Raising Bilingual Children

Sunday, February 9th, 2014

Many Languages, One America: 25 Proud Bilingual Children

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The multilingual Coke commercial that aired during the most watched American TV event of the year—the SuperBowl—was exciting. A prominent multinational company equated the U.S. with multilingualism and featured it on mainstream TV during a very American event. But at the end of the day, all the commercial did was acknowledge reality.   But then the ad came under siege. At first I couldn’t be bothered to listen to the noise, cause that’s all it was to me—misguided rumbling that didn’t deserve attention.  Read more »

Language Resources

Language Resources for Raising Bilingual Children

A comprehensive list of language learning resources for bilingual children across many languages. Read more »

Columns on Language

Ask A Linguist




Latest Article:
Should we switch from OPOL to ML@H to maximize language exposure?
Dear Dr. Gupta,   We are an English/German-speaking family, currently living in Germany practicing one parent one language (OPOL) with our two-year-old.  Read more »

Raising Trilingual Children? An Interview Not to Miss!

It was really exciting to sit down and talk to Julia, a 27-year-old multilingual who was raised trilingual in Japanese, Portuguese and English and now also speaks Spanish. I was really curious about her multilingual upbringing and what she thinks her parents did right. Her big advice to us parents raising bilingual and multilingual kids: reading is just as important as speaking! Read our interview with her below to find out more.  Read more »

The Power of Immersion Travel

As I browsed a local Nicaraguan newspaper this morning at breakfast, La Prensa, my daughter noticed the kids page and asked to see it.   "Mama, it says 'seis diferencias,' six differences," she told me and continued on down the page.   At home she would never think of picking up something in Spanish to read over English and often times I face groans if I choose a Spanish book to read.  Read more »

How to Start a New Language with Your Child

Language is all about communication and if you or your child do not experience or believe in the benefits of deeply communicating with others, it is a lost cause before you even start. As Nelson Mandela said “When you talk to someone in your language you speak to their head but when you talk to them in their language you speak to their heart.”   Before even embarking on learning a different language with your child it is important to note:   (a) Why you want to do it (b) What your child’s level of interest will be (c) What your goal is in terms of their language learning (d) Whether or not it is useful and/ or realistic   This is usually the toughest one to face.  Read more »

Why Most African Kids are Multilingual

The average Kenyan child speaks three languages. This figure is even higher amongst children in urban deprived areas who regularly speak five languages. This is no mean feat considering many children growing up in these areas do not have indoor plumbing or easy access to basic education. What they do have however is a high density of people from different ethnic communities living cheek by jowl all with a huge impulse to communicate.  Read more »

3 Big Mistakes Parents Make in Raising Bilingual Kids

Raising bilingual kids can often be hard work to ensure the child is getting enough exposure in the second language. While no parents mean to discourage their kids, make sure their enthusiasm stays on track by avoiding these big mistakes.   1. Correcting them: Children that are corrected too much in their second language will be reluctant to speak out of fear they will say something wrong.  Read more »

6 Out-of-the-Box Ideas to Raise a Bilingual Child on a Budget

Raising a bilingual child in a country where bilingualism isn't a given can be expensive. When you don't speak a second language, can't afford private immersion school and tutors are too pricey as are the fancy language classes in your community, then what options do you have left? Here are six out-of-the-box ideas for helping you raise a bilingual child on a budget.  Read more »

Is all the Hard Work of Bilingualism Really Paying Off?

