Craig Melvin and wife Lindsay Czarniak have had to address some complicated parenting moments as parents to two biracial children. Delano, 7, and Sybil, 4, have raised challenges for the two parents who want to teach their kids about their backgrounds.
The Today host, along with Czarniak, was interviewed for a June Parents cover story and he talked to the outlet about being a father and parenting his two children after a year marked by racial injustice.
Craig Melvin Is Not ‘Naive’ About the Questions His Kids Will Have About Race as They Get Older.
Craig Melvin told Parents his kids “don’t have a lot of questions yet” following a year marked unrest by racial injustice. He admitted that he’s “not naive enough to think it’s going to stay that way forever.”
The dad described an incident between his two children that highlights them coming to terms with their race. According to Melvin, his son thought his little sister Delano was white.
“Just the other day, while Del was watching TV, he suddenly said, ‘Oh, Dad, I have black skin. I’m Black! And Sibby is white, just like Mom,'” he told the outlet.
Czarniak explained that she jumped into the conversation to unpack Delano’s loaded comment.
“I replied, ‘Actually, you’re both Black!’ But then I realized Del was just pointing out what he saw with his own eyes, which is that Sibby’s complexion is closer to mine,” she told Parents.
“The reality is that society is going to view them both as Black,” Craig Melvin added. “It’s complicated.”
Melvin dismissed the idea of raising “color-blind” kids as an impossibility.
“I mean, growing up, my mother went out of her way to make sure that we didn’t look at the color of someone’s skin first,” he says of his mother, Betty Jo Melvin.
“She wanted her kids to assimilate, and that helped me in my life. But I also learned that when you get out in the world, you realize that most people don’t have the same view.”
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Craig Melvin also shared what he’s learned after being a father through a pandemic. He urges others “not to sweat the small stuff. The washable marker really does come out of most things.”
He also learned that he and his wife “both need some ‘alone time’ to recharge. And we love our children, but we learned that we really like them too. They’re funny.”
The journalist also had advice for dads in this moment. “We’re all doing the very best we can, and most of the things we obsess about aren’t even the things our kids will remember.”
We will definitely be saving that nugget for later.
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