The ABC’s of Multilingual Parenting: The Letter F

by Corey · 3 comments

F is for Find Support!

What is the quickest way for us to get discouraged? How about trying to raise our children bilingually without any support! This is a sure-fire way to lose our steam! You don’t need to do this completely on your own! Find others who speak the same language and who can offer the kind of support that you need during this multilingual journey.

There aren’t any other families in your neighborhood who speak your language? Are you 100% sure? Try the following first before you give up:

  • Put an announcement in as many parenting magazines/newspapers as you can find in your city (create an email address or Yahoo group specifically for people to contact you about this).
  • Ask at the local daycares and schools if they can spread the word.
  • Talk to your friends and let them know that you are looking for other families.
  • Make simple flyers letting people know that you would like to get together.
  • If there are universities or community colleges in your town, let the language departments know that you are looking.
  • Post a comment on the Multilingual Living Forum and the Multilingual Living Facebook wall letting families know that you are looking for others.
  • Here is a post about How Multilingual Families Can Start a Language Playgroup.

If you really, honestly can’t find any other families in your area who speak your language, don’t give up hope! The next best thing to actual contact with others is contact with those who can keep in touch via digital resources like email, Skype, online forums and chat groups.

Do a cyberspace search and see what you can find (and, again, post a comment on the Multilingual Living Forum and the Multilingual Living Facebook wall letting families know that you are on the search).  You are sure to find at least one other parent and/or family who can offer the kind of support that you are looking for. (Do you know what kind of support you are looking for? Are you looking for inspiration? motivation? conversation? resource tips?)

Remember that the most important in our multilingual journey is having other parents and families around us who are supportive, whether they speak our language or not. Some of our best support might come from friends who don’t even know a word in our language! Their inspiration, motivation and encouragement may be just what we need to keep on going.


We are going through the alphabet one letter at a time, multilingual-style! Join in the fun and add your own ideas, suggestions and tips in the comments below that begin with today’s letter! Check out all of the ABC’s of Multilingual Parenting posts so far!

Corey Heller is the founder of Multilingual Living and the Editor-In-Chief/Publisher of Multilingual Living Magazine. Multilingual Living is the place where she shares her knowledge about raising multilingual and multicultural children. Corey, an American, and her German husband live in Seattle where they raise and homeschool their three children, ages 15, 14 and 12, in German and English.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Busy as a Bee in Paris March 21, 2011 at 6:06 pm

Excellent! This is so important and I hear this challenge from so many aspiring multilingual families that they feel so lost or discouraged that they just want to give up. But I couldn’t agree more, you need to have a good support system! Love your ABC’s!


2 Caitlin Knight March 21, 2011 at 8:37 pm

Frustration! My kids are so resistant to other languages – they always tell me to “speak normal” (aka in English). I have to really try hard to make it fun for them so they’ll be a little more accepting. The Lango foreign language program has been a great way for me to create a positive experience for them – so far so good! I’m hoping they’ll thank me later on in life. 🙂


3 Melissa Ferrin March 22, 2011 at 10:45 am

Friends and family.
Friends and family members who speak other languages that is. Friends and family who speak only one of your languages. Friends and family who are like you and speak the same two. And friends and family who speak languages you don’t. Knowing that other bilinguals are out there has been a big help in inspiring my kids.


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