You know those moments when you have to pause, take a breath and remind yourself to take it all in? I had one of those language moments last weekend where the figurative waters parted in totally unexpected ways to reveal that all my hard work around my kids' language development is actually paying off.   The well-known bilingual children's musician, Jose-Luis Orozco, performed at our local children's library last weekend.  Read more »

7 Benefits of Raising Bilingual Kids

Being bilingual affords children (and adults) many advantages over the course of their lifetime. Here are seven benefits of raising bilingual kids that have been documented in research and studies.   1.     Bilingual children have a better ability to focus and ignore distractions in the environment. That’s because the part of the brain called the executive function, used for planning, judgment, working memory, problem solving and staying focused on what’s relevant is stronger in bilinguals.  Read more »

Why Your Bilingual Child Objects When You Switch Languages

Anyone who interacts for some time with a young bilingual child will notice the strong bond that exists between a person and a language. In the eyes of the child a person is tagged with a particular language, and if that person addresses the child in the other language, it may cause some distress. We saw this with Danny, when his mother, who usually spoke to him in English, asked him a question in German.  Read more »

Why Arabic is Dead and Spanish is Alive for My Kids

My kids hear Arabic every day from their dad but it’s amazing how much more of a hold Spanish is taking after seven months of learning it. They take Spanish several days per week in a small class with two friends. Plus many of their close friends are native Spanish speakers so we are socially in an environment with Spanish around us pretty frequently.  Read more »

When Language Immersion Doesn’t Come Easy

My son has learned three languages in his short lifetime. Now seven and half, Amir was born in Spain, but was instantly privy to a world where three different languages were regularly spoken in his home environment. His father—who speaks Arabic with his family members—and I communicate to one another in Spanish, and my native tongue is English. As his primary caregiver, I felt it was important to speak to Amir in English, and it became the language he was mostly surrounded with in those early years, especially after we moved to the United States when he was only six months old.  Read more »

5 Games to Get Your Bilingual Child Talking

Encouraging your children to speak the minority language isn’t always easy. You may encounter resistance or face kids who understand the minority language but prefer to speak in the majority language. To boost their use of the minority language, make it fun! Here are five games that will help get your bilingual children talking. They’ll be having so much fun they won’t even realize they are using the minority language!   Telephone I had a major bilingual “a-ha” moment this past week when playing the game of telephone with my kids.  Read more »

8 Tips for Encouraging Bilingualism in Different Personality Types

My girls are playing close by as I’m working on my laptop. Sara, 7, is the lead actress in a production of “princess bride” that seems to be going on in our living room. She is very much in control, giving out directions, talking, laughing and sometimes singing. Her sister, Emma, 11, prefers not to be center stage and mainly speaks to remind her sister of details she has forgotten (like the name of the fiancé).  Read more »

Do Bilingual Children Know Fewer Words Than Monolinguals?

Linguistic research in young bilingual children has focused on whether multilingual children develop language skills in the same way and at the same speed as monolingual children. Numerous studies in the field have focused on this question by examining different aspects of language, including grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, etc.   A recent article from Diane Poulin-Dubois, Helen Bialystok and their colleagues (2012), published in the International Journal of Bilingualism, looks at the area of vocabulary.  Read more »

29 Tips for Raising Bilingual Kids

Raising a child with good bilingual ability can be a significant challenge. How do you support the minority language so that it keeps pace with the relentless development of the majority language?   Here are 29 tips for busy parents to help increase the odds of success.   1. Start early If you’re proactive from the start, you’ll stand a much better chance of nurturing a good balance in the child's bilingual ability.  Read more »

Language Resource Library for Raising Bilingual Kids

A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - J - K - L - M - N - O - P - Q - R - S - T - U - V - W - X - Z        This page is a way for all of us to share resources for books, websites, music, apps, games and more for raising our bilingual children. These are reader recommendations on resources by language. Many of these products we have not looked into ourselves and therefore they are not endorsements.  Read more »

What to Expect From Daycare in a Non-Native Language

Three years ago we moved to the Netherlands from the U.S. with our two-month-old daughter. Neither my Italian husband nor I spoke any Dutch. Fast forward to present and we now have a very talkative three-year-old who regularly insists that she speaks only “Nederlands.” This is what we have learned about what you can expect when you send your child to daycare in a non-native language.  Read more »

Is Earlier Really Better for Second Language Acquisition?

