Posts Tagged ‘making strong roots’

I’ll never forget a time when I was sitting at the lunch table at school. I was in middle school, either 7th or 8th grade. Like many young girls, we were talking about our crushes. I liked a funny guy who was in our math class. He was really smart, not the cutest guy, but he made me laugh. I’ve always had a thing for that.

Well, he was white, and one of the girls I was sitting with asked me if my parents would care if I had a white boyfriend. It didn’t matter if the guy was white, black or purple my parents didn’t want me to have any boyfriend. So we’d have to keep these relationships on the DL at school.

My white friend then proceeded to tell me that her dad would never let her date a black guy.

“It says in the Bible that we shouldn’t mix,” she told me.

Now I didn’t ask her what verse she was referring to because well, maybe she knew the Bible better than I did, or maybe she chose to interpret things differently. So I brushed it off. I wish I could say that was the only time I heard that sorry excuse for racism but it wasn’t.

Years later, I’ve searched for that scripture she may have been referring to. Maybe it was Deuteronomy Chapter 7:3: 3 -“Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son.”

Could that be it? Or possibly Leviticus 19:19 – “Ye shall keep my statutes. Thou shalt not let thy cattle gender with a diverse kind: thou shalt not sow thy field with mingled seed: neither shall a garment mingled of linen and woollen come upon thee.”

But are we talking about cattle or people? I’m not sure.

interracial couple

Back then I took a stance I mostly still like I take now regarding religious interpretation. If your religion believes our marriage is wrong then fine, don’t marry someone outside of your race, but don’t stand in the way of mine. Oh, and while you’re entitled to your beliefs, I’m entitled to consider you a racist.

In Georgia, heart of the Bible belt, interracial dating and marriage was taboo. Actually, I don’t know if it’s gotten much better, depending what part of the state you’re in. Every time we visit the stares seem to be less vehement, maybe it’s a sign things are easing up. If you know, let me know!

Ok, I’m going somewhere positive with all of this… Yes, there is a point. Fast forward 17 years from middle school. I went through a few other fake boyfriends and rejections and wound up with a husband who loves me BECAUSE of who I am. Not in spite of. And our differences in race have never, not once in our entire 10.5 years of marriage been a source of conflict between us.

interracial couple

Yea, we may argue about which channel to watch (I am so sick of ESPN) or where to eat, or who has to get up with the kids, but racial issues? No. We are actually pretty darn normal.

It’s hard to imagine our family being seen as anything but that, but less than 50 years ago, our marriage would have been illegal in 16 states. IL-freaking-LEGAL.

You didn’t know you’d be getting a little history lesson today did you?

Short story about the Lovings (Richard and Mildred Loving) … They were an awesome couple, white man and black woman, who were having a baby together. In June of 1958, they left their home state of Virginia and went and got married in Washington D.C.. Well, that was not good enough for Virginia. Police raided the couple’s home at night when they were in bed and they were charged for leaving the state to get an interracial marriage then returning to Virginia.

Mildred_Jeter_and_Richard_Loving

(via)

The trial judge wrote: “Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.”

Years later, after being frustrated about not being allowed to travel to visit their families together in Virginia, they began to protest the law.

In 1967 the United States Supreme Court decision Loving v. Virginia struck down all anti-miscegenation laws citing “There can be no doubt that restricting the freedom to marry solely because of racial classifications violates the central meaning of the equal protection clause.”

So now, June 12th is known as Loving Day, the biggest multiracial celebration in the U.S. (I hear they’re making a movie out of their story which will be awesome!)

interracial marriage

Every year, on this day for the past… I don’t know, five or so years I’ve known about this holiday, I’ve took some time to stop and reflect on this little difference we have, and my gratitude for the fact that it doesn’t keep us apart. I can’t imagine not being with my husband because of some stupid law, and people who thought us loving each other was wrong. Just because of our genetics… How we look. Isn’t that ridiculous?

I’m sure back in the 1950 and 60s people were afraid, and they didn’t understand how mixed-races marriages would affect their lives, and their families, schools. Would their kids grow up thinking interracial marriage was ok and normal? Was that what they wanted?

