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?