There is a common myth about second language acquisition that by six or seven years old, it is too late to acquire a language fully.  This argument is based on the “critical period hypothesis." I admit that linguistics research is not easily accessible and linguists are notoriously poor at disseminating their findings to the public. Because of that, I can't blame anybody for believing that older children can’t learn a second language with perfect fluency.  Read more »

10 Things Not to Say to Parents of Multilingual Children

As a Polish mother in the Netherlands with multilingual children growing up with Polish, German and Dutch, I often hear uninformed and judgmental comments. Inspired by Babble’s “What not to say…” series, I wrote my own list about what you should never (and I mean NEVER) say to parents of multilingual children. 1) “I know somebody who is bilingual, and they never learned to speak any language properly.  Read more »

The Science Behind Bilingual Children’s Brains

Why start language learning early? With the help of modern technology in neuroscience, we now understand how language develops during infancy and early childhood. Also, based on countless studies, researchers can safely conclude that as your child grows older, her uncanny language abilities decrease significantly. This 'critical period' means that you should strike while the iron is hot! Do babies have super human language skills? Research at the University of Chicago shows that a bird placed in isolation for the first few weeks of its life never learns the song of its species properly and will thus be unable to uphold a territory or woo a mate.  Read more »

Bilingual Parenting: Five Strategies to Start Now

When I found out I was pregnant, one of my first thoughts was “I can’t wait to raise this child to speak French.” I am a native English speaker, and I’ve been a Francophile since I was a young girl. My love of the French language and Francophone cultures has largely shaped my career, my travel and my interests. Although I was committed to raising a bilingual child, I never actually thought about how to go about it, especially in the very young, preverbal stages.  Read more »

How Bilingualism Can Fail in Multilingual Families

Raising bilingual kids, if nothing else, involves commitment. Bilingualism isn’t automatic. Long before having children or meeting my multilingual husband, I knew I wanted to raise bilingual kids. I was not brought up bilingual and learned the majority of my languages as an adult. As a result, I wanted my kids to have the gift of bilingualism from childhood.  Read more »

Diary of a Bilingual Spanish School

In “Fostering Bilingual Education through Two-Way Immersion,” we describe how a constructivist curriculum and a multicultural approach to dual immersion led to the success of a two-way Spanish immersion program.  The following narratives offer vivid evidence of why this is so. They illustrate, over the course of a school year, how bilingual instruction was blended with constructivist pedagogy adapted to the needs of second-language learners and how this combination was not only natural but necessary.  Read more »

Fostering Bilingual Education through Two-Way Immersion

This article is an excerpt from the book Diary of a Bilingual School: How a Constructivist Curriculum, a Multicultural Perspective, and a Commitment to Dual Immersion Education Combined to Foster Fluent Bilingualism in Spanish- and English-Speaking Children Fluent bilingualism is commonplace throughout much of the world. How strange that it’s so difficult to achieve in the United States! Unless we came here as immigrants, grew up in homes where another language was spoken, or spent extended time in a non-English-speaking country, most Americans are likely to be monolingual.  Read more »

Multilingual Children for Money or Love?

My husband and I are the typical young family starting out our journey into parenthood. Like all parents, we want what is best for our children and thus, spend quite a bit of time researching everything from cribs and mattresses to baby food and stimulating toys.  But we also research something else: how to raise trilingual children.  Our ethnic backgrounds set us apart from many other parents around us in Suburban Michigan, as my husband is Lebanese and I am Mexican.  Read more »

François Grosjean Responds: Cherishing the Multilingual Heart

At the end of last year, the title of a post by Jan Petersen on InCultureParent caught my attention: "How Francois Grosjean Broke My Multilingual Heart." I was troubled at first as I have defended bi- and multilinguals most of my academic life, not broken their hearts! So I read on and immediately felt reassured....and exonerated. I wasn't really the one who had broken Jan Petersen's heart in my Psychology Today post, "Helen or Hélène.  Read more »

