Bilingual bebés on board: 4 key traits of parents raising bilingual kids

Raising bilingual children is easier for some parents and harder for some others. In my case, for example, my husband and I are both native Spanish-speakers, so speaking Spanish to our kids all day long is not really an issue. But most parents I know are second or third generation Latinos, which means that although they may speak Spanish, it's not their native language. Regardless of your situation, the truth is that besides language proficiency, there are other key traits all of us raising bilingual kids need to do it successfully.  

The good thing is that as a parent, you probably possess all of them already.


The first one is determination. You need to be firm in your desire and need to raise bilingual children. Once you and your partner agree that you'll be raising bilingual children, you need to stay committed to your decision. If you don't, your goal will be very difficult to achieve. 

Patience comes next. All parents know that to succeed in parenting we need to arm ourselves with patience. Well, this is even more true for those of us raising bilingual children. While we may be super eager to declare our children are fully bilingual, the process takes a while and the journey is filled with ups and downs. So don't expect miracles, but be prepared to be blown away once your child does start speaking fluently in both languages!

Read more in ¿Qué más?: Bilingual bebés on board: The main reason I'm raising bilingual kids

While you wait for that to happen, be consistent in terms of the method you've chosen to and how much exposure they get to their second language. This is key to get them to speak two languages successfully. The idea is that speaking two languages becomes second nature to them because they're so used to it thanks to your consistency. 

With that consistency, however, you need to have some flexibility. In other words, you have to be willing to understand that things won't always work like you planned them. You might have to adjust your strategies or change the method you're using depending on your life's situation--which we all know can change at any given time. 

So stick to your guns, but be patient and flexible in the process. ¡Buena suerte!

Topics: raising bilingual kids  on parenting  latinos in america