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Parenting with Global Awareness

 © 2010   By Deborah Beasley ACPI CCPF

copyright 2010 D. Beasley

Children adopted cross-culturally and transracially struggle to fill the gap between the culture and ethnicity of their adoptive parents and the development of their own ethnic and cultural identities.   What can parents do to nurture and support healthy cultural identities in their adopted children?  I call it parenting with global awareness.   Here are 12 ways foster and adoptive parents can honor the culture, ethnicity, and heritage of their children.

  • Research your child’s cultural and ethnic origins internationally and domestically
  • Have your family choose a new custom or tradition to practice together
  • Erase old notions of stereotypes associated with persons of your child’s race by getting accurate historical information
  • Get to know others who share the ethnicity of your child
  • Ask them to personally mentor you as you try to raise your child with awareness of his ethnic heritage
  • Explore what events and holidays you can celebrate together
  • Develop a genuine appreciation for your child’s culture through education and experience
  • Visit museums, concerts, art shows, and events, which accurately portray your child’s culture
  • Honor your child by bringing art, literature, music, food, and textiles into your home, and incorporating it proudly and prominently
  • Display photos of your child, photos of his birth family, or important cultural items he may have brought with him in places of honor
  • Subscribe to magazines whose articles and images enrich your child’s connections with who she is
  • Join a local adoption support group with member families that mirror your own

Parenting an adopted child who is racially or culturally different requires us to examine with new awareness our pre-established social perspectives and former paradigms. Parenting with a global awareness allows us to open ourselves to the collective richness of all people, their culture, language, traditions, and ancient wisdom. Modeling acceptance through understanding; acknowledging our human kinship; appreciating the diverse beauty and hue of every face, will nurture a strong parent/child relationship, and a healthy identity in your adopted child.

What customs or new cultural ideas have you incorporated into your family?  Please Share how you are honoring your children’s cultures and ethnicities?


Deborah Beasley, ACPI CCPF, is a Certified Parenting Coach, workshop presenter, and adoptive parent.   Deborah is the author of From Foster Care to Adoption- Navigating the Emotional Journey, A Parent’s Guide to State Adoption (2010) available on her website.   Deborah is the founder of Together At Last Family Support in Southern New Jersey which provides phone and in home coaching services, parenting education courses, and peer support.

Contact Deborah at: www.TogetherAtLastFamily.com

Join her Blog: www.HowDoesYourChildGrow.wordpress.com