How My Kids Lost and Found Their Native Language

I feel defeated when I watch childhood home videos of my two daughters, Alina and Alexa. In the videos, they are speaking their beautiful native tongue, a bittersweet memory, as they lost their ability and desire to speak it as they got older. My girls were very early speakers. By age two, they spoke in full Armenian sentences. By age three, they were able to carry on articulate conversations, and oh boy were they chatty! I enrolled them in preschool by age four, with minimal English vocabulary.  Read more »

All I Want for Christmas is Perfectly Bilingual Children

When it comes to raising a bilingual child, I have several beliefs about how you can waste your time. I think it’s a waste of valuable second language reinforcement time if you don’t watch movies in the minority language, read books and listen to music in that language and most of all, have a babysitter or nanny in that second language. I would also never pay for private school if that education is not in another language.  Read more »

Getting Back on the OPOL Wagon

As I wrote about in Part I of this article, "Falling off the OPOL Wagon," I didn’t realize I had fallen off the one parent one language (OPOL) wagon until I found myself face down on the ground with a chipped tooth and a mouthful of dirt. The real question is how did I get back on the wagon? I credit reading about other multilingual children’s progress on various blogs with flipping the switch for me.  Read more »

Falling off the OPOL Wagon

I didn’t realize I had fallen off the one parent one language (OPOL) wagon until I found myself face down on the ground with a chipped tooth and a mouthful of dirt. For me it was a slippery slope. I am not aware if strict OPOL means that parents speak their native language to each other as well as their children. This would require that my Mexican husband speak fluent French and that I speak fluent Spanish.  Read more »

Code-Switching in My Multilingual Family

“Mommy,” my son stated, “for lunch, uno quesadilla con queso istiyorum.” In our family, this sentence that combines English, Spanish and Turkish not only makes sense, but it is also a normal exchange. I grew up speaking English and Spanish and have a fair command of Turkish. My husband’s native language is Turkish, and he is comfortable communicating in English, German and French.  Read more »

Language for Family Ties or Competitive Edge?

When we decided to move to Singapore about 18 months ago, people’s reactions fell into roughly three categories: 1. People who knew pretty much nothing about Singapore: “Are you insane?” “What language do they speak over there?” “Is it safe? Don’t they hang you for littering?” 2. Those who had been to Singapore or were planning on it: “I am so jealous, you are going to eat so well.  Read more »

The Influence of Bilingual Preschool Teachers

Lately, both of my girls have taken to calling my youngest, Lila, “Lilita.” Although they do not attend a bilingual Spanish preschool, two of the three teachers are native Spanish speakers. While they have Spanish class on Fridays, the influence of Spanish extends beyond the songs and words they learn on that day. The Spanish diminutive has crept into their English vocabulary with ease.  Read more »

Is Raising Bilingual Children Worth the Costs?

I am the daughter of born-and-raised-in-Japan parents and also a proud American citizen. I grew up bilingual because both of my parents spoke only Japanese at home, but at school, I only heard English. I think this is one of the most ideal ways to become bilingual—to be immersed in one language half the time, and in another the other half. I was very lucky; being bilingual has helped me in my education and given me neat volunteer and work opportunities.  Read more »

Chinese School Dropout: Why I No Longer Torture My Son With Bilingualism

After three years of flashcards, tracing sheets, computer games and CDs, I’m giving in. I’m a Chinese School Dropout. Or rather my second-grader is. It’s a decision we have not come to rashly. We have had a love-hate relationship with learning Chinese. Sure, there was some whining. But not kicking and screaming and crying—especially since first grade, when my son started in a homework-free program aimed at non-native Mandarin speakers.  Read more »

Defining a Child’s World through Language

Not a linguist myself, I come from a family of linguists. Perhaps that is why I appreciate the power of language not only in conveying information but in shaping one’s mind. Like all multilingual children, I grew up realizing that certain words in one of my languages did not have a translation or equivalent in another one. This conveyed to me not just a deficiency in vocabulary but a void of ideas.  Read more »

The 10 Best Things About Going Bilingual

The 10 best things about going bilingual with your children:   1. When people ask my kids where they're from (a pretty common question for anyone with brown skin tone), they say France! (Sadly, neither me nor their Papa have any direct connection to France, I just happen to have studied the language and decided to pass it on.)   2.  Read more »

Speaking in Tongues Film

Why is bilingualism important to you? Answer this question below in the comments to win the DVD of the film, Speaking in Tongues.   Speaking in Tongues, courtesy of Patchworks Films, is the award-winning documentary following the lives of four budding bilingual children in dual-language immersion programs in the San Francisco Bay Area.   I saw this movie fairly recently and was so pleased that this critical subject was the topic of a documentary.  Read more »

Bilingual Parenting: OPOL or Mixed Language—Does it Matter?

