Home Raising a Bilingual Child How To Deal with negativity when raising a bilingual family

How To Deal with negativity when raising a bilingual family

by Adrienne
How to deal with negativity bilingual family

Even though we live in a world whose population is more than half bilingual; parents wanting to raise bilingual children are often told not to. The comments we receive at times make us feel like they would be better off raising monolingual or children with one language. Perhaps we had an encounter where someone commented that we are confusing their child with too many languages. Or perhaps family members insisted that only one language be spoken for now and the other could be. Below you find a list of ways to deal with the negativity that you may receive.

Ways to deal with these naysayers 

Unsolicited happens no matter what

You are always going to get unsolicited advice that is just what happens when you become an adult. Just thank them for their advice and then move the conversation somewhere else.

Remind yourself of your why 

Think of your reasons and the benefits of raising bilingual children. Think about all the great things your children will accomplish when they are bilingual or multilingual.

Journal it out

When I feel frustrated or overwhelmed by something someone says, I found that it is best to journal or write it all out and then throw away the page.

Don’t feel let down in front of kids 

Don’t feel embarrassed, be proud of speaking your language. If you don’t speak the language to your kids that you want your kids to grow up speaking, how will they learn.

Connect with others

There are many facebook groups where you can connect with other bilingual parents around the world.

Here are a few that I’m a part of:

Multilingual Families // Multilingual Family Life // Multilingual Parenting // Homeschooling Multilingual Kids

RELATED POSTS //  Reflections on raising a Multilingual Family

Accents are beautiful

Remember accents are beautiful there is no reason to be ashamed of them. They signify that you are cultured.

Be you, do you

Do what you know is best, you don’t need to have someone else tell you what to do.

Know that you are capable to do it 

Most negative reactions are usually due to jealous or envy.

Inform yourself on raising bilingual children

Read books, connect with other parents as mentionned above, check out our resource page.

Half of the world is bilingual

No one has ever regretted learning an additional language as a child – many are those who regret they didn’t”

Rita Rosenbeck of Multilingual Parenting

Therefore, all these naysayers really don’t have anything to complain about. It’s these people who are truly missing out.

For more, check out this article by Rita Rosenbeck of Multilingual Parenting: 12 silly questions a bilingual could ask a monolingual

Conclusion

Most people have good intentions and are curious. Often these same people give unsolicited advice about raising bilingual children but it is because they have been misinformed or are just giving their point of view. By using the tips that I listed above and giving the naysayers some more information about your family and your plan to raising bilingual children, you will be on your way to encouraging others to do the same!

Tell us in the comments below a positive or negative comment that you have heard about raising bilingual children.

2 comments

Ute Limacher-Riebold July 26, 2020 - 6:02 pm

Thank you very much, Adrienne, for linking to my facebook group (Multilingual Families)! Raising bilingual/multilingual children is a great gift we give to our children. It surely doesn’t happen by magic: it requires not only commitment but also some strategies, and, like I usually tell parents: “we need a multilingual village to raise a multilingual child” (based on an African saying). Having people criticize or doubt what we do is what we have to expect like with everything. And we need to be prepared about how to respond. Thank you so much for pointing out that we shouldn’t feel down about it in front of our children. It is very important for us to keep calm and answer rationally. You are very right: most people who question this are worried about something. Grandparents worry that they won’t be able to connect with their grandchildren, or others might seem excluded or overwhelmed about what we ask them to do. It’s so important to make it clear from the beginning that we need help of others, that family and friends can have their roles in our children’s multilingual journey. – Thank you for writing these important posts, Adrienne!

Reply
Adrienne August 25, 2020 - 9:48 am

Thank you for your kind comment Ute!

Reply

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