Challenges dealing with a bilingual kid

Bilingual kid. There are still so many confusions about raising them. My home environment is a bilingual environment, where my husband and myself are from two different origins. we had a lot of inhibitions and queries about raising up our kids. We had to extensively research and conclude with certain points. We were initially bothered about the way our child would cope up with the others. Alas, we found answers to all our queries by the basic research we carried out. In this article, I would be highlighting on those common myths about raising  a bilingual kid.  Talk about  ways in which you could raise them to avoid any kind of chaos.

As we are about to discuss, there are many reasons for a bilingual kid to have a kickstart early. They may be like the parents might speak two different languages.  They might be staying in a place where the kids are exposed to a different language other than their parents.

Each of the parents would love to communicate in their own language to their kid. This is a typical bilingual scenario within your doorstep. In the second case, wherein the child uses another language with her friends or to school or in her play are. This is typically a  bilingual environmental setting.

Bilingual kids do not master the art of becoming a linguist by just a thought away. Kids get exposed to the right condition and the right environment at home or school. They  eventually start becoming bilingual. But it is no magic.  Raising up a bilingual kid, the parent needs to make a certain extra effort when compared to a child which is exposed to a monolingual situation.

Myths about raising a bilingual kid

There are various myths about raising a bilingual kid. As a parent of a bilingual kid, I am certainly aware of the pressure we need to take from the society and from the family end in raising up a  bilingual kid. They say ‘your child has a speech delay as it is a bilingual kid’.   ‘Your child mixes up two languages at a time.’ ‘ Your child is losing the opportunity to speak as she is bilingual,’ etc.

  • Most of them believe that bilingual kids have often succumbed to confusion becomes major inhibitions for them to talk with each other. This is one of the most popular misconceptions. Certain parents are clear in their perspective of raising a bilingual kid. This kind of myth is generally spread by people around them or the society itself.
  • Kids till the age of 5-6 months do have a confusion about dealing with their language. But, eventually, they start identifying different languages.
  • A research paper expresses that the power of acquiring new language particularly the spoken dialect of any language is very much than the normal adults.
  • My child started picking up our- language a bit slowly when compared to others, however, it did not stop her from speaking both the languages. There is absolutely no speech delay, of course, there might be certain temporary glitches.This  did not stop her from speaking both the languages, I should say rather in a proud way.
  • Mixing up two different languages is no big sin, Of course, it a temporary phase wherein the child is still in a learning phase. Let’s just give them some time to imbibe in whatever they are  doing rather than pressurise him and get saddened for yourself.
  • We observe bilingual kids generally have one language influence more than the other. His influence in one language might be more during the initial phase.  He tends to use this influence in the second language with which he communicates. But this is just a temporary phase and child gradually overcomes this.Experts agree that mixing is temporary. Eventually, it goes away as a child’s vocabulary develops in both languages and he has more exposure to each one

General do’s and don’t s for raising a bilingual

1Planning is crucial in raising a bilingual kid:

There are certain goals you need to set in a bilingual family set up. The parents initially need to decide how are they going to work on the language improvement of their kid. They need to stick o with certain basic rules and set regulations. When things are planned and organised from the parents end, it becomes all the more easy for them to raise their bilingual kid. It becomes a cakewalk for the bilingual kid.

2Don’t give ear to demotivators:

As a parent of  a bilingual kid, you might end up getting numerous advice from people surrounding you. Thy might say that you are confusing your kid. They might say it is too much for the child to take. Do not give an ear to any of these demotivators. It is your child and you should be prepared to raise it in your own way. You should know to handle such situation in an effective manner. Do not get demotivated.

You really think that your bilingual kid needs some help? Take him to a child specialist who would be able to assist you in a better manner.

3Stick on to your plans when raising your bilingual kid:

Sometimes you find that you do not stick to your plans. Adhere strictly to the ground rules you have laid in bringing up your bilingual kid. There might be a common language between the parents.  But you need to remember that you need to stick to your own language when it comes to speaking with your kid. Else they would start catching up with the language which is used in the majority.

When you relish the fruit of making your kids speak in both the parents language, the pleasure is beyond said. Of course, it is going to take a lot of effort during the initial phase.  But when you consistently try and evolve your kid to be a  bilingual kid, I am sure your are going to feel absolutely proud of your achievement. Who would not want their child to be multi-linguistic? Enjoy the journey with your bilingual kid.

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