Bilingual parenting is more common than we think. It’s the norm in many countries where citizens speak several languages or dialects that are transmitted to their children. Mixed marriages, with parents who come from different countries and speak different languages, create families where two languages coexist in daily life. Families moving to live in another country, either as expatriates or immigrants, also bring an extra language into the home.  Read more »

Learning to Read When Bilingual: Which Language First?

A hot topic for parents trying to raise balanced bilinguals is which language do you teach first, the minority one or the community language? Or maybe both at once?! We didn't have much choice, as our daughter was enrolled (reluctantly) in the English section of her French school for the first two years, due to lack of places on the French side, so all her initial reading was in English.  Read more »

Perfect Bilingualism: Does it Exist?

If you have ever lived in a foreign country where you speak the language as well as its inhabitants, you’ll know how frustrating it is for someone to complement you on your charming accent. You might consider yourself completely bilingual, but there’s that little accent that people keep remarking on. Or you might be bringing up bilingual or multilingual children and notice that they have a slight accent in what you consider to be their mother tongue.  Read more »

Invisible Interpreter: The Grandmother – Child Language Divide

Paati (grandma) joined us this past summer from India. It was her first visit to our home in the U.S since the kids. Paati can understand, read and write elementary English, while our six-something-year-old daughter can handle only minimal Tamil (the regional Indian language we speak). With no clairvoyance, my husband and I concluded that the lack of a medium of communication was going to deter and procrastinate the bonding between Paati and our children.  Read more »

Benefits of Raising Bilingual Children: Correcting My Grammar

I've long been resigned (though secretly thrilled) that my six-year-old daughter corrects my French, but I didn't expect my three-year-old son to start just yet. But a couple of days ago, when I was offering him some raisins verts (green grapes), he indignantly stated, "Raisins blancs!" (white grapes), which I suppose must be the correct translation he has heard at school.  Read more »

What Bilingualism is Not

I have had the chance to live and work for extended periods of time in at least three countries: the United States, Switzerland and France, and as a researcher on bilingualism, it has allowed me to learn a lot about my topic of interest. I have found that people in these countries share many misconceptions about bilingualism and bilinguals but that they also have very country-specific attitudes towards them.  Read more »

Forgetting my Mother Tongue

Francois Grosjean's recent article on language forgetting struck a cord. I have experienced a form of language forgetting myself when I was seven years old, in a limited sense. My family moved from Frankfurt in Germany's Hessen region to Hamburg in the North. Both my sister and I had spoken "hessisch," the local dialect spoken in Hessen. Within six months after the move we had both completely switched to a Hamburg accent and had actually forgotten our dialect.  Read more »

Si­, Yes: Raising Bilingual Twins

While viewing a new exhibition at the art museum with my twin daughters, who are three and a half years old, we stopped in front of a painting that caught their attention. I asked them, "Que ven en esta obra?" (What do you see in this picture?) Emma jumped and said, "Nieve y Arboles" (snow and trees). Hannah, with a concerned face, answered, "Es buy scary" (it is very scary).  Read more »

Autism and Multilingualism: A Parent’s Perspective

It happened again last week. I was enjoying a cup of coffee with a colleague when she asked me point blank what language we spoke at home. I often get that question as my husband and I come from different countries and on top of that, we're expats in Turkey. This makes us, for all practical purposes, a trilingual family. But people don't buy that and they want to know which of our three languages we really speak, when no one is watching.  Read more »

