Written by Rorri Geller-Mohamed, LCSW
July 27, 2019
The first time I ever had the feeling of being different because I was part of a multiracial family was in high school. My brother who is brown and Mexican was adopted into my white and Jewish family when we were both teenagers through foster care to the adoption process. The difference I felt when I attended my almost all-white school with only a handful of students of color was related to this new racial awareness that I developed. (Although it’s something that I should have learned growing up, I didn’t.) My brother remained at the school that he had always been attending so no one would have known anything changed in my life. But yet I felt so different than the other kids that I was sitting next to in school.
I remember feeling that other kids didn’t see the world the way I was seeing it now. I felt that friends that I used to be close with could no longer relate to what was going on in my life. It became clear quickly that my brother was being treated differently than I was in our very white community in the suburbs of NYC. Since we were close in age, the contrast between the ways we were treated was clear. While both my brother and I drove, he would be stopped by the police a lot and I was never stopped. He loved to go walk around the mall and window shop but would be treated very differently in stores than I was. When he would occasionally smoke marijuana, I would fear that he would be arrested despite plenty of white kids my age smoking and nothing happening to them. I felt a crazy amount of anxiety that something would happen to him at any moment.
If you are looking for more support, want to connect with other moms working to overcome the same challenges you are experiencing, and want to strengthen your skills to navigate race and racism with your children and family, I would love to have you join our Parent Coaching Program.
It’s a 10-week program for busy parents where you will learn our unique step by step framework so that you can feel more confident, connected, and empowered to guide your child and change your community. It also includes interviews from adults that grew up in multiracial families.
THRIVE Parent Coaching Program
If you are interested and want to hear more about it, we can schedule a time to talk and see if this program is a good fit for you and your unique family situation.
We worry about saying the wrong thing which often keeps us silent, I’ve had the opportunity to speak to some white moms about issues of race and racism. Here’s what I took away from these conversations…
In family therapy, we are often working on how to resolve conflict, strengthen family relationships, and improve communication
It can be frustrating and hard when white people just don’t get it. How often this season have you heard white people in your life say you were being too “sensitive” or take things too “seriously” for?