Is it possible to bring up a child speaking a language that is non-native to either parent?
The global population is becoming increasingly mobile, and it’s not unusual for a family to consist of parents speaking two languages, sometimes even living in a country where a third language is spoken. Sometimes it might even be the wish for a child to learn a third language, that the parents feel will be beneficial to their development and future career.
Let’s take an example – one parent is from Germany, the other parent from Venezuela. They meet and fall in love in Paris, but don’t speak each other’s language, so talk to each other in English, even though neither of them are native speakers. What language should they speak to their child? Or consider the case of a couple from Slovenia. Both are Slovenian, the native language of both is Slovenian, but one speaks English to a very high standard. They decide to bring up their child speaking English.
I spoke to Millie Slavidou, Jump! writer, linguist and mother of bilingual children to find out what she thinks about bringing up a child in a non-native language.
Like all parents, I sometimes worry about my children when they are out of sight. Did they look both ways before crossing the road? Who are they talking to online? Are they really coming straight home from school?
Some parents have worries that go far beyond that, because the dangers their children face are seemingly benign … and yet they are everywhere. We talked with affected parents, and asked them what the main things are that they, as parents of kids with allergies, wish you knew.
In the past years, I’ve become aware of a growing trend, an ever increasing number of young mums are becoming entrepreneurs. Beyond the yummymummy mumpreneur stereotype (two words that make me want to spit, by the way, but that’s a topic for a later post!), there are thousands of women who are taking the scary step into self-employment.
For some it is due to the cost of childcare, as they can schedule their work around the sleeping and playing patterns of their children. For other mothers, the time out after the birth gives them an opportunity to re-evaluate their life and career path, and to take a different route. We spoke to Nisha Patel, co-founder of Natural Health Star, a new online health store, who has taken that first step.
Here’s a question from our Facebook group recently,
I’m really looking forward to the schools breaking up for summer next week. I love the holidays, but always struggle with lunch ideas for the six of us. I generally try to keep the food budget down (so we have more to spend on holidays and trips)… Does anyone have any interesting suggestions please?
Did our group have suggestions? You’d better believe it. They had loads, and to preserve all the great ideas for posterity, we are posting them here!
In times of limited health care budgets, it can be frustrating for parents and children, when therapy sessions are few and far between. Emily has some great tips on getting the most out of therapy for children.
‘I’m so cross. I had a speech & language session with our local community speech & language therapist and she said she couldn’t see us more than every six weeks! How on earth is my son going to be able to progress at that rate?? I mean, seriously. He’s three and can’t talk yet. Surely they can see he needs some serious intervention? Bloody funding issues but I think they actually just don’t care. I’m furious about it.’
I’ve heard this all too often – about Speech & Language, Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy…any kind of therapy for children. Yes there may be funding issues, and the frequency of appointments might well be less than the therapist would ideally be recommending, but every six weeks can be enough to make the difference.
“If you don’t eat your meat, you won’t get any pudding”, might have worked for Pink Floyd, but if your child is a fussy eater, you’ll know [stubborn face] when you see it!