Reply with quote #1
I am proud mom of a 2.5 year old boy who is trilingual and understands a 4th language. He has always been tall for his age (people think he is either 3 or 4). I get lots of looks and remarks from parents who expect him to be speaking more. I always have to remind myself: - it takes longer for multilingual kids to speak at the same level as their monolingual peers - it takes longer for boys to communicate compared with girls - he looks like a big boy so people have more expectations He might be a bit behind now, but I see the gap closing rapidly. Keep up the good work multi-lingual parents of boys! Mona
Reply with quote #2
Hi, I totally agree with you. If your child is bigger people do expect more whether it be a boy or a girl. With the bi-lingualism I would have to agree from what I have seen with my peers childlren that the girls definitely grasp the language a lot quicker (mono or bilingual) but the boys catch up very quickly once they get to school. In my own experience of being a non-native french speaker teaching my 5.5 year old since 2 years of age to speak french, he took ages to get the two languages and I was hassled alot especially from my preschool. He is now in kingergarten at a bilingual school and has already received an award for his achievements in his french. The wonderful thing is now I can't stop him from talking and we have to tell him to be quiet all the time. He just switches from french to english without any problem - its truly wonderful. I know that there are valid points on the "non-native speaker" section about children missing out by you not speaking your "own" language, but every situation is different and I have not missed out emotionally with my child at all if anything it has given us both a stronger bonding as mother and child and he is an absolute delight.
Reply with quote #3
Our son, now 6 1/2, has flown back and forth between Amsterdam and Los Angeles (13 times) all of his life. He attends a Montessori school in both cities. Until he was about 3 1/2 we both spoke Netherlands with him (my wife is Dutch, I'm American) then I started speaking English to him most of the time. Yes, it takes patience parents, but now he is so smooth at switching languages, Dutch to my wife's family, English to mine. Hang in there; your child will get it and amaze you. He's learning Hebrew now and is picking up Spanish when he's in LA.
Reply with quote #4
Definitely! keep up the patience. We struggled a lot and often wondered if all the trouble was worth it but YES it is. I'm Dutch, my husband is Indonesian and doesn't understand Dutch. Our son (now almost 12) lived in Indonesia for the first 4 years and then in Holland for the next 4 before returning to Indonesia. He was also later to talk than other children, but once he started he couldn't stop and appeared to have picked up so many words. I spoke only Dutch with him when he was young and although he understood what I said, he always answered in Indonesian and apparently thought his mother had some sort of language disorder LOL. When he went to Holland it took some time to adjust from passive to active Dutch, and as a result he forgot his Indonesian. On return to Indonesia he was virtually monolingual in Dutch (at normal/advanced levels for his age) and he started on a semi-international school where the main language is English. Now, 3 years later, he is virtually trilingual in Dutch, English and Indonesian (enjoying learning Mandarin as well and craving to learn Spanish)- and he is currently sitting national exams in Indonesian!
Don't worry about comments from others, especially monolinguals, and keep up the patience and the faith that you're doing something great to help your son along!