannot honestly understand the idea of "it's the past". But, everyone has differing views on history, and some people may feel guilty of their past, but I see no reason for guilt.

April - posted on 04/10/2011




I will teach my kids their history. Better yet, i'll take them to each country my husband and i are from. When they are older they will be proud of both sides of their race, like my parents taught me to be proud (i'm bi-racial). I glad my parents did that for me so i'll gladly do that for my monkeys :)

Eileen - posted on 03/18/2011




You are right in some many ways...i am white & have 3 bi-racial youngest 2 dont really understand yet but i still teach them the same as i do my 14yo..i want them to know all the struggles great men & women of color went thru just so that they could drink from a water fountain or ride anywhere they like on a bus..every yr on MLK's bday i make it a day all about whether they like it or not far as ur ex goes..wake up its our history & their will never be forgotten unless we let it...


View replies by

Jennifer - posted on 03/26/2015




I have always told my daughter Daddy is from Mexico, Mommy is from America. I want her to be proud of where her family comes from and what her heritage is, even though her father and I are divorced. When she's old enough to understand race and ethnicity I will teach her that she is just as much Hispanic as she is White and nobody should ever make her "pick" a race because she is biracial and should be proud. No matter what color her skin is she is still an American.

Jason R - posted on 02/03/2015




To bad your cultural history is ruined now. You do know what your culture is right? White yourself culture is to support your kids. African American culture is not. Anyway you babies daddy goes around knocking up as many white woman as he possibly can because that is what destroys white heritage and what would have been your cultural society. He knows that the more white woman he impregnates the more white babies will not be born because he thinks a white man won't go near you anymore. I'm a white man and I'll go near you. But what do you expect for unsupported children that aren't mine? I also know my culture.

Codi Bernice - posted on 12/03/2014




I think it's very important to teach children about their roots... I have two boys ages 6 and 7 who I've raised mostly on my own since they were infants, so they are most familiar with my own white cultural world (I'm of English, Irish descent). Their dad is African American, but even though he's been an absentee father, I have always made sure my boys are aware of their African American cultural heritage and how relevant that is.
My boys are quite inquisitive and aware of many things, so when they ask me about African American history I always take the time to let them know all about it. I just want them to know they have a very beautiful and rich cultural history so they will always have pride in who they are.

Sonya Alicia - posted on 11/29/2013




My boy is three and a half, he is black and white. His skin is white. We never mentioned color, he saw my leg and compared it to his own leg. He said my leg is same color as daddy, your leg is brown;disgusting he says. I am trying to educate him that I am his brown mother and even though he looks like his dad he is brown and white, cause he is made from us both. Do you know of any movies or books I could read to him?

Ellie Richardson - posted on 04/26/2012




I teach my children about their heritage as much as they allow. I dont think they fully understand but when they ask questions i give honest answers.My kids have African, creole, and spanish.

Rachel - posted on 03/20/2012




I am a white/irish/scottish/penn. dutch American mama raising a by racial 6yr old "little man". My guy's dad was black and left the picture long b4 he was born. My son's dad had some very ignorant and saddening things to say b4 he split but that is kinda beside the point.

What I mean to say here is that over time I have gotten equally mixed,...positive,....and rudely negative reception when I have attempted to explore ways to teach my son about his african american history. I Have done a little looking and talking with him and I hope I am on the right track. He should know all the parts of who he is because it is all beautiful, and ugly, and moving, and funny, and sad, and fullfilling. The thing about it is that I know how and where to go for the family history I was taught as a child, but I am not on solid ground in the area of black history. If anyone could give me some pointers I'd greatly appreciate it. I am an open minded, kind hearted lady just looking to expand my horizions and enrich/educate my son.

Additionally, I'd like to give you props for teaching all of your little chic's heritage. It is all a part of her.

Cherie - posted on 04/30/2011




I think you'll be a wonderful example to your child, regardless of what others think.

Serene - posted on 04/21/2011




My daughter is 10 months old and my son is 2 years old and right now I read them childrens books of children with different cultures, races, skin tone, and hair. I explain to them that they are just like them. I'm white and my kids father is black. I will keep teaching them about there history when they become older. I want them to know about their heritage, I have a collection of books from Corretta Scott King that she has written. They are wonderful books, they arrange from Rosa Parks, MLK, Operah, and many more peoples lives. Once they become older and understand more then I'll start reading these books to them. I can't wait!!

Christa - posted on 04/16/2011




My daughter started kindergarten this year and during Black history month I was the proudest mommy in the world when she came home and recited part of Dr. King's 'I Have A Dream' speech!! I told her that grandpa was there when Dr. King gave that speech, she was so excited & proud that she went to school and told her class the next day!!! We talk about race to her & the difference between colors (I'm Black & my husband is German), but I think this is the first time she really got it. I asked her what she thought would happen if we were back in slavery time - she said 'You and I would have to go live one place and daddy would have to live somewhere else because he's not brown like us - and mommy, that's just wrong!'' I want her to know who she is (she doesn't respond in German, but she understands the language since my husband has spoken to her in German since birth) and where she comes from. And be a proud Black American German with a southern accent!! LOL!!

Tara - posted on 03/02/2011




I think in this diverse world it's important to encourage your children to know and experience thier roots. My daughter is lucky to attend a daycare that teaches her about my culture and language and opportunity I did not have growing up. I am half white and inuk and according to my childhood friends I only experienced my white side until I was older. My daughter's father is Haitian and doesn't really communicate with much of his family anymore so it's very rare that he speaks in Creole with her. I am always encouraging it and want her to know where she's from. She does however has her dad's taste buds. If she sees Haitian food she's all over it.One day I want her to understand her haitian roots some more. Teaching your child where their from teaches them who they are, and like you said the history at times isn't always the most kind but it is important to understanding their culture and will hopefully make them proud. You sound like a wonderful and strong woman I'm sure you'r daughter is very proud of her heritage.

Kaitlin - posted on 02/25/2011




I most deffinately encourage anyone to teach their heritage to their children. My husband and I are supportive to each other about our different heritages. My husband is Korean and Scottish and I am German and Cherokee Indian. So there is alot to teach and learn and alot of cool things to do. I cook both asian food and German food as well as some Italian food too. My family came from New York. We both teach our languages to each other and for right now our oldest child. It's alot of fun. Forget what other people say. They're probably just jealous cause they're not as educated about their history as you are with yours, Keep teaching you kid her history. Go crazy even. I plan on doing art projects with mine now that she is old enough. So keep up the work and have fun with it. I am. And I think you're awesome for encouraging her with your history! :)

[deleted account]

@KelliKayz...Thank you! that is exactly how i feel and so appreciate your encouragement. The mixed couples today dont get that! And some seem afraid. It really concerns me and scares me too. Obama being president proves knowing where you come from is very significant. @ monique that is awesome! your child will know another language and will be ahead of the game. you will also have the help on the Korean side and learn with him. So cool!! My daughter is going to be learning Spanish and japaneese next year. My boyfriend and I are going to learn with her. she is curious. Why do you think so many young parents are so resistant to this process?

KELLIKAYZ - posted on 02/20/2011





♏*PHOENIX*♏ - posted on 02/20/2011




When my son is older I will teach him about his Korean culture, but as of now at 10months he is around his Korean grandmother who speaks nothing but Korean to him, he gets a good exposure, and then he is also around his Black American side.

I think its important to know as much of your race as possible

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms