Raising Bilingual Kids & Little Global Citizens

Bilingual Parenting

Raising Bilingual Kids, Do’s & Don’ts

The Do's & Don'ts Of Raising Bilingual Kids

Last Updated on May 8, 2024 by Bilingual Kidspot

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.

Raising Bilingual Kids

If you haven’t already check out the following sections of the website where we go more in depth into raising bilingual children. How to start, how to prepare yourself and your family, strategies you can follow, and what to expect in terms of your child’s language development skills along the way.

Here are 13 do’s and don’ts for parents raising bilingual kids:

1. What to teach

DO speak your native language with your kids if you can, this is by far the easiest way for kids to learn.
DON’T be afraid to teach your kids your second language, even if you don’t speak it perfectly, some is always better than none!

Read more about languages in these posts.

2. When to Start

DO introduce new languages to your kids as early as possible. From birth is best.
DON’T think it is too late to introduce a new language later on, they can still learn.

Read the following articles that are relevant to the age of your kids.

3. Language Goals

Do set realistic goals for your bilingual kids according to your family situation.
Don’t compare your bilingual child to children who only speak one language.

4. Making Changes

Do be consistent with the language strategy you follow.
Don’t hesitate to change your approach if it isn’t working for your family.

5. Making Corrections

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.

Read more about common mistakes parents make raising bilingual children.

6. Technology & Media

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, you do need human interaction.

Read more about what you need to raise bilingual children in these posts.

7. Reading

Do read to your kids every day, especially in the minority language.
Don’t stop reading to them once they can read themselves.

Read more about the importance of reading with your bilingual kids in these posts.

8. Resources

Do buy resources and materials that can help improve their language skills.
Don’t underestimate the power of conversation for bilingual kids. Talking is the best practice.

Read more about resources available for bilingual children around the world.

9. Research

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.

Read more about the myths and misconceptions in this post.

10. Travel

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. There are lots of resources and ways to learn if you cannot travel.

11. Priorities

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.

Read more about bilingual siblings and how you can boost kids language skills below.

12. Make it Fun

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.

Read more about how to make languages fun for kids in these posts.

13. Seek Support

Do seek outside support if you need it.
Don’t think you are a failure if your child refuses to speak your language

Read more about why your kids won’t speak your language, and also why any language learning is a benefit.

Raising Bilingual Children Do’s & Don’ts

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.

Do's and don'ts of raising bilingual kids

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