Wouldn't life be so much easier if children were as excited about languages as we are? I'm wondering if anyone else's children complain when you speak/interact in the ml. It gets me down when I hear them say "I wish we could watch it/read it in English." Or "I wish you wouldn't always talk in French." My children are older (ages 6-12), they know I am more fluent in the ML, I have never been 100% consistent in the ml. Yet I am amazed at how much they still understand in the ml. Do you have a way of staying upbeat and persistent when your budding linguist is dragging their feet?
Unfortunately I only have compassionate feelings to offer. I have the same problem with my 4 year old and have not found any useful way to handle these situations. In fact, she is being a bit defiant of late, which can really get to me as it ends up in arguments.
Whatever you do, kids will always criticise and complain. It is only once they become adults themselves that they realise it was a good thing. As a kid, my Mum put me up for ice-skating classes. I used to moan and protest as a right little devil every time I had to go, and made my poor Mum's life hell. Yet, once on the ice, there was simply no way you could get me off it. My daughter is just the same with her tennis classes. Well, it is just the same with the ml acquisition. My daughter tries to defy me, yet this morning without any prompting she was happily singing away her own made-up songs in ml2!
In any case, I keep going, like a machine. I don't listen to my disheartened feelings. I guess that for once my stubborn nature serves the purpose or perseverance!
Having been a trilingual kid myself, I am passionate about being trilingual as an individual and as a family (brings me back to happy times in my youth ) and this helps me in not simply reverting back to the comfort of the ML when my daughter tries to bring it back at home (we use combination of ml@h + OPOL).
My husband's unconditional support definitely helps me to keep right on track, I think that without it I could have given up.
Grit your teeth and keep your chin up, it is a long and bumpy road, and you will only get there by staying on course.
***"Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars" - Oscar Wilde***
Sometimes my daughter complains...but less so since she started at her French bilingual school. I think most kids do, as obviously they would rather do what is easier for them. As most people would! My son always says he doesn't want to do tennis, but once he is doing the tennis he loves it. Kids might complain now, but later in life they will be thanking us and probably teaching their kids the language (hopefully!!!). Keep up with it!
Melissa, I think my basic approach to children and complaints (about our bilingual journey or anything else, really) involves plodding playfulness. In other words, while I naturally feel some discouragement, if this resistance is about something that I feel is important to continue pursuing, I keep plodding onward. At the same time, though, I also reflect on what I'm doing and how I'm doing it, seeking ways I might strengthen the playfulness and appeal of our interactions or the activity in question. (Working with kids for such a long time has made me question my own actions first when a child expresses resistance. I put the onus on myself to turn that resistance into engagement.)
While it's true that I sometimes act more forcefully and make stricter demands, my much greater aim is to attract little flies through the use of sugar, avoiding the vinegar as much as possible. Toward this end, the most effective "method" is playfulness, which is why this theme is such a central part of my work with kids.
Perhaps this page of links, Creative Ideas, would offer a bit of fresh inspiration for your playful use of the minority language.
Adam Beck is the founder of Bilingual Monkeys and The Bilingual Zoo, and the author of the book "Maximize Your Child's Bilingual Ability", praised worldwide by parents and experts in the field. Available at Amazon amzn.to/22XKuCt, the global Amazon sites, and other booksellers.
Nellie: My daughter came home from school with her first "naughty word" in French (caca boudin)! I guess this means she is now officially integrated!
Sept 22, 2017 5:54:43 GMT 9
Nellie: Adam - will watch the video as soon as I can (living circumstances not permitting right now - we are still in temp accommodation and I can't turn on volume) - looking forward to it!
Sept 22, 2017 5:56:44 GMT 9
Mayken: Skyping with grandma last night had to be cancelled due to technological problems - I needed to talk my mom through a Skype update and her phone battery died. :-(
Sept 25, 2017 20:45:42 GMT 9
Joanna: sorry Mayken...this is sad but funny as I'm sure many skype Grandparents have the same woes !(mine..) For us this weekend: potty training has led to great quality time reading and chatting, and some pretty hilarious ml questions
Sept 26, 2017 6:20:44 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Mayken and Joanna, I can relate! My mother (Grandma) can't seem to get the sound on her computer working so when we Skype, we also have to use the telephone!
Sept 26, 2017 6:36:03 GMT 9
Mayken: Adam, and Joanna, it's good to know we're not alone in this!
Sept 27, 2017 2:46:28 GMT 9
Joanna: Planning a long Christmas minority language visit, so exciting!
Sept 30, 2017 14:46:01 GMT 9
Mayken: Yay! Skype is working again on my mom's tablet, meaning we can skype with ml grandma again!
Oct 2, 2017 23:12:24 GMT 9
Mayken: The other day my mom (monolingual ml) called while my daughter and I were out, so Daddy (monolingual ML) answered. My mom was amazed to find out he isn't monolingual ML any more after all, and praised his active ml ability.
Oct 3, 2017 23:28:39 GMT 9
Joanna: For each day my daughter is exposed to other people speaking English (here in France) I put a little star on the calendar...trying to fill it up!
Oct 8, 2017 3:52:17 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Nice motivating idea, Joanna! And Mayken, thanks for sharing your good news on two fronts!
Oct 9, 2017 7:11:50 GMT 9
Marisa: My daughter won't say number one in Spanish or English, but in German! She loves recognizing the number and saying it out loud... it sounds more like the word 'ice' in English, though, but it's 'eins.' Number 9, however, is 'nueve'. So funny!
Oct 11, 2017 10:33:45 GMT 9
Mayken: My dad's giving Adam's book to his Lithuanian friend's daughter, whose husband is sceptical about their little girl learning German.
Oct 14, 2017 21:10:20 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Mayken, thank you for sharing my book! I hope it can be helpful to them!
Oct 16, 2017 15:57:32 GMT 9
Marisa: Adam, another bilingual monkey is about to be born near me (one of my colleagues is giving birth tomorrow), so I also got her and her husband a copy of your book... this world needs more bilingual kids!
Oct 18, 2017 0:06:43 GMT 9