Grandparenting in the Melting Pot

by | Jan 8, 2020 | Longevity, Caregiving

Most people feel that having a mixed-race grandchild is no big deal and a great gift.  There’s so much to enjoy by having a family that is influenced by more than one cultural or ethnic tradition.  Families are learning to share in traditions and teachings, and more and more children are becoming bilingual from the get go.

According to a 2012 report by the Pew Research Center, about 15 percent of all new marriages in the United States in 2010 were between spouses of a different race or ethnicity from one another which means that over the next decade as many as one in seven children could be of mixed race. The U.S. Census predicts that by 2050, African Americans, Latinos and Asians will collectively become the majority in this country.

For grandparents of today’s world, there is an opportunity to learn about another culture in a meaningful way. Taking an extended trip to the homeland of your son or daughter in-law is an opportunity for the grandkids to understand their roots and for grandparents to enjoy a cultural journey.

The world is becoming smaller with major shifts in the international economic power ladder.  The fact that more of us are connected by blood may serve as a powerful tool in achieving better understanding between countries and culture.

Retired professional football player Hines Ward made waves when he visited South Korea, the birthplace of his mother. It raised awareness of the racism his mother faced being with Ward’s black father in her home country. Wards success in a very popular American pastime helps normalize that being American can very easily mean being a person with multiple racial identities.

Some grandparents from past generations still hold resentment that their children married outside of their race. While it’s difficult to confront prejudices, life is short and the grandchildren are the ones who suffer from not having a relationship with their grandparents. It’s vital to confront any lingering racial tension your parents may have with the rest of the family – after all – the bloodlines have already crossed.