Pin It
Tuesday, June 12th, 2012

My Children’s Identity (according to themselves)

By
Moroccan flags @ http://bit.ly/k1oteg" target="_blank">flickr.com

Over the weekend, I announced I was going to cook Moroccan couscous for the first time. Usually, this dish is my husband’s domain.

My kids seemed horrified. “But you’re not Moroccan,” My five-year-old informed me. “Only Baba can make that because he’s Moroccan.”

“What are you Yasmine?” My husband asked.

“I’m Moroccan.” And after a moment she added, “And German.” The German part was interesting since she knows she was born in Germany (but does not have an EU passport), and we talk about Germany frequently since her aunt and two uncles live there.

I tried to explain that even though I am not Moroccan, I can still cook couscous. “You don’t have to be Moroccan to cook food from Morocco.”

This troubled her so she corrected me. “No. Me, Lila and Baba are Moroccan. So only we can cook couscous.”

“Laila, what are you?” My husband asked our three-year-old.

“I’m Moroccan.”

I think it’s sweet that my daughters don’t realize they are American yet. Someone asked me why we don’t make more of an effort to explain to them they are half and half, as in correct their own assumptions about their identity. Growing up in the U.S., their American identity will no doubt come to overshadow any other identity as they get older.  There’s no real need to emphasize their Americanness as it’s a given because of where they are being raised. If we were in another country, it would be different. Plus, who are we to correct how they want to identify themselves? I smile every time I witness the pride they have in being Moroccan and hope they hold onto that forever.

© 2012, Stephanie Meade. All rights reserved.

More Great Stuff You'll Love:


Si­, Yes: Raising Bilingual Twins

Language acquisition in three-and-a-half year old, bilingual twins.

10 Things Not to Say to Parents of Multilingual Children

Have you been guilty of any of these?

An Islamic Perspective on Child-Rearing and Discipline

Does Islam's reputation for severity and harshness apply to how Muslims raise children?

9 Things You Should Never Say to Adoptive Parents

Have you made any of these mistakes?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Stephanie is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of InCultureParent. She has two Moroccan-American daughters (ages 5 and 6), whom she is raising, together with her husband, bilingual in Arabic and English at home, while also introducing Spanish. After many moves worldwide, she currently lives in Berkeley, California.

Leave us a comment!

1 Comment
  1. CommentsAnnabelle   |  Wednesday, 13 June 2012 at 9:10 am

    Cute.
    I wholeheartedly agree…. who are we to correct their own assumptions about identity (unless it is just very random maybe).?









Notify me of follow-up comments via e-mail.
Or leave your email address and click here to receive email notifications of new comments without leaving a comment yourself.

Get weekly updates right in your inbox so you don't miss out!



A Children's Book for Raising Global Citizens

Every life is a story. It’s easier to understand someone when you know their story.

Why I Travel 13 Hours Alone with My Kids Every Chance I Get

Travelling with children, while definitely more of a mission, contradicts the old saying that “life is about the journey, not the destination.”

A Diverse Book for Preschoolers in Celebration of Multicultural Children's Book Day

A book that honestly and simply celebrates the every day diversity that children experience.

Why My African Feminist Mother Gave Me the Identity of My Father's Tribe

She gave me an identity so different from her own.

2 Children’s Books about Jamaica

Explore Jamaica with your child.

Costa Rica with Kids: Two Weeks of Family Travel

Two weeks of Pura Vida in a country with so much to offer families.

Should I Worry about My Child's Accent in Her Foreign Language?

See why Dr. Gupta takes offense to this question and where children learn accents from

How to raise trilingual kids when exposure to Dad's language is limited

My kids only get 1-2 hours of the minority language per day-help!
Unfortunately, the school and community are no longer there. The farm is being sold and there are tentative plans for a new iteration to be set up in Costa Ric...
From How I Moved to Thailand with my Family on Less than $1000
HI! I love your website! Just read your review of books that teach about culture and food! I can't wait to try some of the recipes you've share...
From Armenian Recipe: Apricot Tart
Please, refrain from using "western /western society" for anglosaxon countries. Western can be Mexico and Spain as well, anything on the west side of the world is western ...
From The West’s Strange Relationship to Babies and Sleep
We've tried to make use of, but It doesn't works by any mean...
From African Parenting: The Sane Way to Raise Children
I'm back. Sorry, I stopped caring for this magazine for a while and forgot to discuss the meat of the matter. This article, as well as the linked article from 2011, fails to discuss cultural norms ...
From What Confused Me Most about Brits
Fascinating. I have been to Germany and met this guy who was soo rude! This article explains everything!! Since all Germans are so terribly rude it should come as no surprise that I should have met ...
From Are Germans Really Rude?
@ Josep. How could you possibly comment on how Germans treat people if you have never even been there? A three-day stay in Berlin and a one day stop-over in Frankfurt was enough for me to see the ut...
From Are Germans Really Rude?
I am trying to find a Sikh triangular Nishan Sahib flag and haven't found one. Do you know where I can find on...
From Vaisakhi Craft: Make a Flag
I have tried to buy a Sikh triagular Nishan Sahib flag and had no luck. Do you know where I can find on...
From Vaisakhi Craft: Make a Flag

More from Our Bloggers