Every year at about this time, it seems like us mamas start thinking about what we'd like to do differently in the coming year. At the top of my list for this new year, is making sure both of my children, Hudson and Crosby, learn to fluently communicate in Spanish.
Like many U.S. born Hispanics, my everyday language is English. I am fluent in Spanish, but I am highly self-conscious when I speak it and therefore I often feel awkward when speaking it to my kids. I had figured since both sets of grandparents speak to my children in español, and my husband (who speaks it much better than I do) does too, it would make up for my own linguistic shortcomings. Boy was I wrong!
Hudson, my 3-year-old, pretty much solely communicates in English with very little Spanish. For example, he'll say, "Grandma I want to comer (eat) please," and my mom will say, "Claro que si mi amor, ahora voy con tu comida" (of course my love; I'll be right over with your food). I'm sure he understands everything she's saying, but actually speaking Spanish fluently is not happening. From what I understand, and from what I hear from my other mommy amigas, the earlier you start with Spanish immersion, the better.
My husband and I made a decision to raise bilingual children and in 2015, we are determined to stay committed to that goal. I believe that the Spanish language is an integral part of the Latino culture, and beyond keeping cultural ties, we also recognize the long-term benefits it will offer Hudson and Crosby—especially as the Hispanic population continues to grow in the United States.
My Latina mommy plan of attack is:
- Start looking for Hudson's favorite books and music in Spanish. Buenas Noche, Luna will be in rotation every night!
- Find out which of his favorite cartoons are offered in Spanish.
- Try out some new learning games in Spanish.
- Sign him up for a Spanish class.
- Start speaking in Spanish. This is absolutely the hardest one! I can't promise I will do this 100% of the time, but I am committed to this effort with my husband.
I would love to hear your ideas on how you teach your kiddies the Spanish language!
Do you love how Latina Mommy, Yesenia, passes on tradition to her boys? Check out how she did it on Christmas!
Photo via Yesenia Almonte