Fear holds us back. Hatred, misunderstanding, and lack of empathy pushing those who love each other away from one another, instead of spending more time just loving one another.

interracial family photos

So how does my interracial family celebrate Loving Day? We don’t throw a big party or bake a cake (though that’s an idea I’m sure my kids would get on board with) we just take some time to talk about the past, the present, and the future. Specifically with families like ours, and other families striving to be.

You don’t need to be in an interracial marriage to celebrate this holiday. It’s something we all can appreciate and share with out families. Looking at how far we’ve come as a people, and how we can continue to do better. I want my kids to lead with love, not hate or fear. I hope we can spread that message together.

interracial family bluebonnets

I’m thankful for the Lovings, as well as the people who backed them up, supported them, and continue to support what they stood for.

I hope you’ll take some time to read a little more about Mildred and Richard Loving and maybe even share the story with your families. You can learn more here and find out about celebrations going on near you.

Happy Loving Day 2015 my friends!

Over the weekend I overheard my daughter talking to my youngest sister about sunscreen. (Remember she’s obsessed with the stuff?) And how even though we have brown skin, we can still burn, it just takes longer.

I tuned out their conversation for a moment while I got our pool items packed in the car.

I didn’t hear exactly what my sister was saying next, but I overheard her say “you’re just your color because you’re a little kid, but when you grow up, you’ll be darker like me.”

I didn’t have the heart to explain otherwise.

My daughter countered with her own conclusions for her lighter skin: “No no. I’m kind of pinkish like my dad, and brown like my mom, and like you! I’m like–”

“Yea yea yea,” my sister cut her off.

I called them to get into the car then told Lil’ J she was right. She’s like her mommy and daddy.

“Yea, I’m like everybody,” she said.

how-my-biracial-daughtr-identifies

This wasn’t the first time I had heard my biracial daughter say something like this. Actually, just a week or two before she came into the kitchen and professed the same thing while my husband and I had a discussion at the table.

“Mommy, I’m a little pink like daddy,” while pointing to the palms of her hands, and parts of her forearm. “And brown like you!”

She beamed with pride.

“That’s right,” I told her. “And your friends?”

“Well…” She recounted each of her friends in their various shades and said they each were like her. “So I’m like everyone.”

“Kinda like a chameleon?” I said.”

“YEA!” She answered. Excited by her realization.

“Is mommy like everyone too?” I asked.

“No,” she answered point blank. “You’re just brown, and daddy’s just pink.”

like-sisters

“But we’re all the same in other ways,” I reminded her.

In our usual fashion I related the discussion to a Disney movie… Tarzan and the conversation he had with his gorilla mom about them being the same on the inside. … But even more so human to human.

I love the way she sees herself as not only a little bit of her daddy and I, but a little bit like everyone else. I hope that is a sign of the compassion and empathy she holds for others.

I hope that it doesn’t come to this but if/when there will be days she’s called too light or too dark, I want her to remember who she is. A little girl who is part mommy, part daddy, and a little bit lilt everyone else. All while being completely authentic and uniquely herself.

How does your child see him/herself?

~Lil’ J is 4 years 11 months old.

When I was in the 7th grade I auditioned for the dance team. It was my first real tryouts and I was so anxious and excited to be a courtside dancer in the 8th grade. Before then, as far as sports went, I had only participated in recreation league cheerleading.

I practiced all week, got the routine down pat, and felt confident. One of my friends missed a couple days of auditions, so I offered to help her learn the steps. We practiced together and I hoped that we’d both make the team. In the end she made the it and I didn’t.

I was devastated. Seriously so upset. My parents had never seen me that way. Eventually I got over it, and I tried out and made the cheerleading squad a month or so later. One thing that stuck out to me from that experience was a conversation I had with my mother.

“Don’t help someone else get what you want before you have it yourself.” I don’t know if it was that statement, or something else that set a spark of competitiveness in me.

Through the years I’ve remembered that remark, and it’s come up in other conversations about gifts, jobs, and other goals I’ve worked toward. It never quite set right with me, but now that I have kids of my own I’ve realized it’s not the lesson I want them to learn. In my mother’s defense, her experiences in life could have taught her she needed to look out for herself, and influenced her decision to give me this advice. Nevertheless, it’s not the one I want my children to learn.

Help your kids find their superpower, then encourage them to share it with the world.

Ambition is one thing, but the way you treat others in your pursuit of happiness is also important. As a person my kids look up to for wisdom–A superhero in their eyes, my mission is to teach them this lesson.

