My 13.5 month son had a doctor check-up this morning. When our nurse practitioner asked about his language development, I explained quite eagerly that he was saying several words or parts of words in our ml because I speak to him only in the ml (as a non-native Spanish speaker). The nurse practitioner responded that I should speak to my son in ML and ml. I just smiled and we changed the subject, but I felt dumbstruck by this unsolicited advice from a medical professional on the language use with my son. What she said seemed completely against the grain of what I've read in the outstanding book "Maximizing Your Child's Bilingual Ability" and what I've striven for for months bringing as much of the ml into our lives as possible. Has anyone had advice like this from a medical professional? Do you have a little encouragement to offer?
Brace yourself, as a bilingual parent you'll get some more of this!
I have been repeatedly told by my daughter's school-visiting doctor that I should stop talking to her in ml2 (because I'm a non-native). I stuck to my guns, politely but firmly refusing to hear about it. And the bottom line was that I was right, a speech therapist confirmed the "speech problem" my daughter was supposed to have according to that silly doctor was in fact non-existent, it's simply that my daughter is young and needs time.
Don't let yourself be intimidated by other people pressing their ideas on you, even if they think they are better qualified. Stick to what feels right to you as a Mum and as a bilingual.
If you think about it, it is not much different from when you are the parent of a newborn and everyone tells you how you should do such and such a thing. At the end of the day: you know best. These unsolicited pieces of advice should recede as your child's communication skills expand (around 3). I experienced that first-hand on two occasions from relatives, the minute my daughter turned up to ask me something in ml2, one person stayed gobsmacked and the other almost fell off his chair! Lol
***"Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars" - Oscar Wilde***
Taysha, as I mentioned in my message to you, specialists in one field aren't generally specialists in another, and I suggest simply ignoring any comments from people who have no experience or expertise in raising bilingual children. At the same time, I think even comments that come from more reliable sources should be carefully appraised, particularly when advice is offered without a sincere attempt to understand the fuller circumstances of your specific situation.
To me, both are vital for offering effective advice: personal experience plus keen understanding of the circumstances in question. After all, not everything that's valid for one person's experience is necessarily valid for another's--and I think this is often very true for bilingual and multilingual families, since, though we do share some fundamental challenges, our circumstances are naturally quite different.
When the people we encounter--no matter who they are--lack experience in this area and, moreover, make no real attempt to grasp our circumstances, their "helpful advice," while I know it can be unnerving, should be shrugged off and our focus must remain on what's truly important: our own best efforts, day by day. And, in time, when the proof is in the pudding--when our children's bilingual ability has grown active--we'll ultimately feel deep satisfaction over the fact that we persevered past all hurdles and doubts and have realized the success we long sought. In the end, you see, I think such instances of unsolicited advice are actually little "tests" of our own desire and faith.
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