Worries You Have as Parent Raising a Bilingual Child

If you’re a worrier — and I am — worrying comes naturally to you. If you’re a worrier with children, it’s scarily easy to obsess over their development and milestones. Are they eating enough? Too much? Should they be waving at 9 or 10 months or it is okay if they’re really just interested in climbing on everything and sticking dangerous objects in their mouths instead? For me, worrying is who I am. I’ve learned to accept it. 

When you’re a worrier and a parent of a bilingual child, your worries expand. Of course, being bilingual is a blessing, but as a non-bilingual person, I have no experience in what is normal or not. But I do wonder at how common some of my worries are, so I’ve listed them here. 

  • Will my child have a speech delay?
  • Will others be able to understand my (toddler) child?
  • Will I mess them up by speaking both languages when they’re around?
  • Is my accent in Spanish going to “rub off” on them?
  • How can I be sure my child will want to talk in the minority language (in our case, Spanish)?
  • How do I find books and TV shows in the target language? How can I find books/shows that have the dialect with which we identify? (For instance, we speak Castilian Spanish [Spanish from Spain]. There are a lot of Spanish-language resources here, but they often are Latin-American dialects, and they use words we don’t know or are unfamiliar with.)

Do you identify with any of my worries? Do you have any to add to the list?

5 thoughts on “Worries You Have as Parent Raising a Bilingual Child

  1. Your child is going to have an amazing advantage. Being bi-lingual is a blessing. Of course this from an American who loves travel in Europe and especially Spain.

  2. Congrats on your bilingual baby! As a language professional working with bilingual students, I can absolutely assure you that you won’t mess up your kid by teaching them 2 languages. Even if there are any delays in language production (totally normal for bilingual toddlers!) bilingualism is overall a huge benefit.

    Hopefully the dialect thing won’t be too much of an issue – moving to San Diego with mostly Spain Spanish has definitely provided learning opportunities but has only made my appreciation for the language richer.

    Depending on ages of kids, I am always glad to share recs for books & resources! (I taught K-8 Spanish for years.)

  3. So glad you have little ones to worry about! I spent lots of time worrying when my kids were little (but not bilingual, so I am no help in that department). But good parents do tend to worry — or at least consider how things will effect their kids. BTW what do you go by on IG?

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