Do you know the story of The Little Engine that Could? He’s just a little guy, trying to pull his load and there rising before him is a big, massive, long, large, enormous, hulking mountain. Do the tracks go around it? No. Do the tracks go through it via a tunnel? No. The tracks go right, straight over it.
Ok, perhaps I am exaggerating the story a wee bit. I’m not sure if the mountain was that big. But you get the point. There are valleys in our multilingual parenting journey and there are mountains. There are times that things go along perfectly smoothly and there are times when nothing at all seems to go our way. During these times, even though we know that things will get better, we often feel like throwing in the towel. The mountain seems insurmountable.
So what’s the answer?
Keep on going! Keep on the tracks!
Say the same words as the little engine as he begins his ascent: “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.”
You feel like you don’t have any support? Keep on going!
Your spouse isn’t helping out? Keep on going!
Your children won’t answer back in your language? Keep on going!
Parents at the park give you dirty looks when you speak your language? Keep on going!
You only have a few hours a day to speak your language with your children? Keep on going!
Before we know it, our children will be grown. The mountain will have been conquered. We will be at the other side.
And we’ll be saying the same as the little engine who made it over the mountain and now heads down the other side: “I thought I could, I thought I could, I thought I could!”
For some extra fun, get your children together and read them The Little Engine that Could in English, Farsi or Greek.
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!