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.
Mayken: My 7-year-old, her ML dad and a ml family are going to the Christmas market at a ml school today - and I can't go with them! (Hope that ML dad's presence doesn't stop the kids from speaking ml together.)
Dec 2, 2017 22:12:04 GMT 9
Amy: I'm sure the language balance is heavily in favour of the ml. Don't you worry Mayken. And it's also good that your daughter sees that the ml exists beyond the Mummy sphere. It will give more weight to the ml to hear from another sphere.
Dec 2, 2017 22:51:42 GMT 9
Mayken: In the end, it was my daughter with ML dad and the other girl with ML mom (but who's fluent in ml). The other girl got tired of ml after a while but my girl chatted with people in ml and bought ml books and a snack, all in ml!
Dec 5, 2017 0:29:57 GMT 9
Amy: Not so bad after all then, Mayken
Dec 5, 2017 6:27:24 GMT 9
Mayken: Not bad at all, I just regret I wasn't there with them.
Dec 6, 2017 6:11:36 GMT 9
Amy: As the French have it Mayken: "ce n'est que partie remise!"
Dec 6, 2017 18:47:06 GMT 9
Mayken: My daughter wrote her letter to Santa in the ml this weekend, and we'll send it to Santa's address in the ml country, that way she'll get an ml letter back from him! Last item on her wishlist reads "The second Harry Potter book, and more books."
Dec 11, 2017 23:59:38 GMT 9
Adam Beck: More books is always good!
Dec 12, 2017 8:15:58 GMT 9
Adam Beck: For Christmas: The Most Beautiful Video You Might Ever See About a Bilingual Familybuff.ly/2nI2yrE
Dec 12, 2017 8:16:04 GMT 9