Education in Multilingual Families: The Burning Question—Part One

Education. One word, carrying so much baggage. Hope for the future; worries about its quality and quantity. And for families raising bilingual or multilingual children, the language question adds another dimension of difficulty, especially if you are lucky enough to live in a place where you have lots of options. Matthew is four and a half. School starts at age three in France (although it isn't mandatory until age six).  Read more »

Help! My Bilingual Child Won’t Speak My Language

If you find your child refuses to speak your language, don't hit the panic button just yet. All you need is a little bit of patience and perhaps some organization too. As a parent of bilingual children, I have often heard parents bemoan the fact that their child refuses to speak back to them in their native tongue, preferring instead the language of the country they live in.  Read more »

Languages of the Mind and Heart: Growing up Trilingual in the UK

As someone who loves to write and read, a love of language and words fits naturally. My family is of Punjabi origin, hailing from Jhelum, Pakistan and therefore speaks a Patwari dialect of Punjabi. Growing up, I spoke Patwari with my mother and grandparents; this was the language they scolded us in (Danger! Animals!) and loved us in. The dialect they used is exactly the one they brought with them from Pakistan to the UK forty years ago.  Read more »

Raising Bilingual Children in Non-Native Language: Tools for Parents

So your kids have a ton of target language DVDs, books, websites and toys to fast-track their bilingualism, but what about you, the parent? If the target language isn't your native one, you'll be wanting to maintain and improve it any chance you get. But as we all know, being a parent doesn't give you the luxury of long stretches of free time for language-learning! The best way to keep up your language skills is to work it into your day-to-day life.  Read more »

Late Speaker and Bilingual? Changing a Common Belief

Popular wisdom would have it that bilingual children are generally late speakers. It was certainly my experience when my son at three didn't speak but a few words. People around me would tell me oh, don't worry it's because he's bilingual. My own doctor told me there was no need for concern as my son was learning two languages at the same time. Indeed, I met several parents of bilingual children who had the same kind of experience as me.  Read more »

Osmosis of Language

By the age of four, I had lived in three different countries and spoke pieces of three different languages. I was born in the former Soviet Union to an East German father and a Peruvian mother. My parents were university students in present day Ukraine and they communicated with each other in their only common language at that time, Russian. My first words were in Russian, although my father always addressed me in German and my mother in Spanish.  Read more »

Why I Want My Children to be Multilingual

Question: why is it important to me that my kids speak more than one language? I have to admit that I never really thought about this. When I married an Algerian woman I must have assumed my children would be multilingual. Or maybe I was so unprepared that I actually didn't have an opinion. But in hindsight it is obvious that there really was no choice for me.  Read more »

Another Benefit of Raising Kids in Non-native Language

In the beginning I often felt quite self-conscious speaking French in public, with my English accent and errors. But people have always been lovely--English people often try and say a few minority language (ml) words to the children, such as 'Bonjour' and 'Au revoir,' while French people are often curious about my decision to speak non-native French, particularly if they haven't spoken French with their own children! And an unforeseen benefit is that I feel less exposed when it comes to disciplining Schmoo in public! Schmoo sometimes teaches me new words now--a few days ago she kept referring to her pot of bubble mixture as a 'flacon,' a word I don't know and hadn't taught her.  Read more »

Reinforcing the Minority Language

Early on, I read quite a bit about language acquisition and discovered that children need interactive language exposure in order to learn a language. This means that sitting your child in front of the television to watch minority language (ml) programs alone will not teach them that language. Your child needs to be highly motivated to actually use the language in order to learn it, which is only possible if they are brought into contact with people who speak it and who they want or need to communicate with.  Read more »

Myths of Multilingual Families

In some families, children become bilingual. When a child interacts with one or more caretakers in a language on a regular basis, he or she learns to use that language. The key to learning languages in the home—whether one, two, or even more—is interaction. Interaction involves speaking and listening. In many intercultural families, however, children do not become bilingual.  Read more »

Adventures in Raising Trilingual Kids

Welcome to my blog! I am bringing up my children, Schmoo and Pan-Pan, to speak three languages: English, Twi and French. I started learning French at school (age 11) and loved it so much I ended up studying it to MA level (age 26). So after all those years of struggling to learn another language I wanted to give my kids the easy option! As my husband grew up in Ghana, he speaks fluent Twi, so it was easy to add this third language into the mix.  Read more »
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What Confused Me Most about Brits

The process of adjusting to the culture when I moved to England.

