Bilingual is Better

Elsie

Why I Don’t Want my Kids to Follow This Cultural Tradition

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If you grew up like me, you remember being pushed to give an abrazo to relatives you didn’t remember or who just plain gave you the heeby jeebies. I survived all those awkward moments, but I’m not planning to put my children through them. When Ana recently posted about piercing her daughter’s ears, it was the occasion for our first disagreement (friendly, of course). In explaining my reasons for not piercing my girls’ ears, I referred to my belief in bodily autonomy.Read More ...

Talking To Our Bilingual Kids About Skin Color

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I am one of six children. Like so many Latino families, we look like a spectrum of skin colors from very light/white to dark brown. Unlike some Latino families, we all have dark hair and eyes. Some of us get confused for middle eastern or european. My hair, with it’s big curls, is generally what helps people place my ethnicity as Latino, much more than my light skin. When I had a Salvadoran passport, I had to check either “negro”Read More ...

Explaining Culture to my 4-Year-Old

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What is culture? Marisol asked me that last week as we drove to preschool for the Cinco de Mayo celebration. It’s a simple question with a complicated answer. I found myself saying something like, “Culture is something a group of people share, usually from the same place, like a country, like food and music and, well, you know, like we speak Spanish.” I know — explanation fail. I’m still not sure how to answer her question. We share a culture, stemmingRead More ...

Small Changes Making Una Gran Diferencia In Our Spanglish Home

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Recently, I’ve been thrilled to notice an increase in Marisol’s Spanish vocabulary. Now, this doesn’t mean she is fluent in Spanish —we are most definitely raising Spanglishbabies in our family. It’s been a challenge to even get this far because I am the lone Spanish speaker in the home, and I’d call myself fluent only in limited settings. I am most definitely fluent in “baby Spanish:” Vamos a comer. ¿Quieres leche? ¿Dónde está el gatito? ¿Tienes hambre? But ask me to talk to you in Spanish about myRead More ...

Why Our Bilingual Familia is Getting The Preschool Search Blues

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My husband, the only Latino in the group of prospective parents, stood next to the only African-American in the group, a mother. They watched a group of adorable elementary school students sing a song in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. As the lyrics, “we shall overcome” sang through the air, my husband realized that all of the students were either Anglo or Asian. He stayed through the rest of the tour and information session at the amazing schoolRead More ...

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