Choosing An Identity?

Is my son already choosing which part of himself he will more strongly identify with or is it just coincidence?

Yesterday, was our first experience with a babysitter other than a handful of times my mom has watched my son. I was a bit nervous about the whole situation. Even though I was going to be home with the two of them I wondered if he would cling to me and refuse to interact with this new person. Much to my relief, and honestly, much to the slight dismay of my mommy ego, he seems to love his new babysitter. He went right to her and didn’t mind that she gave him a bath and that mommy left them alone while she showered. He has even tried to say her name.

What does this have to do with his identity? Let me explain. My son is half Asian and half Caucasian. According to some of the literature I have read most multiracial children will at some point in their lives choose to identify more with one of their races than the other. Sometimes they fluctuate between the two but mostly they see themselves as more one than the other. Our new babysitter is Asian.

Let me further explain. For some odd reason my son is afraid of my Caucasian father. Every time we see him he cries or clings to one of us. It takes him a long time to warm up enough to let my dad even get close to him. He has had this same reaction once or twice with my brother as well. On the other hand, he had no problem warming up to my in-laws when we visited them over Christmas break. He also seems to have no problems warming up to my sister-in-law.

So, does this mean he identifies more with Asian faces than he does Caucasian ones? I never imagined this would be something I would be pondering so soon in my son’s life. I figured at some point in his life we would have to deal with questions from him regarding his mixed heritage or with some ugly incident due to the ignorance or bigotry of others . But I never imagined that at 20 months I would ponder the question of which race my child seems more comfortable with.

Maybe I’m just reading too much into this. But yet, I can’t help but wonder and find the whole thing rather interesting. Parenthood really does present some intriguing roads for us to discover.

This entry was posted in Family, Multiculturalism, Parenting, Race. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Choosing An Identity?

  1. riceandbeanschic says:

    Hi, I know that this is one of your older posts, but as a half Asian mother of a 24 month old boy, I can relate.
    You could be correct in thinking that your son is gravitating more towards the Asian race than the white, but I think it’s more about gender from what I read in your post. Maybe your son (much like my son and my nephew) just like women better? But don’t be surprised if he is more comfortable with Asians because as a half, I don’t see myself as white, at the same time, I don’t see myself as Asian either. I see myself as both and it can be difficult for me to identify with either cultures. I do gravitate towards my Asian culture more and that could have more to do with the fact that my mother is Korean then actual feelings of identity.
    Anyway, if you ever have any questions, feel free to stop by my page sometime:)

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