Bilingual Parenting Home Life

Raising Bilingual Children: 5 Tips To Keep Your Little Ones Interested

HIPPY-USAAs a bilingual parent, I find that teaching my toddler a second language is more challenging than I had initially thought. More so when Mia makes new friends that only speak one language. No – don’t get me wrong. This certainly does not mean I only want my little one around kids that speak more than one language nor that our way is the best way. Our bilingual parenting journey just seems to get harder and harder as Mia gets older and begins asking more questions. “Mami, why don’t they speak Spanish too? Is it only for you and papi? Is English más bonito que Español?” She’s already starting to realize that most people she comes in contact with (other than family and close friends) don’t actually speak Spanish. Rather than letting her think one language is better than the other, I made it a point to say “los dos son hermosos y lo genial es que tú, mi vida, sabes hablar los dos, ¿no?” In other words, “they are both beautiful and how cool is it that you, my love, know how to speak both, right?” And to that she answers “¡claro que sí mamá!”

Now that she’s a thriving, ultra energetic threenager (three going on thirteen), I have found a handful of things that have helped us stay on track with teaching Mia a minority language at home all while keeping her interested in it. Let me just say, these five things have been beyond helpful.

Library Programs (Free of Charge)

For some, this might be something you’re already doing as most major cities have numerous language programs available in their local libraries. For others more so that live in smaller towns or in the suburbs (as in our case), it can be challenging to find second language programs; however, I  can  assure you there are programs out there. All you need to do is start calling your local libraries or check out your City website for language programs. Perhaps your city doesn’t offer them but your neighboring city might. Make it a day trip if it’s a bit out of your way. 😉

We found our neighboring city offers a Monday morning story time called “La Hora del Cuento Bilingüe.” It’s so awesome to see all the kids sitting, listening to the library staff reading them books in both Spanish and English. But the best part, hands down, is watching the kids interact and answer questions in both languages. Check out our 15 sec library video on our Instagram account.

Home Visitor Programs (Free of Charge)

Our little one is currently in her first year of the home visitor HIPPY USA program.

Per HIPPY USA, “Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) is an evidenced-based program that works with families in the home to support parents in their critical role as their child’s first and most important teacher. HIPPY strengthens communities and families by empowering parents to actively prepare their children for success in school. Parents are provided with a set of carefully developed curriculum, books and materials designed to strengthen their children’s cognitive skills, early literacy skills, social/emotional and physical development. Home visits are the key to the HIPPY program, but the relationships that are formed during these times are supported through group meetings. Group meetings and home visits work together to balance the learning experiences for the parent and child.”

We have found this program to be invaluable for our family in so many ways as it is offered in either English or Spanish. We chose Spanish as we’re confident Mia will pick up the English language 100% in grammar school.

If you’d like to see if this program is offered in your city click here.

HIPPY-USA

HIPPY-USA

Television

I know what you’re thinking. T.V., Really? Well let me share with you that the audio options on your Television sets are pretty awesome. If our little one wants to watch T.V., 9 times out of 10 it will always be in Spanish. And – so far it has really worked for us in keeping the minority language present in our home. Watching Disney Junior or any Disney movie for that matter in Spanish is tons of fun! It also keeps our vocabulary growing and our little one is way more interested if Princess Ariel also speaks Español. She thinks it’s so cool.

So how do I change the audio language on my Television? Super easy!

On Verizon Fios

  1. Make sure your Television and Fios are ON.
  2. Select Options.
  3. Select Audio Language.
  4. Choose either English Preferred or Spanish Preferred.

Fios-Remote-Language-Options-Audio

On Netflix (Using iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch)

  1. Once you start your T.V. show/ movie click on the Bar on the bottom of the screen (see step by step illustrations below)
  2. Select Dialogue Button on top left corner
  3. Select your preferred Audio
  4. Tap Done

Netflix-Audio-Preferrence-Language-Options

Netflix-Audio-Preference-Language-Options

By the way, Mia only knows this movie as Los Tres Mosqueteros. 🙂

Netflix-AUDIO-Options-Preference

Choose language then select DONE

For all other devices click here. If you have another cable provider, you can go directly onto their site and search for their audio language settings.

Music (Free of Charge)

Have you been on YouTube and searched under kids songs in another language? There’s a multitude of them. I play all of my childhood songs for Mia and she absolutely loves them as well. But don’t take my word for it…Here’s a glimpse! Be sure to click on the Watch on YouTube link.

Play Dates/Skype (Free of Charge)

If you’re near other parents that are also teaching their little ones a second language, set up a play date. Mia enjoys hanging out with other children that also speak Spanish. But what if no one near you speaks the second language you’re teaching your kids? No worries, we have you covered too! Simply schedule a Skype (or Facetime) session with your loved ones and speak only in that language. Your little ones can sing their favorite songs or even share what they did for the day.

Hope these tips help. Remember that consistency goes a long way. Keep speaking to your little ones in the minority language at home and they’ll surely grasp it no time. We can do this parents!

 

Cheers to bilingual parenting! — Gladys

 

    1 COMMENT

  • Audrey March 4, 2015 Reply

    Hola Gladys!

    Great post! Thanks for sharing honestly that raising a child in more than one language isn’t easy and that we parents will/do experience challenges. Your daughter is going through a naturally inquisitive stage and her questions are so thoughtful! Children are very aware of their surroundings. Your conversation at the beginning of the post reminds how important it is that bilingual children have some friends their age who do speak both languages, not so they can live in an exclusive bubble, but rather b/c eventually parents lose some of our influence and peers at school/church/neighborhood, etc., begin to have a greater influence. Keep up the great work! Thanks for being a positive and kind ambassador for bilingual parenting!

what do you think?