I want my children to know they’re blessed with their own talents, and have unique gifts to give to the world… Superpowers if you will. When I’ve talked with my daughter about her talents and what she’s good at, she will sigh through the conversation. But when I ask her about her SUPERPOWERS she gets excited to tell me how she’s a super artist who can craft things that make others happy.

She tells me she has the superpower of kindness, to help her brother and her family. Now it’s my responsibility to help her harness those talents, and others she discovers within herself.

Like she said, she loves art, and she’ll never turn down an opportunity to make a craft, so we busted out the glitter and glue to make a special superhero cape to highlight her gifts.

Help your kids find their superpower, then encourage them to share it with the world.

Help your kids find their superpower, then encourage them to share it with the world.

I’ve started a new partnership with Barbie, and they sent us a bag of crafts to get inspired as a part of their #BeSuper campaign. All I had to do was show her the bad and Lil’ J got to designing. She asked me to help her cut out a heart, which I thought was appropriate for her kindness. We started decorating that when she changed her mind and said she’d rather a star. When I questioned why she wanted a start instead of a heart she said “Because mom, I’m a shining star!”

Lil’ J directed me on where to add the glue and she sprinkled the glitter and positioned the star. When I complained about my crooked star skills she said “It’s ok mommy, it looks great to me!” Seriously, she is good at this kindness thing.

Help your kids find their superpower, then encourage them to share it with the world.

She couldn’t wait for her cape to dry–I mean really, she couldn’t wait and she put it on before it was totally dry… So did her brother. So some of the glitter smudged a little, but she didn’t care. She was so proud to put it on and show off our accomplishment.

There must be something about a cape and mask that makes you feel powerful. I want her to always feel that way about her talents, and I want her to highlight them in a positive way.

Help your kids find their superpower, then encourage them to share it with the world.

I recently visited a local Montessori preschool for a news story and sat down and interviewed the director at length. When I turned the camera off and we continued to talk about motherhood, how we want the best for our children, how our parents want the best for us. She told me how she doesn’t push her son to be competitive. “There’s no reason to be competitive” she told me. She considers it a habit society ingrains in us that shouldn’t be. This conversation really stuck with me.

Help your kids find their superpower, then encourage them to share it with the world.

I suppose to some degree it’s natural to be competitive. Survival instincts I guess. But what if we used our talents to better each other, instead of using them to climb over one another?

Maybe back in the 7th grade, my talent wasn’t in dance (trust me, it wasn’t) but with helping someone else learn the choreography, and being a good friend. Imagine how much good we could do if we were all focused on helping one another find our superpowers, and supported each other in using them to the best of our abilities.

This is a message I want to teach my children. That yes, they should do their best, but not for the sake of winning, or beat someone else. If you must race, run with them, not against them. Be a good musician to fill a room with beautiful music, not to be deemed “the best” by a set of judges. Winning feels good, but not as good as your own delight in knowing how well you’ve done.

Help your kids find their superpower, then encourage them to share it with the world.

I think I would have spared myself a lot of heartache had I lived this philosophy my whole life. Not to mention done a lot more good. It’s not going to be as simple as flipping a switch for me. Competitiveness and jealousy is a tough tendency to kick. But it’s better late than never, and I’m really going to try to focus on being a good example in supporting and uplifting others. Especially since my little girl is already so good at that herself.

For now the cape we made together will serve as a little reminder of how special she is, and be a lesson we can expand on. Teaching my kids to do their best and using their “powers” for good… If I can somehow instill this lesson in my children, then I think I will have succeeded in my quest as their supermom.

What important lessons do you want your kids to know? How do you help them find their talents?

 

*This post was written in partnership with Barbie in an effort to help our children #BeSuper.

Growing up my parents drilled in us that we were to be respectful of adults and have good manners. We called adults Mr./Ms Last Name, answered yes ma’am/ sir, and always said please and thank you. I have found we haven’t been as strict with our kids so far, and there are some things we definitely need to work on.

With our daughter we’ve taken to having her call adults either Mr./Ms. First Name or Last Name, and we’ll continue that with our son. Lil’ J was good and learned how to say “please” and “thank-you” at a young age. We had a little lapse in saying “please” recently, but after a couple weeks of correcting I think we’re back on track.

