Craig Melvin opens up about the challenges of raising biracial kids Delano, 7, and Sybil, 4, in the June cover story for Parents

By Georgia Slater
May 04, 2021 10:47 AM
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Craig Melvin
Credit: Mei Tao for PARENTS

Craig Melvin and wife Lindsay Czarniak have had to tackle some complicated parenting moments as the mom and dad to two biracial children.

The Today co-anchor, 41, opens up in the June cover story for Parents about his experience raising son Delano, 7, and daughter, Sybil, 4, with Czarniak and the challenges that come with teaching his kids about their background.

While Melvin says his kids "don't have a lot of questions yet" following a year marked by racial injustice, he says he's "not naive enough to think it's going to stay that way forever."

The father of two went on to recall a complex moment in his house when Delano thought his younger sister was white.

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Craig Melvin
Credit: Mei Tao for PARENTS

"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 shares.

Czarniak, 43, who is no stranger to having difficult conversations about race, says she jumped into the conversation to unpack Delano's 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 says.

Adds Melvin, "The reality is that society is going to view them both as Black. It's complicated."

Melvin also discusses the notion of trying to raise "color-blind" kids, sharing that he believes it's impossible.

RELATED VIDEO: Lindsay Czarniak & Craig Melvin on Dealing With Mommy Guilt & Maternity/Paternity Leave

"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."

Back in June, Czarniak took the time to learn about her husband's roots by sitting down with Melvin's mother for an honest conversation about race.

Czarniak shared her three-part video series on Instagram, in which she spoke with her mother-in-law about "uncomfortable" topics such as growing up in South Carolina in the 1960s, raising black sons and what it was like to learn that her son was dating a white woman.

At the time, Melvin said he was "very proud" of the conversation his mother had with his wife and urged everyone to listen in to the full series.