What NOT To Do: Tips From a Monolingual Mom in a Bilingual Household

SpanglishBaby has been one of my favorite parenting sites ever since I became a parent. It's such a fun honor to share a guest post on their site this week.

From the moment the test read “pregnant,” it didn’t take long before I was sitting on a plane reading about the OPOL method and other strategies for giving one’s child the gift of two languages.

Friends asked me about birth plans and attachment parenting, but I researched precious little of the topics concerning my other mama friends. I was fascinated by language development and raising a bicultural baby.

The only problem? I don’t speak Spanish. I was relying on my Guatemalan husband to make my bilingual baby dreams come true.

Maybe it’s because I know what it’s like to be monolingual in a multicultural world, but I highly valued passing on both Spanish and English to our daughter. With her nearing 2 and 1/2 and our second bicultural baby on the way, I realize I have learned a lot these past couple of years about what not to do as the monolingual parent in a bilingual home.

And if you're visiting from SpanglishBaby here for the first time, welcome! Thanks for stopping by! You might enjoy other posts I've written on our bilingual baby experience or about cross-cultural marriage.

Some favorites around here have been My Latino Husband is White, How I Met My Husband, and How My Husband Came to the States. (Apparently, this is really his blog! All I have is Why Are American Girls So Smelly?)

I hope you'll stick around and check out the site. Feel free to leave a comment ~ I love to meet new people!

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  1. I loved reading your perspective on this since I will be relying on my husband to teach our kids Mandarin! Your tips will definitely come in handy, especially the reminder not to nag my husband and let him teach our kids in his own way. I will be trying to learn some Mandarin in the near future so that I'm not totally clueless by the time we actually have kids!

    1. Way to go... learning Mandarin!!! I can't wait to hear your experiences when that day arrives. It will be so fun!

  2. Wow! So glad you posted an article for Spanglish Baby because I LOVE your blog!

    I am bilingual (to a certain degree! I did grow up in a monolingual English home but picked up Spanish very easily in junior high and high school and have spent summers in Costa Rica, Guatemala and Bolivia) so I want my future children to learn Spanish...but my husband might be able to count to ten if you help him!

    Looking forward to reading all your posts!


    1. Thank you so much, Denise. I am so glad you stopped by and are reading! What exciting summers it sounds like you've had!


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