My son however… *Sigh* … My son, I don’t know if it’s just that he can’t quite speak as well as his sister could (see the adorable video above of her spouting off all sorts of things at 19 months). Or if he just is refusing to be polite. I know you probably think I’m kidding, but really I have to wonder.

He can sign “more” “bath” and “eat” and he can tell me when he wants to play in the backyard, or get his shoes (that’s his favorite word, seriously). He can also communicate when he wants to leave and go “bye bye” or have a bottle. But when I try to get him to say “please” the closest thing that comes out is “PAR!” and that’s if I’m lucky. Usually he’ll just scream at me and I help him sign “please” before I give in.

serious-ty

If he can sign bath he can sign please, so I think this kid is just trying to get to me. He’s just too cute to stay mad at.

Saying “thank you” is a little better, but still not as often as I’d like it to be. One way I’ve been working on it is when we play “ball”. We roll it or pass it back and forth, and each time I ask him “please” before he hands it over, then say “thank-you” when he gives it to me. Every once in while he chimes in with some thank yous of his own and then I feel like all hope isn’t lost for my sweet little caveman.

Fun ideas to introduce our children to different ways to say thank you.

My daughter loves art, and writing letters to people, so I’m trying to incorporate more thank you letters into her repertoire. I let her choose if she wants to design her own using her card stock and stationery kits, or pick some out from our collection of cards. And like with my son, I try to be an example and tell her thank you, write her thank-you notes, and sit down with her to write my own letters for those who have helped me. Walking the walk is the best way to teach a lesson.

It would be beautiful if someday my kids can look back and remember us writing weekly thank-you notes together. How’s that for a legacy?

thank-you-cards_0062-copy

Hopefully some of these lessons will stick and I’ll raise some polite and thankful children. Maybe some day my son will even manage more than a pleasant grunt for “please.” It’s a work in progress, but I think we’ll get there.

How did you teach your children to say thank you?

Here are some more thank-you note ideas from Hallmark.

Fun ideas to introduce our children to different ways to say thank you.

This post was written as a part of an ongoing partnership with Hallmark. All opinions are my own.

“What’s Milk Day?” My mom recounted my 9-year-old sister asking that question earlier in the day.

“What?” My mom asked her.

“We don’t have school on Monday because of Milk Day, what’s that?”

It then clicked with my mom that she was asking about MLK Day.

I laughed hearing my sister’s question to her, then realized I need to get on the ball with teaching my kids or else we’d be heading down the same path. It’s a part of our history. And I don’t mean just as an interracial black/white family, I mean a part of ALL of our history, as Americans.

My daughter loves knowing what holiday is coming up next. My birthday was last week and the day after she asked me “what’s next?” with a big bright excited smile on her face.

“Valentines Day,” I said after thinking for just a moment. “Oh yea, with the hearts and stuff!” She remembered. Then it dawned on me, “No wait,” I said. “Martin Luther King Jr. Day is next,” I told her.

“What’s that?” she said. Now she’s only four, and she asks a lot of questions, so I didn’t go too deep but I said “He wanted everyone to get along, because not everyone was treated the same back then.” I reminded her of a book we own that has Martin Luther King Jr. in it, and said we’d read it again when we got home. For now, she was satisfied with my answer, although I know she was probably trying just to figure out if it was a holiday that qualifies for cake-eating.

I’d imagined myself checking out a big array of library books on the topic, but I dropped the ball and didn’t account for the library being closed today (duh!). We missed the candlelight walk, and festivities downtown this morning. But I was determined to celebrate with my family.Kids MLK Day I have a Dream Craft

Instead I threw some stuff together and made a lesson about MLK. While my husband was at the gym with the kids I set aside the finger paint and downloaded a new super cute toddler and preschool-friendly book on my Kindle app called “Martin Luther King Jr. A Celebration for Children.” It uses each letter of his name to describe what he did for the world. I it was the perfect introduction for my 1-and-a-half and 4-year old.

Lil’ J was concerned as I explained how some people weren’t treated the same, just because they look different. She pointed out that she and I looked different from one another, and I said yes, but we all have feelings and want to be treated the same.

Kids MLK Day I have a Dream Craft

As I watched my daughter finger paint the planet, she mixed purple and white together. “Look! I made light purple!” she said. I told her our family was kind of like her different shades of purple, and she said “And we’re all the same!”

