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Posts for New Parents

Maximize Your Child's Bilingual Ability

Becoming a parent is a joyful and thrilling experience, but it can also feel overwhelming at times—and adding a bilingual aim to the mix can make things even more challenging. On this page I’ve assembled a list of posts that I’m hoping will help get your bilingual journey off to a strong start. Happy reading! And happy travels to you and your family on this rewarding adventure!

My Best Tips for Raising Bilingual Kids
A lengthy list of key concepts and ideas for raising bilingual children, with links to further information. Updated in December 2015: Now with 50 tips and over 6,000 words, along with a free PDF of the whole post for easy reading and sharing.

45 Key Questions Every Parent Raising a Bilingual Child Should Ask
Ask and address these important questions to strengthen your efforts and your success at raising bilingual children.

You Are Not Alone
You can do this. Keep going, keep trying, day by day, and keep breathing in as much joy on this memorable journey as your heart can possibly hold. (And feel free to join me and hundreds of other parents, just like you, at our warm, lively community called The Bilingual Zoo.)

Why Raising a Bilingual Child Matters in a World Gone Mad
From the horror of Hiroshima to the terror of Paris, the world is mad. Why does raising bilingual kids even matter?

This Is When You Should Give Up the Idea of Raising a Bilingual Child
What if you’ve done your “very best” but you’re still “failing” at your bilingual aim?

Free eBook for Parents Raising Bilingual Children from Adam Beck, the Founder of Bilingual Monkeys
Instant Inspiration for Parents Raising Bilingual Kids is designed to empower your daily efforts and long-term success. Download it now.

This Might Be the Very Best Thing About Raising Bilingual Kids (And It’s Probably Not What You Expect)
When all is said and done, this could be the greatest benefit of the bilingual journey.

Raising Bilingual Children: 17 Actions That Will Strengthen the Odds of Success
The more of these actions you pursue, the more you will raise the odds of achieving the aim of your bilingual journey.

The Top 5 Regrets of Parents Who Have Had Difficulty Raising Bilingual Kids
What are the biggest regrets of parents who have struggled to raise bilingual children?

Guest Post: Yes, You Will Have Haters. Keep Speaking to Your Kids In the Minority Language Anyway.
Sam Zerin shares his personal struggles, as well as helpful suggestions, on the challenge of speaking the minority language in public.

8 Meditations on Time and the Art of Raising a Bilingual Child
Time is the very fabric of our lives, and the way we perceive time, and use (or misuse) time, is at the heart of our bilingual journey.

You Need These 3 Things to Raise a Bilingual Child
Each of these three things is crucial to your success, and the third one is generally overlooked.

“I Want to Be Bilingual”: Letter from a Newborn Baby
Here I am! Your new baby! I’m pretty darn cute, right? I know you’re surprised to see this letter. You didn’t expect me to arrive with a special delivery, did you?

“I Can’t Do This Alone”: Remarkable Message from a Bilingual Toddler
My friend was shocked at the message his daughter had written to him. In fact, I think this will make an important difference to his whole bilingual journey.

Your Child Wants to Be Bilingual!
Your gurgling baby, or your growing child, may not be aware of this yet, but they want to be bilingual!

Thank You Letter from a Bilingual Child: Tatyana Leskowicz
In this guest post, Tatyana Leskowicz writes a lovely letter to her parents, reflecting on her upbringing as a bilingual child.

Warning to New Parents Who Dream of Raising a Bilingual Child
Raising a bilingual child demands a lot more time, energy, and expense than many new parents originally imagine.

Why Raising a Bilingual Child Is Very, Very Simple—and Very, Very Difficult
The process may be simple, but it’s hardly easy, particularly when the child attends a majority language school.

Guest Post: Speech-Language Pathologist Tells All About Bilingualism, Speech, and Language Delays
Speech-language pathologist Ana Paula Mumy has written a masterful guest post on language acquisition and language delays.

What’s the Best Language Strategy for Raising Bilingual Children?
There are different approaches to raising bilingual children. Which one is best for your family?

How Many Hours Per Week Is Your Child Exposed to the Minority Language?
About 25 hours per week is a good target when it comes to a bilingual child’s exposure to the minority language. Have you made a concrete count lately?

Why Communicating in English with My Kids is So Important to Me
English is at the heart of who I am, and communicating with my children in my mother tongue benefits our bond throughout their childhood.

What Language Should I Speak in Public with My Bilingual Child?
Be careful that your use of the majority language doesn’t undermine your greater goal for your child’s development in the minority language.

The Most Powerful Thing of All in Nurturing Language Development
Research suggests that the sheer quantity of speech directed at the child by the parents and caregivers has a huge impact on language development.

The Secret to Raising a Bilingual Child
What’s the number one thing parents can do to raise a bilingual child with good language ability?

What’s the Best Book About Raising Bilingual Children?
The more you read on the subject, the more effectively you can navigate the years of your bilingual journey.

How Many Books Do You Have In Your Home?
Research shows a strong relationship between the number of books in the home and a child’s language development and ability.

Why Resources in the Minority Language Are So Vital to Bilingual Success (With 6 Real-Life Examples From My Own Family)
Maintaining a steady stream of suitable resources is at the very heart of nurturing strong language development.

How the Power of Music Nurtures Bilingual Ability
Play a steady stream of background music in the minority language to help nurture the bilingual ability of your child.

The Busy Parent’s Guide to Cloning Yourself
Increase your child’s exposure to the minority language, even when you’re not around.

The Dark Secret to Success at Raising Bilingual Kids
What vital secret do cave formations—stalactites and stalagmites, in particular—whisper to parents raising bilingual children?

Important Thoughts on Babies and Hammers
How is a stone cutter and his hammer a powerful metaphor for parents raising bilingual children?

What Frustrates Me About Raising Bilingual Children
“Preventive medicine” can lessen the difficulties, and accompanying frustrations, of raising bilingual kids.

Can You See How Quickly Time Is Passing?
If you don’t take adequate advantage of the time that you have, the results may not be what you had hoped for at the start of this journey.

Be Very Serious. Be Very Playful. The Bilingual Journey Demands Both.
It’s an odd and delicate balance: you must be both very serious about your expectations for your kids and yet very playful about how you carry them out.

How Much Passion Do You Have For Raising a Bilingual Child?
The passion you bring to this challenge is crucial to your long-term success.

The One Thing You Absolutely, Positively Must Have to Raise a Bilingual Child
Without this, the odds of successfully raising a bilingual child will plummet dramatically.

Do This One Simple Thing and I Guarantee You Greater Success On Your Bilingual Journey
What simple action, made into a regular habit, can have a powerful impact on your daily efforts and your children’s bilingual development?

Why Keeping a Journal on Your Kids is So Valuable
Give your kids a “precious peek” into their childhood, one day in the future, by keeping a regular journal on their young lives.

76 Wonderful Quotes on Parenthood
The more effective we want to be as parents of bilingual children, the more effective we need to be, first and foremost, as parents.

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