This is a post I wrote to mothers of multilingual children on my Instagram page a few years ago. A lot of people enjoyed the post and commented on it, so I decided to publish it here on my blog.
To The Mother Raising Multilingual Kids
I hear your frustrations when your child refuses to speak in your language
or how you want to raise your child to be bilingual but it just isn’t happening
or when you try to apply the tips of another multilingual family and they don’t work out
or when you’ve bought the toys, the games, the books in your target language and still your child refuses to speak one word
I understand you when you thought raising children in two or more languages was going to be easy
I see you crying in the bathroom because you know you are doing everything right and still your child won’t respond in your language
I understand when you say you want to give up and just raise a monolingual child
I hear you switching languages in the grocery store to get your kids to behave for a few minutes
I see you as you try to defend your multiple language strategies to both family members and strangers without success
I understand the struggles when raising a child in a language you are a non-native speaker of
or trying to teach your child your husband’s language because he isn’t around as often as you like
I see your stack of never been touched how to raise bilingual children books
I have been there and I am still there struggling with each one of the above issues.
But I also, see you as you celebrate the little wins of your child speaking in his target language to his grandparents or you for what seems like forever
I hear you giggle with your child when they invent a new word in two or more languages
I hear you reading your child’s favorite book in two languages
I see you making friends whether in your area or online with other moms raising multilingual kids and sharing experiences with each other.
I am thankful for the support of those I have met around the world. You have been very encouraging with all of your advice, tips, book suggestions and shoulder to cry-on especially in this past year. Thank you!
Please share this to a mother who you think may need to hear this.