Do you feel that your multilingual child is resentful toward you for making him or her speak your language? Does your child shut down when you speak in your language? Do you feel frustrated at your child because he doesn’t appreciate his multilingualism?
If you can answer yes to any of these questions, then it is time to take a breather. Step back and try to see things from a different perspective.
Often our multilingual children become resentful if they feel that they have been forced to do something they don’t want to do. The last thing you want is for your child to associate your language with punishment, anger and disappointment. If our multilingual children feel that they are letting us down by not meeting our seemingly arbitrary standards, then our children run the risk of feeling hopeless and depressed.
So what is the answer?
The trick is to encourage our multilingual children to engage with their languages without it feeling like it is a burden! Make using language fun again. Play games in the language, find ways to laugh together while using the language. Chat with your child about why your language is so important to YOU, how your language makes you feel.
Then grab a mug of something warm, sit back and browse the Activities and Language Tips sections on Multilingual Living for some inspiration!