Tag Archives: bilingualism

The truth about Raising a Bilingual Kid

The truth about Raising a Bilingual Kid

It’s definitely not a topic we’ve ever shied away from, but it is one we’ve given a lot of thought to. Especially as parents of a bilingualish teenager. See what I did there? It’s a play off of the hit TV show Blackish, in case you’re wondering. What I’m talking about is Raising a Bilingual Kid.

Y’all know I’ve written at length about that topic over the years, haha! So how does one follow up so many blog posts about the same topic? With a video, of course!

That’s what we’re talking about in our latest video from YouTube (we have a channel there, by the way… in case you want to subscribe – we’d greatly appreciate it). Take a look and let us know what your best tips are for raising a fully bilingual or bilingualish child.

¡Chinelas con estos huercos!

We had Nintento.

Kids today have Vine.

We had VCRs.

They have bluetooth and DVD players.

We had cassette tapes and then CD players.

They have iPods and iPhones.

We had beepers.

They have iPads and tablets.

We had watches with cartoons and superheroes on the wristbands.

They have smartwatches with cameras and touch screens.

Today, Edgar saw me playing with Vine and said “hey, is that Vine?  One of my friends in class is on Vine.  She asked me if I had a Vine too.”

Sigh… they’re in elementary school.

I know.  That’s kind of hypocritical of me considering how much I employ social media and networking sites on a constant basis… and considering the fact that sometimes Edgar is in my pictures and videos too.  But come on!  Elementary school!

I tried to deny it, but he didn’t believe me.

Oh well, he’s still not getting an account.

¡Ya mero!  ¡Nomás lo que me faltaba!  

Funny Random Moments You Probably Might Find Entertaining

Funny Random Moments You Probably Might Find Entertaining

I’ve been busy lately.  My sister and my niece are in town and that’s very exciting.  We’re having a party soon, and well tambiên me ha pegado la hueva a little bit.  But I do want to share some funny moments we’ve had recently that I may or may not blog about again in a later post.  I hope they put a smile on your face too.

Singing Rancheras for the Soul
We’re riding around in the car.  I’m singing one of the rancheras on the radio, cause you know that’s what I listen to most of the time to and from work.  I like the Raúl Brindis y Pepito show and listen to it religiously every morning.  Until recently, I used to listen to Piolin too, pero bueno we all know what happened there.  Sad really.  I especially like the farandula news and in between those segments you eventually start picking up a lot of the lyrics to the songs too.  I have!  What I didn’t realize was that Edgar was doing so too.  All of a sudden I hear him singing the same song in the back seat of the car también.  I don’t say anything, so as to not make him aware, and just smile to myself.

The Fake British Accent 
A couple of weeks ago, this very nice reporter from BBC America and I had agreed to meet at one of the park’s here in the barrio on a Sunday morning.  He had emailed me before coming to Houston and he wanted to talk about the future of Latino culture in the United States, according to me.  I should forewarn you that I don’t know exactly what I blurted out once had had a microphone in front of me…  At least I hope his trip wasn’t a complete waste of time.  Anyway.  The funny thing is, that morning, Edgar decided to come with me, and while I sat down for the interview we had agreed he was going to go play where I could keep an eye on him.  Only that was before we got out of the car and introduced ourselves to the reporter and his companion.  He immediately went towards Edgar and shook his hand, greeting him with a very British accent.  To which Edgar, to everyone’s surprise, especially mine, greeted him back with his own version of a British accent.

None of us could do anything other than laugh.  Afterwards, he and I couldn’t stop laughing at how embarrassing the moment had been and to this day he is still completely in shock at his gut reaction.  I guess our television viewing habits didn’t help him any either.  We’ve been watching Keeping Up Appearances religiously for months now.

Church School for Edgar
Yesterday, Edgar and I again were talking.  It was a very brief conversation this time.  He was asking about one of my conversations that he had overheard.  To throw him off I reminded him that we still need to register him for his first communion classes, to which he replied that he didn’t want to sign up for Catechism classes in Spanish because he doesn’t fully understand the language.  My conversation with the BBC America reporter immediately flooded back.  ¡Ay Dios mio!  Good thing I did make the clarification that we are not the most traditional parents when it comes to bilingualism.  And by the way, that does mean Catechism classes will be in Spanish for Edgar.

“So We Really Are Latinos, Right?”

Last night we were watching the Democratic National Convention en casitaCristina Saralegui was on TV delivering her speech – I kind of love her, by the way.  She’ll always be a legend in my eyes… never mind her less than graceful exodus from TV.  I was kind of wishing she would have spoken more Spanish during her delivery, con más sazón y pasión, when Edgar turned to us and posed the following question:

So we are really Latinos, right?  

Cristina Saralegui DNC2012 juanofwords
Cristina and Benita, at the DNC.

Now it’s not that the poor boy is confused.  He definitely understands his heritage and ancestry.  He knows he’s part Mexican, part American.  Born here, but part of a Mexican family, culture and heritage.  And yes, Latino… or Hispanic, or whatever other word people want to come up with to describe people like us.  You know, the brown ones.  Claro, no todos estamos prietos… but for this little anecdote humor me for a bit porfis.  What I think he was really asking was this: Are they really making that big of a deal about us Latinos at the DNC, on prime time no less? 

Like many of us really, he’s not used to seeing so many Latinos front and center on English-language media outlets as there have been in the last few days.  Más que eso, the familiar faces from the Spanish-language networks, like Cristina, are speaking English and delivering important speeches – not arguing or cracking jokes en español as usual.  That’s got to be a little unusual for someone his age.  I remember the first time I heard Don Francisco speak English.  It was kind of shocking to be completely honest.  Like, wait… I didn’t know he could do that!  He could.  And in a way it kind of opened my eyes and mind a little bit to how not different my two worlds actually were.

They weren’t exclusive from one another, and they could be one in the same.  I didn’t realize it then, just like I don’t think he realizes it now, but in a way, it kind of made me appreciate my biculturalism and bilingualism a little bit more.