Kids MLK Day I have a Dream Craft

Big T didn’t have as much fun as I thought he would painting. Who knew he doesn’t like having messy hands.

Kids MLK Day I have a Dream Craft

Kids MLK Day I have a Dream Craft

When we were done painting I had my daughter tell me her dreams for the world so we can put it on top.

Kids MLK Day I have a Dream Craft Kids MLK Day I have a Dream Craft

“I want the same thing as King Jr,” she said. “I wish that everybody would be nice.” She signed her name and stuck it to the world (after decorating the rest of her hand of course.)

Kids MLK Day I have a Dream Craft

During my son’s nap I also sewed Lil’ J a new skirt. She picked out the fabric for Valentine’s Day but I told her it would work for today too.

“Yea, because King taught about love!” she said. Yes! She’s getting it!

I was hoping we’d take a walk down to our neighborhood park and pick up trash along the way to demonstrate giving back and talk about MLK Day also being a day of service, but it got dark before we got a chance. But we will probably just pick the lesson back up tomorrow.

Finally… we’re starting a new tradition and making a MLK “peace pie” because if there’s any way to get my daughter to remember a holiday it’s through dessert. In the future we’ll make it from scratch but this year we’ll just decorate a frozen pie.

MLK-Day-peace-pieI invited my sister over to celebrate with us this evening. She was sad she missed the finger painting so I pulled it out for her to make her own dreams for the world.

How’s that for last-minute planning? Not bad right? The good news is there’s no wrong-day to talk about MLK and what he represents. Don’t feel bad if you didn’t think about it until just now! There’s still time to sit down and talk about what this day means. The one lesson that’s most important for them to know is about LOVE, and learning to love one another despite our differences.

Did you talk to your kids about Martin Luther King Jr today? How did it go?

Simple

Occasionally… VERY occasionally these days, I’ll get a hateful comment on my blog. Even less often someone will say something rude on Instagram, Twitter, or some other form of social media. After watching Jimmy Kimmel’s “Celebrities Read Mean Tweets” segment, I thought I could do my own “Blogger Reads Mean Comments” video, but I really don’t get that many anymore, and we could be waiting a while so I’m just going to tell you about this one.

Showing a white dad with a biracial son is totally normal too.

A couple of weeks ago I shared this precious photo of my husband and son on Instagram. Shortly after I got a comment from someone I don’t know that said: “Lol I don’t think he’s the dad, guess mom cheated.”

IMG_1540

My first reaction was confusion… HOW DOES HE KNOW? (Don’t ask me why I’ve assumed this person is a he, I’m not sure.)

I was so confused at how is it possible to tell that I cheated based on this photo. How in the world does it give away that information? I mean, just because a kid doesn’t look like his dad doesn’t mean he can’t look like his mom right?

Then it dawned on me… He thinks I’m white. Even if I was, that comment is no less offensive. There are such things as recessive genes and you know… And adoption. Goodness, adoptive parents I have a new respect for you!

Next, I was baffled that this person didn’t take the time to glance up at my profile picture to notice… Oh hey, his mom is black, and quite attractive, that totally explains the freakishly adorable kid.

I wasn’t ever angry, well… Maybe just upset that I didn’t think of a great comeback.

Processed with VSCOcam with t1 preset

When Lil’ J was younger I used to get asked quite often if she was mine. Now it seems my husband gets stopped with the questions… “Does her mom have curly hair?” or “Is his mom Hispanic?” It doesn’t bother him like it used to sometimes bother me. “People are just curious,” he tells me, so I don’t let it get to me. But I wish it wasn’t so hard for people to imagine a family like ours.

On a normal day do you know how many times I think about being in an interracial marriage? About zero. Seriously, it’s not something we think or dwell about any more than someone else ponders about their hair color differences on any given day. Sure, occasionally discussions, an encounter, or news will come up that reminds us, but it’s not nearly a constant thought in our lives.

Hopefully someday we will seem just as normal to everyone else too.

A first reaction shouldn’t be “OH DAYUM… You know he aint the baby daddy!” But “What a cute kid!” or “Genetics are awesome!” or “Oh man, his mom must be smokin hot!” … I’d be ok with any of those.