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • Hair Tip 💇🏻🙌🏼👇
.
.
Use essential oils to create your own hair serum. 😉
.
Nature’s Truth® oils which are 100% Pure Plant Based, Paraben Free and Gluten Free are my go-to. I mix a drop of their sweet almond and coconut oils together and place it midway to the ends of my hair. It gives my hair that extra shine and helps tame those pesky fly aways. .
.
At night, I add their lavender oil to their coconut oil base and use it as a skin serum. The lavender scent is so soothing and such a perfect way to unwind from my busy day with the little ones. Do you use essential oils? #ad @naturestruth #EmbraceEssentialOils #StimulateTheSenses #healthyhairnow
  • These delicious Skinny Watermelon Cucumber Mojitos will be on repeat over here well into winter. And thanks to @DrinkBai they're full of flavor with zero artificial sweeteners and fewer calories. We've left you the ingredient list below. ;)
.
.
Skinny Watermelon Cucumber Mojitos
- Bai Kula Watermelon
- Watermelon
- Cucumber
- Rum
- Mint leaves
- Lime
- Ice
- Mojito glasses
✨Tune in next week to see a video on how to make this delicious drink. #FlavorLifeDallas #BaiPartner #FlavorLife #mojito
  • Last Tuesday, Lexi and I attended a baby wearing wall crawl event hosted by my sweet mama friend  @xo.rachelpitzel and @lillebaby in Venice Beach. To say these baby carriers are the best is an understatement. .
.
I've had my fair share of baby carriers for both girls. From high end to ultra inexpensive but the @lillebaby carrier I now own is perhaps the most versatile one I've seem. And the best part is that I've had absolutely zero back and shoulder pain and Lexi loves being in it. Oh and let me not forget about their designs. They're super fun and chic. .
.
A big thank you to @xo.rachelpitzel and @lillebaby for having Lexi and I. We had a great time meeting all the awesome moms and sweet babes. Not to mention how effortless it was walking around town with my little one in tow. Be sure to check out all their well-made carriers and all their rad prints and color options. #ad #babywearingmama #babywear 📸 @khauschka
  • Our little nuggets absolutely love milk. But what kid doesn't right? And since every cup contains balanced nutrition and natural protein, I'm all for it. .
.
Interestingly enough, milk is one of the original farm-to-table foods. Typically arriving on grocery shelves in just two days (or 48 hours, on average) from many family-owned and operated dairy farms. And of the 47,000 dairy farms in the United States, 97 percent – small and large – are family owned. .
.
Learn more about milk by visiting either http://bit.ly/MilkF2G and/or YouTube.com/MilkLife. Be sure to follow @milklife for more content and delicious recipes. #ad #milklife"
  • Blog Post Alert!! 🚨🚨🚨 .
.
A couple years ago, our oldest, Mia, was turning 4 years old. We wanted to do something extra special but weren’t sure exactly what. .
.
So rather than throw her a big birthday party as per usual, we asked her if she wanted to go to Disneyland instead. She quickly replied, “yes but I want to go to the hotel too.” I’m not even kidding. She asked us that. I think it’s due to us taking her to the park since she was two years old and us always passing by the hotel while walking to and from our parking spot. .
.
To be honest, the convenience factor of it all actually sounded quite heavenly.😍
.
.

Well fast forward 2 yrs and we’re still doing the Disneyland Hotel stay and park visit for Mia’s birthday. It’s sorta become a tradition now. And today, we’re sharing our top 8 reasons why we recommend doing so for your kiddos birthdays as well. Link in bio. 😘#disneylandresort #travelingwithkids #dreambigprincess #disneymom #healthyhairnow
  • Stop your scroll! Traveling with kids just got easier. 😍✈️🚖
.
.
See that car seat on top of my kiddos suitcase? Yes, that's a car seat! I kid you not. @mifold is the most advanced, compact, and portable seat ever invented. 10x smaller than a regular booster seat and it’s just as safe. Perfect for carpooling, with grandparents, in taxis, in rental cars and so on.
.
.
Find all their cool colors at your local @buybuybaby store for only $39.99! #ad #Grabandgo #mifold #travelingwithkids
  • Behind the scenes. 😅😋📸
Now tell me, do you also bribe your little loves with food and yummy snacks? 🙈
.
.
Detrás de las escenas. 😅😋📸Ahora dime, ¿también subornas a tus amorcitos con comida y bocadillos?🙈
.
📸: lilyro_ ❤️
.
.
#ad #mamarazzi #anythingforthegram #elenaofavalor #healthyhairnow
  • 💫Savor life's joys! The real beauty of life is in each precious moment. 🙌🏼💕
.
💫¡Disfruta de las alegrías de la vida! La verdadera belleza de la vida está en cada momento precioso. 🙌🏼💕
.
.
Back to school, sports activities and working from home/ on the road with little ones has been kicking my 🍑.😆 But even with all the crazy busy schedules, I'm trying my absolute best to stop and really be present. To savor and store in my mind all the funny and sweet moments our kiddos create daily. .
.
And speaking of moments, any new funny things your kiddos are doing or saying lately? Lexi has become a bilingual taking & dancing machine. And can probably get a Masters in 'tiny' pinching.😆🙈Ouch! 📸: Lilyro_ 😍
👗: @windsorstore