Italian mamma in UK Aug 15, 2019 16:57:17 GMT 9 via mobile
Post by Eli R on Aug 15, 2019 16:57:17 GMT 9
Hi Adam, hi everyone, my name is Eli and I am an Italian mum living in the UK. My husband is British and we have two young kids, a boy aged 2 1/2 and a girl aged 1.
My family doesn’t speak any English and since having my kids I have discovered how important my roots are for me so my hope for bilingualism is quite high. I have read Adam’s book and a bunch of others and I thought I was doing quite well. I reduced my working days to 3 so I can spend two full days with them, and even in the days I work I always read to them for about half an hour in Italian and we have facetime calls with grandparents every morning. However my little boy is finally starting to speak in sentences and most of them are in English while when he speaks with me he struggles and only tells me things in a word or two. I speak to them 100% in Italian so when he talks to me in English I tell him that mummy won’t understand, sometimes he says the thing he was trying to communicate but in fewer words or sometimes he doesn’t say anything anymore or sometimes says something different much simpler.
We visit and we have visits from Italy quite frequently but it seems it is not making quite an impact as before, though of course it doesn’t help as at nursery and when my husband is home or we have playdates...English becomes dominant.
I feel the issue is that his beloved daddy understands Italian but speaks little so in the evenings when he is home early or during the weekends, his English communication dominates. I wonder if I should start speaking in Italian when talking to him and the kids are around to make a bigger difference but I also feel our family communication and my marriage will suffer for this? I do speak with my kids in Italian but of course I am not sure for how much longer my little boy will believe that mummy cannot understand him. We also live in the countryside so we have only an Italian friend and she doesn’t have/want kids.
Thanks so much for your help, I feel quite discouraged. I know they are very young but I feel if he doesn’t speak more now before he goes to school, how will he do that after? Italian is already falling behind very quickly...and of course this will affect my daughter even more.