The most common question I’m asked isn’t about breaking into my broadcast career, how I met my hot husband, or even “how are you today?” it’s “how do you do your daughter’s hair?”

Ok, one of those questions may be a little more popular, but not when it comes to my blog. Biracial hair care, mixed hair care or natural hair care especially has become a hot topic. I can’t believe I haven’t updated my process since Lil’ J was a toddler. I’ve been meaning to do it but really wanted pictures of the process to make it all flow. I finally took some yesterday (Sunday is typically our hair-washing day). It’s going to be picture-heavy so get ready!

Mixed Hair Care: Tips for biracial hair care, hair washing, and a step-by-step guide to getting beautiful moisturized curls. Teach your daughters to love their natural hair. Natural hair care for kids. #naturalhairkids

It’s been a learning process for me as I only recently began to wear my hair in its naturally curly state all the time. Before that I kept it flat ironed with salon visits. I’m embracing my natural hair in all of its curly beauty now that I have a little girl who has gorgeous curls of her own. It can be hard to think curls are pretty when we’re bombarded with society’s standard of beauty that often overlooks us.

Mixed Hair Care: Tips for biracial hair care and a step-by-step guide to getting beautiful moisturized curls. Teach your daughters to love their natural hair. Natural hair care for kids. #naturalhairkids

I’m going to be filing this under my new “making strong roots” section because this topic fits in more way than one.

Mixed Hair Care: Tips for biracial hair care, biracial hair washing, and a step-by-step guide to getting beautiful moisturized curls. Teach your daughters to love their natural hair. Natural hair care for kids. #naturalhairkids So, first off, FYI, I try not to let her hair get this crazy but let’s face it—Life gets busy. I avoid letting her out of the house like this though.

Typically I’ll wash Lil’ J’s hair when Big T is napping, or already in bed. He loves splashing in water and if he knows his sister is having all the fun, it becomes a challenge trying to entertain him too.

Mixed Hair Care: Tips for biracial hair care, biracial hair washing, and a step-by-step guide to getting beautiful moisturized curls. Teach your daughters to love their natural hair. Natural hair care for kids. #naturalhairkids

I clear off the kitchen counters give the sink a little extra scrubbing—Yes, you read right, the sink. I could do her hair in the tub but dumping water on her head over and over with a cup just isn’t cutting it. I’ll probably eventually invest in one of those bathtub sprayer adapters but I feel like I’m conserving more water in the sink, and it works for us. It’s also how my mom did our hair at home, and I have fond memories of those nights so let’s just say we’re carrying on the tradition.

I get her set up with an iPad or phone, and let her watch a show while I do her hair, but usually we end up “talking to the knots,” which I’ll explain later.

Mixed Hair Care: Tips for biracial hair care and a step-by-step guide to getting beautiful moisturized curls. Teach your daughters to love their natural hair. Natural hair care for kids. #naturalhairkids

I have a bathroom caddy that I lug all of our hair supplies in. Between three different curly hair types, we have a variety of products. These are typically the ones I use most often, but not all at once. I didn’t use all of these when doing Lil’ J’s hair this time. But here are my go-tos:

Herbal Essence Hello Hydration Conditioner: I use this to get her hair detangled because I need to use a TON of conditioner and would use my nicer and pricier conditioner right up if I used the same amount. I love this because it has a lot of slip.

Curly Q’s Coconut Dream Conditioner: LOVE the smell and it hydrates her hair so well, and leaves it silky smooth. I use this EVERY time.

Shea Moisture Cleansing Conditioner: I use this instead of a Shampoo.

Curly Q’s Custard: I love this after washing when I’m styling or twisting it up for the night. I’ve tried various similar products but keep coming back to this.

Shea Moisture Coconut and Hibiscus Style Milk: Similar to the custard above, I also buy this a lot.

It’s important to remember that it’s about the process not the products. So what works for my daughter’s hair may be totally different for your child’s hair. For my natural curls I use the Shea Moisture products most often and I’ve recently started using them on my kids. I haven’t noticed a huge different from product to product, but I do see a big difference if I change up the process.

