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The Do’s and Don’ts of Raising Bilingual Kids


The Do’s and Don’ts of Raising Bilingual Kids

As parents raising bilingual kids, we have one of the toughest but most rewarding jobs in the world. Yes, it can be stressful at times, making sure our children get enough exposure to all of their languages. But, the benefits of bilingualism outweigh any of the difficulties we may face along the way. Here are 13 do’s and don’ts for parents raising bilingual kids:

DO speak your native language with your kids.

DON’T be afraid to teach your kids your second language, even if you don’t speak it perfectly.

Opol Method, One Person One Language   MLAH Minority Language At Home Language Strategy Bilingual Kids  raising-bilingual-kids-non-native-language

DO introduce new languages to your kids as early as possible.

DON’T think it is too late to introduce a new language later on.

Bilingual-babies-research-introduce-language-early  Introduce-parents-second-language-toddler   raising-bilingual-kids-best-time-window-of-opportunity


Do set realistic goals for your kids.

Don’t compare your bilingual child to children who only speak one language.

bilingual children and language development. Expert advice from a speech therapist   Child-language-development-nurture-encourage-help-   speech-language-development-milestones-bilingual-kids

Do be consistent with the language strategy you follow.

Don’t hesitate to change your approach if it isn’t working for your family.

How-to-raise-bilingual-child-bilingual kids-methods   change-community-language-move-abroad

Do correct your child if they say something incorrectly, or in the “wrong language”.

Don’t feel like you have to stop them every sentence, stopping the flow of conversation.

Mistakes Parents Make Raising Bilingual Children

Do take advantage of media and technology to help your kids get more exposure to the minority language.

Don’t think that TV or media alone will teach your child a language.

using screen time advantage bilingual children kids

10 things you need to raise a bilingual child

Do read to your kids every day, especially in the minority language.

Don’t stop reading to them once they can read themselves.




Do buy resources and materials that can help improve their language skills.

Don’t underestimate the power of conversation for bilingual kids.

teach-kids-language-resources-bilingual-kids  power conversation in language development young children

Do your research on Bilingual Parenting and ask advice when you feel you need it.

Don’t listen to the myths and misconceptions about raising bilingual kids.


Do travel with your children to immerse them in their minority language.

Don’t think you can’t teach kids about the world from home.



Do try to establish the minority language with your children if possible.

Don’t panic if they have a mind of their own and want to speak the majority language together, it will more than likely be the case.



Do make learning a language as fun as possible.

Don’t push your child if you think they are stressed out, they may refuse to speak in any language.



Do seek outside support if you need it.

Don’t think you are a failure if your child refuses to speak your language

Why Your Child Won't Speak Your Language - Tips to Encourage Them

These are some of my do’s and don’ts of raising bilingual kids, and some helpful articles that go into more detail on each topic. I hope they can help you on your bilingual journey.

Are you raising a bilingual child? Take a look at our Multilingual Families Series, or our Language ResourcesSubscribe for related articles. Follow Bilingual KidSpot on Facebook and join our online community and support group.





  1. Kinga

    We were already raising our kids bilingual (English and Polish) ad when we decided to go trilingual, we heard A LOT of objection (that it will “impair their speech”, “confuse them” etc). But after only ONE YEAR of Chinese kindergarten, look what happened: So all I can say is don’t be discouraged, persevere, and believe in your child 🙂

  2. This was such an excellent summary that applies to numerous languages!! Each of the points are so true. I think my favorite two are “Do read to your kids every day, especially in the minority language.” and “Don’t push your child if you think they are stressed out, they may refuse to speak in any language.” It’s so important to read but also have balance!! I am excited to share this helpful post on my Facebook page!

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