I think that overemphasizing the fact that they came from China, taking them to Chinese classes for the purpose of learning about ‘their own culture’ is a disservice to them and to because it undermines your parent-child relationship with them and will ultimately cause bad identity issues as time passes.
On the other hand, there is nothing inherently bad about learning Chinese, in fact in this day and age, the fact that your daughters are learning Chinese from a young age will most likely benefit them in the long run.
Well which is it? Beneficial or a disservice?
How much you wanna bet this guy knows nothing about adoption? Or race? Or being non-white in America?
What is it with John Q. Public and others who feel the need to use scare tactics by saying that teaching their transnationally adopted children about their culture will "undermine the parent-child relationship"?
Identity issues are a normal part of life. We can look at Erik Erikson’s developmental stages and see that adolescence is a time when most human beings go through some kind of identity "crisis." And this is an important and integral part of growth. "Growing pains" means many things. We may physically experience them in our joints and limbs when we encounter a big growth spurt. We often learn a lot about who we are and what we are capable when we encounter crisis or hardships of some kind.
I think that we are living in a time of parental hypervigilance and hypersensitivity to the dangers our children are going to face in their lives. But we just can not protect them from everything – nor should we. We can’t be running after them with mattresses in order to prevent them from experiencing any pain if they fall. Some day our kids are going to experience pain. What we need to be doing is allowing them to experience painful things and be there for them to support them and teach them about how to handle adversity.
Transracial adoptees will likely face identity crisis at some point in their life, if not at several different points. Frankly, I think adoptive parents should expect it to happen and be prepared for it to show up at different times in their kids’ lives – adolescence especially but also when they leave the home, get married, and if they have children.
When I read research studies that show that transracial adoptees have "positive adjustment outcomes" or do not have "identity issues regarding racial identity" I am immediately suspect. I think it is NOT "normal" for transracial adoptees to come through their childhood and adolescence completely unscathed from feeling like an "outsider within." That is not to say that they must be screwed up or have psychological problems – but I just don’t believe it’s "normal" to grow up, regardless of adoptive status, without any identity growing pains.
Adoptive parents who adopt transracially should expect that their child will have some "growing pains" regarding racial and adoptive identity. Growing up without growing pains suggests – to me – stunted growth.