Alright, enough yapping, here we go…

Step 1 Shampoo (optional):

Mixed Hair Care: Tips for biracial hair care, biracial hair washing, and a step-by-step guide to getting beautiful moisturized curls. Teach your daughters to love their natural hair. Natural hair care for kids. #naturalhairkids

Rarely do I use shampoo. I usually go straight to conditioner. Today I used a cowash by Shea Moisture to cleanse her hair before going on to condition some more. I get her hair soaking wet, wash, massage, then rinse. Simple enough.

Step 2: Condition

Mixed Hair Care: Tips for biracial hair care, biracial hair washing, and a step-by-step guide to getting beautiful moisturized curls. Teach your daughters to love their natural hair. Natural hair care for kids. #naturalhairkids

I load her hair up with conditioner. I currently have been using the Hello Hydration by Herbal Essence. It’s inexpensive and exactly what I need to get her hair slick and easy to detangle. I use a TON of this stuff, I just keep caking it in, and let her hair soak it up. Since I use so much of it, I don’t use a pricey conditioner for this part.

Step 3: Separate

Mixed Hair Care: Tips for biracial hair care, biracial hair washing, and a step-by-step guide to getting beautiful moisturized curls. Teach your daughters to love their natural hair. Natural hair care for kids. #naturalhairkids

I part her hair into a few sections and tie them apart. Sometimes I’ll use clamps. It just depends what I have on hand.

Step 4: Detangle
Dang, I forgot a photo! But I needed all hands on deck for this. I go to work section-by-section and detangle using possibly the most important item of this whole process: A good wide-tooth comb. I start from the bottom and work my way up until the entire section is detangled. This process can be a breeze if you stay on top of it, and use A LOT of conditioner while detangling. Be extremely generous with a good conditioner and it helps the tangles slip right out. If it starts to hurt, Lil’ J will tell her knots they’ve gotta pack up and move out of her head, and I’ll talk her through what they’re saying as they leave. It keeps her smiling through the process and she actually looks forward to detangling because of this strange tradition we have. But lately, when I wash her hair in this order detangling is a breeze.

Step 5: Deep Condition

Mixed Hair Care: Tips for biracial hair care, biracial hair washing, and a step-by-step guide to getting beautiful moisturized curls. Teach your daughters to love their natural hair. Natural hair care for kids. #naturalhairkids

As I complete each section I rinse out the conditioner then add a nice deep conditioner. Right now I really like the Curls Coconut Dream Conditioner for kids. I used to only use this for detangling and conditioning but I was going through it so fast, and believe it or not, it’s not the best for detangling and doesn’t have as much “slip.” But it smells great and is an awesome moisturizer. I add this conditioner to the section I’ve just detangled before moving on to the next section of hair and then put it in a loose braid.

Step 6: Repeat and Rinse

Mixed Hair Care: Tips for biracial hair care, biracial hair washing, and a step-by-step guide to getting beautiful moisturized curls. Teach your daughters to love their natural hair. Natural hair care for kids. #naturalhairkids

I repeat steps four and five until her whole head is detangled and up in lose braids. Then I rinse her head with cold water to close the pores. I don’t take the braids down just yet, because it’s ok if some conditioner is left in. It’ll help keep in extra moisture.

Step 7: Moisturize and Style

Mixed Hair Care: Tips for biracial hair care, biracial hair washing, and a step-by-step guide to getting beautiful moisturized curls. Teach your daughters to love their natural hair. Natural hair care for kids. #naturalhairkids
Are you getting the idea yet? The key is hydration and moisture retention. For this step I take down her braids and add some moisturizer cream section by section using my hands. I usually use the Curls Curly Q Custard Curl Styling Cream, but I’ve also started using my Curl Enhancing Smoothie by Shea Moisture and it seems to be doing a good job too.

Mixed Hair Care: Tips for biracial hair care, biracial hair washing, and a step-by-step guide to getting beautiful moisturized curls. Teach your daughters to love their natural hair. Natural hair care for kids. #naturalhairkids

Mixed Hair Care: Tips for biracial hair care, biracial hair washing, and a step-by-step guide to getting beautiful moisturized curls. Teach your daughters to love their natural hair. Natural hair care for kids. #naturalhairkids

If it’s the middle of the day I’ll leave her hair down, let it air dry and she can run around and let her curls dry in a couple of hours. If it starts to frizz and I want to freshen it up a bit I’ll spray some Shea Moisture Kids Extra-Moisturizing Detangler and run my fingers through to freshen them up.

