Supporting Transracial Parenting

I was thinking about the post I wrote “Good Hair = Good Parenting” before Christmas.

I’m glad the post started a conversation about the significance of well-kept hair and cultural realities in black communities, which was my intent. I do think that haircare is one way that parenting is judged, at a glance, in black communities, and I always try to make sure my relationship with my daughters is portrayed in the best way, for their benefit and mine, in black cultural contexts.

But I certainly didn’t want anyone to feel bad after reading the post, or to purport that one particular hairstyle on a kid’s head makes their parent better or worse at their job. I don’t think that good hair is the only way to be a good parent! The title was about the cultural reality that I accept, not my own opinion.

There is too much competition in the adoptive parent community, and I don’t want to support one-up-manship. I want to support my fellow moms and dads, as we all navigate the challenges and joys of transracial adoptive parenting.

The fact is, no one accidentally adopts. Anyone parenting through adoption has been very intentional and put a lot of work into becoming a parent. There is a lot of dedication, intent and passion in the adoptive parent community, but consequently, we can be way too judgemental about our peers.

So on the flip side, I’d love to hear about how you support, or are supported, in your adoptive parent community, to do hair.

I learned to cornrow from a lovely Ghanian lady I lived with for a couple of months in Ethiopia. Back in Canada, I’ve had a few friends bring their kids to my house for a similar haircare tutorial.

For my own inspiration, I scope out hair blogs, and google celebrities that my girls and I admire.

But my best haircare support is a little group that gets together a couple of times a year. We call it “Happy Hair Hour,” and we transracial adoptive moms get together with a few African moms and drink wine while chatting hair and all the associated topics of conversation. It’s pretty awesome, and totally supportive.

How do you support, or are supported, in your child’s haircare?

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