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49 Inspiring Quotes for Parents Raising Bilingual Children

Yesterday I was sitting here at my computer when little Lulu, in tears, burst into my office.

“What’s wrong?”

“I can’t do it!”

“Can’t do what?”

“Math! I keep getting it wrong! I’ll never be able to do it! Never, never, never!”

Lulu, I should explain, is a perfectionist and this trait is the source of regular frustration when it comes to second-grade math. After all, even the brainiest among us struggle with math from time to time. (No doubt Albert Einstein threw a few shrieking tantrums of his own while working out the Theory of Relativity.)

So I gave her a hug and pointed to a quote that’s posted on the wall above my monitor in large print:

The most certain way to succeed is to just try one more time.

Edison’s simple statement is so powerfully true that it serves as an inspiring reminder whenever I encounter struggle and frustration myself. Over the years, in fact, I’ve made a habit of filing away these sorts of inspiring thoughts—quotes from wiser souls that have helped me live a more positive and productive life.

Today, as a busy parent raising bilingual kids, these quotes continue to be a source of inspiration to me. (To tell the truth, I now seem to need them more than ever! :mrgreen: ) For this post I’ve compiled a list of favorites, in the hope they may be of some inspiration to you, too, along the bilingual journey.

1. Our aspirations are our possibilities. —Samuel Johnson

2. A life that hasn’t a definite plan is likely to become driftwood. —David Sarnoff

3. What is the use of running when we are not on the right road? —German proverb

4. It is not enough to be busy; so are the ants. The question is: what are we busy about? —Henry David Thoreau

5. Never be afraid to sit awhile and think. —Lorraine Hansberry

6. Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now. —Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

7. The challenge is in the moment; the time is always now. —James Baldwin

8. Don’t let ideas die of neglect. —Harold McAlindon

9. You are what you do, not what you say you’ll do. —Carl Jung

10. If you believe you can, or if you believe you can’t, you are right. —Henry Ford

11. I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and, if they can’t find them, make them. —George Bernard Shaw

12. You’ve got to jump off cliffs all the time and build your wings on the way down. —Ray Bradbury

13. Doing is better than not doing, and if you do something badly, you’ll learn to do it better. —Twyla Tharp

14. Mistakes are a fact of life. It is the response to error that counts. —Nikki Giovanni

15. Sometimes things can go right only by first going very wrong. —Edward Tenner

16. We could never learn to be brave and patient, if there were only joy in the world. —Helen Keller

17. Patience is the art of concealing your impatience. —Guy Kawasaki

18. Our patience will achieve more than our force. —Edmund Burke

19. To endure is the first thing that a child ought to learn, and that which he will have the most need to know. —Jean-Jacques Rousseau

20. The best way out is always through. —Robert Frost

21. Energy and persistence conquer all things. —Benjamin Franklin

22. The world belongs to the energetic. —Ralph Waldo Emerson

23. Let me tell you the secret that has led me to my goal: my strength lies solely in my tenacity. —Louis Pasteur

24. All that I have accomplished…has been by that plodding, patient, persevering process of accretion which builds the ant heap particle by particle, thought by thought, fact by fact. —Elihu Burritt

25. Yard by yard, it’s very hard. But inch by inch, it’s a cinch. —Anonymous

26. Sticking to it is the genius. —Thomas Edison

27. The secret of success is constancy to purpose. —Benjamin Disraeli

28. Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any one thing. —Abraham Lincoln

29. Fall seven times, stand up eight. —Japanese proverb

30. Life is full of obstacle illusions. —Grant Frazier

31. You can have anything you want if you want it desperately enough. You must want it with an exuberance that erupts through the skin and joins the energy that created the world. —Sheila Graham

32. Action expresses priorities. —Mahatma Gandhi

33. You put your time where your priority is. —Sebastian Faulks

34. The future depends on what you do today. —Mahatma Gandhi

35. It’s not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives. It’s what we do consistently. —Anthony Robbins

36. Life is nothing but a series of moments. Start living the moments and the years will take care of themselves. —Gary Fenchuk

37. It’s a sad day when you find out that it’s not accident or time or fortune but just yourself that kept things from you. —Lillian Hellman

38. No, you never get any fun
Out of the things you haven’t done. —Ogden Nash

39. Procrastination is the thief of time. —Edward Young

40. A hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove, but the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child. —Forest Witcraft

41. Those privileged to touch the lives of children should constantly be aware that their impact on a single child may affect a multitude of others a thousand years from now. —Anonymous

42. If only we’d stop trying to be happy, we could have a pretty good time. —Edith Wharton

43. The trick is in what one emphasizes. We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves happy. The amount of work is the same. —Carlos Castaneda

44. I discovered I always have choices, and sometimes it’s only a choice of attitude. —Judith Knowlton

45. You don’t get to choose how you’re going to die. Or when. You can only decide how you’re going to live. Now. —Joan Baez

46. Don’t ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive. —Howard Thurman

47. If you can give your son or daughter only one gift, let it be enthusiasm. —Bruce Barton

48. Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm. —Winston Churchill

49. There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle. —Albert Einstein

How about you? What other quotes do you find inspiring? Please add them below!

Maximize Your Child's Bilingual Ability


8 Responses

  1. Thanks for the great quotes. I had the same conversation with my daughter today, she has a really hard time with math.

    I love these:

    “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.” – Charles Darwin

    “Help others achieve their dreams and you will achieve yours.” – Les Brown

    “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” – Anais Nin

    1. Thanks, Paula! These are terrific quotes, and so true. I love Les Brown’s wise advice! (May we all achieve our dreams when it comes to raising bilingual kids! :mrgreen: )

  2. Hi Adam, this is one of my favourites:

    “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” – Mahatma Gandhi

    Thanks for sharing these pertinent quotes!

    Rgds Heide

    1. Heide, thanks for stopping by! I like that quote very much.

      Another quote from Gandhi that helps me move forward, particularly when I wonder if my action has any “meaning” or “importance,” is this:

      “Whatever you do may seem insignificant to you, but it is most important that you do it.”

  3. This is what I am needing now! Words to push me up! How lucky to have persons like you that pushing up strangers to good lives! Thank you for sharing this! I am in the middle of my plan of raising my 2-year-old baby as a bilingual kid. But the minor language I am teaching to him (English) is not my native language! He now understands the basic everyday-life sentences (ex. Drink your milk. It’s bedtime! Etc!). But I am afraid I cannot mold him towards the fluency of it. Most of the time I get stuck and so worried that what I may pass him is just poor English or grammatical errors I often do or say. Really don’t know what to do ahead when the talking/topic gets tough! Maybe I need to accept the number 10 quote. Lol!

    1. Raira, I’m happy to hear this post offered you inspiration. It sounds to me like you’re doing well in your early efforts to promote the English side of your child’s bilingual ability, though it’s true that you may need support from other English speakers as time goes by. Keep doing your best, day by day, and ponder how you can add regular exposure from others, too.

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Welcome to Bilingual Monkeys!

I’m Adam Beck, the founder of this blog and The Bilingual Zoo, a lively worldwide forum for parents raising bilingual or multilingual kids. I’m also the author of the popular books Maximize Your Child’s Bilingual Ability and Bilingual Success Stories Around the World. I’ve been an educator and writer in this field for 25 years as well as the parent of two bilingual children, now 19 and 16. I hope my work can help empower the success of your bilingual journey.

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