Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Raising A Multiracial Baby

My husband and I just brought to the world a multiracial baby who is part Italian, part American and a portion Filipino. 

Our mixed race child, Mikey. Whoever thought of turning babies to cuddly bears deserves a medal.

Before he came to the world, we were already wondering how he will look like as my husband and I are complete opposites, he has really fair skin and I am a tanned, tropical girl. Our best bet was that his color will be the middle hue of our colors - and he did acquire that! When you look at him, you can immediately tell that he is mixed race and I find that beautiful - a symbolism of how love knows no color, border or culture.

His looks are not the only thing that I want to be Filipino about him. Even if we will be raising our family here in NY, I still want to incorporate the Filipino culture in his upbringing. I personally believe that a child who is exposed to many cultures, whether through travel or education grows up to have a wider perspective on things.

The question is, how should I do it? I am not quite sure yet but here are some of my ideas. 

Filipino Cuisine

Pork Sinigang - My husband's favorite Filipino dish (pork, vegetables swimming in tamarind stew) which he claims he can eat every day.

Other families have Taco Tuesdays or Wings Wednesdays, well, ours will be Filipino Fridays and the menu will incorporate flavors of the Philippines. I think this is a brilliant (and super easy!) way of introducing him to the Philippines because Filipinos are big on food - it's how we connect with people. When you go to the Philippines, people there don't say "Hi!" to greet you, they say, "Have you eaten already?"

Documentaries and Educational Shows
In this day and age, learning about another culture is too easy. Everything is within a click of a button. I am sure there are Filipino educational and fun shows that I can incorporate in his daily life so he can familiarize himself with the culture and country.

Travel

Boracay, Philippines - My favorite island in the world. My friends and I would visit this place during holidays and long weekends. This is also where my husband proposed to me, making the place even more special. I swear to bring Mikey here in the future.

This is probably going to be the most expensive activity in this list because flights to the Philippines are not cheap (I mean, it's only an 18-hour flight away). However, it would be great if my husband and I can bring him to the Philippines within his first 2 years of life because .... Children below the age of 2 fly for FREE (yup, this is an essential travel hack that every moms should know). After his first two years, perhaps we can go back as a family every 4 years... And, if he loves it so much, he can continue traveling on his own once he is old enough to. That would actually mean so much to me.

Filipino Relations
I am fortunate to be exposed to a good Filipino community here in NY - my brother's family lives here and I have a good number of Filipino friends and distant relatives. I believe that exposing him to the community will help in familiarizing him with how the culture is like.

Language?
I am not too sure about introducing Tagalog to him at such an early age. My main concern would be language confusion, if that even is a thing... And, since he will be growing up here and will be speaking english most of the time, I don't know how he will be able to practice it on a daily basis, except with me, that is. Anybody ever taught his/her kid a different language at an early age? Is language confusion something to be concerned about?


Those are just my initial ideas. Do you have a multiracial family? How do you incorporate teaching different cultures to your little one(s)?
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