If there is one thing being a parent teaches you, it is that you can do more than you ever imagined. You can go on less sleep, remember more details and be more patient than you had dreamed possible. And, if you are raising a bilingual or multilingual child, you do it all thinking continuously about language. You are indeed a super hero! At least in the eyes of that toddler watching you get ready for work.
Tap into these superhero qualities as you fight monolingualism, one small person at a time!
Speed – Raising bilingual kids, you have to think fast. You have to take advantage of the present and act quickly to make the most of teachable moments.
(X-ray) Vision – To others it looks like a comic book, a family outing or a dog, but with your super hero vision you can see the potential to expose your child to the minority language and engage her in conversation.
Invisibility – She won’t always see you do it, but as you raise your child with two languages you will support her in hundreds of ways. You will provide opportunities for her to speak the language, smooth the way when she is overwhelmed, and endlessly advocate for her language development from behind the scenes.
Resourcefulness – You can turn anything into a language learning opportunity! Your resourcefulness will shine as you work with the materials you have available and the situation at hand. Rarely is a language learning situation perfect, but you know how to make the most of the opportunities that arise.
Creativity – Your creativity is key as you continue to find new ways to engage your child in the minority language.
Sense of adventure – Your adventurous nature will be an essential part of your child’s success as you undertake everything from playgroups, to hosting exchange students, to world travel – all for the sake of bilingualism.
Endurance – Learning a language is a long and complicated process. Your determination and perseverance ensure that your child will continue to learn, acquiring the skills to make her truly bilingual.
Strength – Raising a bilingual child requires strength. You need to be strong to deal with people who do not understand what you are doing and to advocate for your child in any number of situations. Finally, you will need superhero strength because, when all is said and done, bilingualism is your child’s journey. It takes a strong parent to step back when the time is right and let a young adult make her own decisions about language and life.