Raising bilingual kids is much easier if you do it this way

I've been in Miami since Monday promoting my brand new book, Bilingual is Betterand I've come to the realization that you really don't know what you have until you lose it. Let me try to explain what I mean by that. You see, I lived in Miami for almost 20 years until I moved to Denver six years ago when I was pregnant with my first child. Although the culture shock was tremendous when I first arrived in Colorado, with time, I got used to the much slower pace and the lack of rudeness so prevalent in Miami.

But coming back to Miami always reminds me how much different it really is in comparison to the rest of the United States. 

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Miami is unlike any other city I've ever visited. It's like a country of its own. And this is something you realize the minute you land here and you're immediately bombarded with Spanish--and lots of Spanglish--coming out of pretty much everyone's mouth. You don't even have to leave the airport to know that you're in Miami. From the store clerks to the waitresses and even government employees, everyone here speaks Spanish! 

Read more ¿Qué más?: It's been proven, being bilingual makes you smarter

So what does this have to do with me saying that you don't know what you have until you lose it? Well, now that I no longer live here and I'm raising two bilingual and bicultural children, I realize that living in Miami would make that much more easier than it is now that we live in Denver. 

While it's not like there are no Latinos in Denver, it's absolutely nothing at all like Miami. In fact, hearing someone speak Spanish in the suburbs where I live is so unusual that I usually turn around when I do. In Miami, it's almost the other way around. I mean, everyone speaks English, but it seems like everyone speaks Spanish too. And that's something I really miss now that I live so far away from it, especially because of my children. 

Image via wallyg/flickr

Topics: raising bilingual kids