Bilingual is Better

allowance for bilingual children

I have to admit that I tend to plan for everything.  My friends tease me saying that I even have a back-up plan for my plans, and truthfully, I do.  A couple months ago one of my posts included the current plan that I have in place for raising bilingual children.  For me having different approaches and strategies are essential for success, and giving my children the gift of bilingualism is an important goal.

Recently I have been thinking about how I will respond if, and maybe I should say when, my children start responding to me in English.  I have been very lucky so far.  At three and almost five years old, my boys still exclusively use Spanish with me, and each other.  I love listening to them play together in Spanish, and I am thrilled that they still seem to use Spanish so effortlessly with me.  I must admit that I dread the day when this linguistic paradise comes to an end, but I do have a plan for how to deal with the situation when that day comes.

I have always planned to teach my kids about personal finance.  Beyond just giving my sons an allowance, I plan to teach them some real world lessons about money too.  I will teach my children about purchasing stock by using companies familiar to them such as McDonald’s or the toymaker Mattel.  They will actually choose and purchase stocks with their money.  I will also educate them on the importance of saving and the value of donating to charity.  The secret to successfully teach children about money comes from using terms that young ones can understand, and children can comprehend far more than we give them credit for.

In the adult world, speaking another language often has financial rewards.  Many times higher salaries go to bilingual individuals and this is a skill that is becoming ever more valuable in the workforce.  When teaching my own children about money, the concept of the higher salary for a bilingual employee can easily be likened to a higher allowance for the use of bilingual abilities.

Fire engines and firemen, police officers and the police currently fascinate my young boys.  By explaining to them that those officers and the firemen are paid extra if they speak Spanish should impress them.  This real world example of the benefits of bilingualism will help my sons understand why they too will receive a higher allowance for continuing to use Spanish with mom.  Higher salaries for bilingual adults and higher allowances for bilingual children and teenagers will be the real world connection.

Will this method work?  I don’t know, but I can tell you, I have another plan should this strategy fail.

What do you think?  Can kids be motivated to speak Spanish if they know they will be compensated for doing so?

{photo via Howard County Library System }

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