Non-native parents: 15 reasons why you should take pride in rearing your child bilingual

Over the last few weeks, I have come across several comments of non-native parents feeling less worthy for teaching a language that is not theirs. This post goes to you brave bilingual parents! Bilingual education is a very long and bumpy road. Look at how much you have achieved so far, and always feel proud of your endeavours because:

  1. It is difficult, even for native bilingual parents (yes, yes, they struggle too!) – So give yourself a pat on the back for it!
  2. It takes determination and perseverance to rear a child bilingual.
  3. It takes courage to commit yourself to educate and communicate with your child in a non-native language.
  4. Your minority language (ml) might not be as perfect as a native’s but it is still worth passing on – even with some flaws.
  5. You are giving your child an amazing gift: speaking another language.
  6. You are broadening your child’s horizon.
  7. If your country’s education system is not effective in fostering bilingualism, you are giving your child an opportunity they would not otherwise have had.
  8. You are giving your child a head start in life.
  9. You improve your ml skills with every word you utter on a daily basis.
  10. Even if you learn along with your child, you are setting them a positive example.
  11. If you speak the ml to help to help your ml partner, you are supporting your other half on a very challenging journey.
  12. If you speak the ml to help your ml partner, you are fostering your child’s bilingual identity.
  13. If you speak the ml to help your ml partner, you are fostering your child’s bonding with his ml family.
  14. You are doing it to give what you believe to be the best for your child.
  15. You are putting yourself through all this out of love for your child.

Remember that if you take pride in it, your child will feel it and will hence be more inclined to use the ml (I speak from first-hand experience here!).

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