Hola amigos y bienvenido a Spanish Sabado!
I have had a pretty good week with our Spanish lessons. Though, I noticed something quite disturbing about my household. Although the children can understand many Spanish phrases, most of them tend to be disciplinary phrases. “Siéntese, bajate, No te pongas eso en la boca! (Sit, Get Down, Don’t put that in your mouth)” These are just a few of the many disciplinary phrases that I noticed were ONLY said in Spanish.
I asked myself, “are all the disciplinary phrases or cues said in Spanish?” My answer was yes. So, would my children associate Spanish as the more assertive, disciplinary language? If the same phrase was said in English, would they take what I am saying seriously? I do not want to my kids thinking that mommy only means what she says if she speaks in Spanish. Or, that they should be expecting to be in trouble if they hear Spanish spoken.
The playroom tends to be always messy. On this specific day, I walked in to find Chi-Chi purposely throwing toys and emptying bins throughout the room. She had no intention of playing with any of the dumped toys. I asked her to clean up the room, and this was the face she gave me. I told her to clean up the room in Spanish and that I would help her.
As a nurse, I have witnessed how easily bilingual people tend to speak their native language when in pain, distressed, or angered. Practically any type of strong feeling. In my frustration, I tend to speak more Spanish. Well, honestly it is sometimes yelling. So, I have made a conscious effort to change my disciplinary approaches and use both languages.
This isn’t an easy task. People in frustration do not tend to think about what language they are going to speak in the heat of the moment. Just yesterday Nugget was on his riding car and had the fabulous idea to try and ride it up the stairs. I quickly shouted that it wasn’t a safe thing to do. I felt fear and my instant reaction was to speak in Spanish. He stopped immediately and I wonder if he would have stopped so quickly if I had said it in English.
The most important and hardest thing to do in bilingual home is to maintain consistency. Using both languages in all sorts of situations. A single language should not be reserved for certain situations, especially if those situations are disciplinary. Do you see a similar situation happening in your home?
Thanks for stopping by my casa!