Feeling down on this long bumpy road? Feeling like throwing the towel? Many bilingual families have faced this situation. But just before you throw the towel, here are a few reasons to hold on tight and keep going:
- You will never come to regret rearing your child bilingual, whilst you will definitely regret giving up.
- Once fully grown, your child will thank you for giving them the opportunity of becoming bilingual…even though right now they might seem quite ungrateful!
- Minority language relatives will be thankful for seeing their heritage passed down and being able to communicate with their grandchildren.
- Even though you might not just see it, you have already travelled a long way down the bilingual journey, and giving up would be wasting all the efforts already fed.
- Likelyhood is that a few years down the road, regretting your decision to throw the towel, you will have your child learn the minority language through formal teaching; and your bank account will not thank you for it!
- Language acquisition in a home environment in a smooth and daily routine is a lot more natural than putting your child through formal teaching at a later stage.
- You will miss out on the many magical bilingual moments that reward your numerous bilingual frustrations. And trust me, these magical moments do erase all the sweat and tears!
- You will have the pride of having achieved your goal on your own.
- Giving up will deny your child the opportunity to become bilingual and later on enjoy the associated career opportunities.
- You broaden your child’s mind in a way that you will probably find no better substitute for.
- You are passing on your love for languages and multiculturalism.
- You are doing it out of love for your child
- You are doing it because you truly think it is the best for them
- There is not just one strategy to raise bilingual. If yours does not work, try the others to find the one that works for you. (See Adapting the strategy to your circumstances)
- Read a lot about bilingual education: language experts, other bilingual parents, education professionals… It is through heavy reading on the topic that we can get ideas, inspiration and really determine on whether we have hit the end of the road.
- Keep a diary of your bilingual journey – This great tip comes from the great “Maximize Your Child’s Bilingual Ability” and it is truly valuable. At least write down all the magical moments you have experienced on the journey so as to remember them and read them again whenever feeling low. This might act as an incentive to keep going.
- Before giving up, seek support (see Bilingual education: getting the right support) – It is a a very challenging choice of education where you feel very lonely, so make sure you can get support from peers who understand your challenges and support you in times of need.
Did I miss out any other things to bear in mind before giving up? Please feel free to add them in the Comment section so as to support other parents reading this post who might need it!