If it’s right before bed I’ll use the styling cream while I twist it up either into bantu knots, or braids (tighter than the ones from before when we were detangling).

Mixed Hair Care: Tips for biracial hair care, biracial hair washing, and a step-by-step guide to getting beautiful moisturized curls. Teach your daughters to love their natural hair. Natural hair care for kids. #naturalhairkids

The final key is having her sleep on a satin pillowcase. It keeps her hair from all the friction and frizzes caused by regular cotton pillowcases.

To keep it fresh the following days I use a water bottle to spray her hair and get it damp section by section, then use the moisturizer to re-style before bed. Take it down in the morning and BOOM! Gorgeous curls day after day.

Mixed Hair Care: Tips for biracial hair care, biracial hair washing, and a step-by-step guide to getting beautiful moisturized curls. Teach your daughters to love their natural hair. Natural hair care for kids. #naturalhairkids

Big T’s routine is similar but much faster because he HATES getting his hair detangled and it’s a struggle. Luckily his curls seem to be staying so cute and hold their natural ringlets for awhile. Hopefully he’ll get used to our routine in a couple more years because I’d like to keep it about this length (and get trims back to about this length in the future). Excuse this blurry picture of my little tornado. I may post a guide for how I do his hair soon if there’s interest, though it doesn’t seem like there are as many boys rockin’ their fros lately.

Mixed Hair Care: Tips for biracial hair care, biracial hair washing, and a step-by-step guide to getting beautiful moisturized curls. Teach your daughters to love their natural hair. Natural hair care for kids. #naturalhairkids

For my babies, when they were babies, I used Curl’s baby line. You can find that tutorial here.

Have any questions or comments about biracial hair care? Shoot! I’ll be happy to reply below.

Oh, and because I know someone will ask… No, I didn’t make this dress. I bought it from Adelaide’s Boutique.

Earlier this week I was texting with a friend, and we were chatting about an activity her son is doing at the school this week. His class is putting on a cultural fashion show and they’re all asked to dress in clothes that represent their culture.

“Tim’s 5th great-grandmother was full Comanche Indian, so he’s going to dress in traditional Comanche clothes,” she said.

They were still working out the details of the costume, but have since pulled it off, as they always do.

“That’s so cool he has a Native American history ancestry,” I said. She said it was new to her as well.

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about my family’s heritage, and history and I’ve wanted to learn more for myself, and especially for the sake of my kids.

My parents didn’t teach us black history growing up. I don’t think it was so much that they didn’t want to as much as it probably was that they just wanted us to focus on “fitting in.” Growing up I didn’t realize what I was missing, but now that I’m an adult, I can see gaping holes in my life where knowing more about where I came from, would have made me more confidant in who I am.

I don’t want that to happen to my children. I don’t want them to fumble through life asking themselves “Who am I? Where do I fit in?” I want to arm them with a solid knowledge of where they came from, so they are confidant in who they are. Especially since their lineage is so diverse.

Interracial family photoMy family’s past is full of stories of my family moving from Virginia, north to Harlem, while my husband’s family (on his dad’s side) has a long line of Mormon and European history.

I’ve been thinking about sharing my experiences of discovery on my blog, and writing about ways I learn to teach my kids about their diverse history in age-appropriate ways. But I wasn’t sure if many people would be able to relate.

I posed a random question on Facebook asking if many of my readers were in interracial relationships/marriages and/or had biracial kids, and I got a whopping 175 responses, almost all of which stated they are in interracial relationships with kids.

The few that said they weren’t were so sweet in saying they’d still be interested in reading about it. And let’s face it, —Like my friend who didn’t know about her husband’s background—We all can learn from our past.

When you embrace your heritage you’re not only learning to accept your own differences, but also the differences of others, and in turn it can help us all to be more accepting and give us the ability to remain open-minded to other cultures.

Lil’ J, Big T and I plan to watch the cultural fashion show, and I couldn’t be more excited.

I’m excited to learn for my kids, learn with my kids, and I hope you’ll join me in learning and sharing about your history. Together we’ll be making strong roots for our children.

Hi! I’m Jennifer Borget



I'm a part-time journalist, full-time wife and mother striving to make the world a better place and inspiring others to do the same. This is the space where I share my journey in making the most of every day.

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