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.
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Mayken: Holidays! Just the 3 of us, in ML country this year, but I'm planning for a lot of ml time, without any family to visit and friends to meet (our program when we're in ml country).
Jul 29, 2017 5:02:56 GMT 9
Amy: Caught my eldest bragging to her cousin she could speak ml2 and asked him in ml2 if they could continue playing in this language....could it be my daughter is slowly accepting the fact she's bilingual and happy to be so...??
Jul 31, 2017 5:07:41 GMT 9
Mayken: Not all fun after all - we were at a castle today with an amazing 3h treasure hunt, but it was all in ML. My daughter did lots of ML reading (clues), but no chance of slipping ml in.
Aug 1, 2017 4:13:44 GMT 9
Mayken: Welcome back, Adam! We kept the zoo running while you were away and even swept up the monkey droppings!
Aug 2, 2017 18:26:12 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Well done, Mayken! Many thanks! (I was afraid I would be overwhelmed by the monkey droppings.)
Aug 3, 2017 6:18:08 GMT 9
Amy: My turn to disappear for a few weeks! Off to ml1 country with very high expectations as to the benefits of ml1 family bonding and ml1 exposure for my 2 girls! Have a lovely month of August everybody ! xxx
Aug 6, 2017 4:58:35 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Amy, have a really fun and fruitful time!
Aug 6, 2017 6:30:06 GMT 9
Nellie: Welcome back Adam and have a great time Amy!
Aug 9, 2017 5:37:45 GMT 9
Ahmet: Hey Adam! Thank you very much for writing such a nice book. I've read it , took lots and lots of notes. It's full of precious information about raising a bilingual kid. It helped me a lot and still keeps me on my way. goo.gl/photos/oPyfKffApeWPB9eU
Aug 11, 2017 7:34:44 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Ahmet, I loved seeing this photo of my book! Thanks so much! Would you mind if I shared it? And I'd be really grateful if you would leave a review at Amazon or elsewhere online.
Aug 11, 2017 8:54:39 GMT 9
Ahmet: Hi Adam, of course you may share the photo. By the way I already left a review at Goodreads and Amazon and I will continue to share info about your book.
Aug 13, 2017 17:34:53 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Ahmet, thanks a lot for your support!
Aug 13, 2017 18:14:01 GMT 9