Garanimals Blog

March 18th, 2014 at 5:01 am

4 Tips for Parents of Future Bilingual Kids

4023143488_c039b5d2e8I spend a lot of time talking about the subject of raising bilingual kids, but mostly to parents who are already in the middle of the process. But what about those who are thinking about raising bilingual children once they have them?

Here’s some advice for them:

1. It doesn’t “just happen.” People like to say that children are like little sponges who absorb everything around them. While I think that’s true, it doesn’t mean that you don’t have to make any efforts to raise a bilingual child. Besides the commitment to make that happen, you have to make a concerted effort to expose your child to as much Spanish as possible on a regular basis. In other words, it’s not like you’re going to sit them in front of the television to watch “Dora the Explorer” and expect them to become bilingual.

2. It’s not always going to be easy. Along the same lines, it’s important for you to know that while this won’t be the case all the time, there will be periods that are more difficult than others. Some of this difficulties have to do with time, your support system in terms of who can help you expose your child to Spanish and also just pure rebellion on the part of your child which will happen at some point or another when raising a bilingual child.

3. It’s going to be funny. Raising a bilingual child with more than can one language can also be a lot of fun. And it can be pretty funny too. Some of these episodes will happen when your children come up with funny words or phrases that mix both languages. Some people think this has to do with the child being confused because he speaks two languages, but it’s really just their way of figuring out both his languages.

4. It’s always going to be totally worth it. In the end, there is absolutely no denying that teaching your child two languages will be totally worth it. The benefits of bilingualism have been proven over and over again both academically and culturally. It is a gift that your kids will carry with them for ever and one that they will surely thank you for in the future.

Photo Credit: Penumbra

Roxana A. Soto is the co-founder of SpanglishBaby, the go-to site for parents raising bilingual and bicultural children. She’s the co-author of her first book, based on her blog. Roxana is also a staff writer for MamásLatinas.

Pin It

Post a Comment