How to Raise a Bilingual Child

Episode 17 | October 11, 2016

Over the past year, we’ve learned a ton about raising a bilingual child, including what we need to do as parents to try and keep up! This week Jennie shares her lessons and resources for raising a child bilingual and how to adjust everything from how you speak to your child to the cartoons you watch.

The first step is to commit to the journey. It’s going to be a long process with lots of highs and lows along the way. We’re still nervous of the day Jack can speak better than us! We know it’s coming. One great way we’ve found to cement this commitment is to tell others what you’re doing. You’ll be surprised by how much support you get and the great stories you’ll hear from people all over.

The next key step to success in raising your child bilingual is to surround yourself with others learning or that already know the language. Again we’ve been completely surprised at how many of our friends and family know Spanish or are learning that we didn’t know about. Look for Spanish play groups for kids as well as social groups with others learning Spanish.

A good way to start your child learning is to have your day care option be in Spanish. Depending on where you live you may have to search a bit but it will be worth it if you can find a daycare that uses solo Español or a nanny that does the same. We found our nanny on care.com by simply posting a job description and listing that we’re looking for someone that speaks Spanish. Always when looking to hire someone we recommend checking into their background and calling their references.

The third step in the journey is trying to speak Spanish as much as you can with your child. We set aside hours of the day with Jack that we only speak Spanish with him and each other. In general, we try to only speak Spanish with him but we’ve found that he responds well to hearing us talk to each other in Spanish so we try to set aside time for that also.

The last recommendation we have is to use Spanish books, podcasts, and TV shows for both you and your child. No matter how well you think you know the language we’ve found that there are always little things in the kid’s books we didn’t know. Below is a full list of books, podcasts, and Spanish shows we enjoy with our son Jack.

If you found this post helpful we’d love to keep the convo going online! Share your story on Facebook, Twitter or good ole email

¡Gracias por Leer! Jennie y Ben

TV, Books and Podcasts

Shows on Netflix

  • Bob Zoom en Español
  • Kazoops
  • El Principito
  • Fabuloso Vocabulario

Books series we like

  • Lil Libros
  • Eric Carl series
  • Sandra Boynton

Podcasts we love

  • Bilingual Avenue
    • Ep 36: Should I communicate with my child in a non-native language if I am not fluent?
      • Ep 130: 7 myths about bilingual individuals that may be holding you back!
  • Super Mommas
    • Ep 39: Keeping Traditions Alive in a Bicultural Home
    • Ep 49: Reading More Spanish with La Libreria Founders
    • Ep 56: Raising Bicultural Children

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