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Children in Multicultural Families

Updated on July 11, 2019
elayne001 profile image

Ruth Kongaika was born in the Rocky Mountains and has lived most of her life in the South Pacific. She travels, gardens and writes.

Our Family

Parenting tips for intercultural families

I married a man of a different race and culture when it was not an acceptable thing to do. I do not regret my decision, but that choice has come with interesting and surprising consequences. It took many years for us to get used to each other’s customs and traditions. It has been quite an adventure for both of us.

The children that resulted from this union have struggled to find their own identities. Because I was doing most of the raising, since my husband's occupation demanded that he travel quite a bit, the children mostly speak my language and only one child is fluent in the father's language.

I believe our children have tried to choose the best from each culture. They can also change back and forth between cultures in different circumstances to suit their circumstances. We have learned as parents what form of discipline worked and what did not since his culture and mine had very different opinions in this regard.

As the mother of these wonderful children that I feel very blessed to have, I have not tried to push my own culture on them. I can see the good points of both cultures and brought those to their attention. I cannot lie that at times I have been a bit sad that they chose their father's side over mine, but I tried not to let them know that.

My children are very open minded to other cultures and loving towards people. They are all outgoing and have become good citizens of our communities. We lived in my husband's country for 13 years and now live in my country. This has given our children the foundation they need to really know who they are and develop their own families from there.

I have always let our children know of my respect and love for my husband, his family and race. I think this has helped the children in many ways. Even though my son speaks his father's language fluently, he is willing to serve in the Armed Forces for my country. I think that speaks volumes.

All of our children graduated from college and have become assets to society in their own ways. I have learned so much from my husband's culture that I feel adds to the harmony and respect our children feel with one another. I also think the children have had more opportunities in some ways than others since they have traveled internationally and they have friends from different walks of life.

We do tease each other about the traditions that are a bit "out there", and all of our children have a healthy sense of humor, and do not get easily offended. It has not been very easy raising children with two totally different cultures and traditions, but when we have worked together as husband and wife, instead of against each other; it has brought us a home of peace and harmony.


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  • elayne001 profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago from Rocky Mountains

    Thanks Levertis Steele for adding your feelings about marriage in general, and I agree. Marriage is difficult in any situation, and especially with different beliefs and cultures. Usually it is not until later on in the marriage when the "big" differences are revealed. But, it is a choice you made, and you have to deal with it.....or you can choose to walk away, as many do. Not saying that is a bad thing, except when children are involved, it can affect them. I am glad we stayed together even though we are so different in our ideas about food, money, etc. I appreciate your comments.

  • Levertis Steele profile image

    Levertis Steele 

    8 years ago from Southern Clime


    I suppose it takes a lot of love, dedication, respect, give and take, and much more to have a successful intercultural marriage. It also takes the same to have just a marriage, PERIOD! I cannot help but to bring out that matital challenges and intercultural challenges are two different "ball games." Cultural differences, depending on what they are can be reasonably dealt with or they could be difficult to handle. Example: a spouse who is of a culture that practices polygamy could spell d-i-s--a-s-t-e-r, if he, for example, wants to talk to his only wife about his plans to add another spouse to their household. Can you imagine a man of another culture making that announcement to his African-American wife? That could spell something that would not be so nice. American women, no matter the race, do not generally play that! That would be a huge marital problem for the monogamous wife.

    You seem to be a woman with a lot of patience and understanding. Those are admirable qualities.

    Thanks for sharing.

  • elayne001 profile imageAUTHOR


    9 years ago from Rocky Mountains

    Thanks for that dissertation shelby. No problem. I know it was my choice to marry another race, and I am glad I did, although it has not been easy, as every marriage has problems. I did not push my children to marry a certain race (but I know some do). They have each chosen their own companion and are raising their children with the same freedom of choice.

  • profile image


    9 years ago

    They do know your manner of how to walk and talk that is what white people teach us which is a good thing but thats what we "All" know how to do, but other cultures help us all with life if u decide to go outside of yourself you are just making your on personal life journey fun. you have heartache no matter who your with but outside of your world just becomes a challenge which is what we all want but most are to afraid of what someone who is to scared to do that make you feel bad for your own journey. thats just jealousy and thats what white people tell(not teach) their kids which makes them afraid and curious at the same time which leads to insecurities and drug and disrespect toward you. So,those of us that Love ourself don't care for you(not personally) because you want your kids to be like you afraid of life. Wish them the best and teach them of how to pick a partner,spouse or friend as long as they respect themselves and other people and know it's Your and life, how ever it turns out it was Your Choice(es).Teach them it is not easy but it is your life.I want you to know i'm living mine and i want you only to be happy with someone it dosent matter what color!

    No disrespect intended..

  • elayne001 profile imageAUTHOR


    10 years ago from Rocky Mountains

    It can be a challenge at times but so far, so good.

  • reddog1027 profile image


    10 years ago from Atlanta, GA

    From multicultural mom to another. Raising a multicultural family is no easy task. But I can see by your children, it was a job well done.

  • elayne001 profile imageAUTHOR


    10 years ago from Rocky Mountains

    I appreciate your comments _cheryl_. When my husband who is darked skin is with his granddaughter who is blond and blue eyed, it can get funny too. Thanks for dropping in.

  • _cheryl_ profile image


    10 years ago from California

    It was nice reading this Elayne, I'm in an interracial marriage myself with 3 kids, though to be honest I never look at it in that way. It's amazing how great everything turns out when you just let love rule, isn't it? We do our best to teach our kids the true value of who a person is inside, and that nothing else really matters. Mine are 14, 7, and 3, as far as they're concerned everybody's different, bottom line. It's funny because my daughter thinks it's funny that some of her friends can't believe I'm her mom (she takes after her dad). We both laugh and find it entertaining. Thanks for sharing this! =)

  • elayne001 profile imageAUTHOR


    11 years ago from Rocky Mountains

    Thanks christalluna1124 for your comments. I agree with you. Aloha!

  • christalluna1124 profile image


    11 years ago from Dallas Texas

    Thanks for a great hub elaine. I am also interracially maried to my familys great dismay. It is hard to intergrate cultures but it can work out if you are both willing to compromise. And we make beautiful children.



  • elayne001 profile imageAUTHOR


    11 years ago from Rocky Mountains

    You made it worth it LianaK. ofa atu

  • LianaK profile image


    11 years ago

    Loved this hub. I know it wasn't always easy...but thanks for sticking to it :)

  • elayne001 profile imageAUTHOR


    11 years ago from Rocky Mountains

    Thanks so much James. Multi-cultural marriages can work with lots of work, patience and love. Sounds like most marriages doesn't it? Thanks for your comment.

  • James A Watkins profile image

    James A Watkins 

    11 years ago from Chicago

    This is a lovely Hub that I very much enjoyed reading. Thank you for sharing your story.


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