Do WASP Westerners Deserve Visibility in a Foreign Culture?

Yes, they most certainly do says this mom in China.

Managing a Picky Eater with International Travel

How would I succeed in getting her to eat in Europe?

A Year of Multicultural Picture Books for the Global Child

A fantastic reading list that includes a multicultural children's book for each month of the year.

Making Sense of the Berlin Wall as a Multicultural Family

How we see history has everything to do with the context in which we were taught.

21 Ideas for Families to Celebrate Ayyam-i-Ha

Crafts, recipes, books, games and more to make the most of this joyful Baha'i celebration.

Why Raise Global Citizens? An Interview with Homa Sabet Tavangar, Author of Growing Up Global

Why raising global kids is so important and the one quote everyone should keep in mind.

8 Children's Books for Black History Month

Learn about the world's richest man of all time and much more about African-American history.

Balancing Faith and Fashion with My Muslim Daughter

I never thought I would struggle to buy clothes for my daughter this young.

Celebrate Black History Month!

Find out why this author thinks African-American history month isn't the correct term.

Why I am Not Making Valentines This Year

And the problem with modern parenting.

Many Languages, One America: 25 Proud Bilingual Children

These kids make clear what language the U.S. speaks.

18 Ways to Celebrate the Lunar New Year with Crafts, Food and Children’s Books

From dragon crowns to Vietnamese spring rolls and lesson plans that don't stereotype.

Not a Fan of Disney Princesses? Six Ideas to Change the Script

Tired of princesses who need to be rescued? Here are six ideas to tweak the story!

6 Days in Nicaragua with Kids

Traveling to Nicaragua? Here are the things not to miss with kids!

Exploring Italy with Kids

After four months in Asia, we were ready for our next stop: Italy

Martin Luther King Day January 20

A celebration of the life and vision of an American hero.

18 Children’s Books to Celebrate Martin Luther King Day

18 children’s books for little ones to teens to celebrate Martin Luther King Day, including books about both MLK and others who influenced the Civil Rights Movement.

Raising Trilingual Children? An Interview Not to Miss!

Advice to parents from a young multilingual adult. Learn about what her parents did right.

Don’t Kill That Spider! Superstitions in a Multicultural Family

Why the number 4 is bad luck, spiders are good and mirrors in the bedroom bad.

The Power of Immersion Travel

Here's my daughter reading a local Nicaraguan newspaper along with me this morning, something that would likely never happen at home.

12 Days of Multicultural Musical Activities (Part Two)

The holidays don't have to end at Christmas..start thinking ahead for the Lunar New Year!

12 Days of Multicultural Musical Activities (Part One)

Here are 12 different ways you can make the holidays bright by exploring diversity and making music.

11 African-American Children’s Books for Christmas and Kwanzaa

Try a few of these from this fantastic selection of African-American holiday books

Mexican Wedding Cookie Recipe

Awesome recipe for yummy Mexican wedding cookies.

My Chinese Mother-in-Law Comes to Canada: A Foreigner in A Foreign Land

Would she feel irritable about the language barrier, hate the food or complain so relentlessly that I’d fantasize about leaving her stranded on a downtown street corner?

Why Racism Destroys Us All: Lessons from the Documentary "American Promise"

The criticism that the filmmakers of "American Promise" have faced for filming their kids over the course of 13 years misses the point entirely.

Super Healthy Pumpkin Chia Pudding

Gluten-free and dairy-free—it's equally awesome as a breakfast and dessert.

5 Multicultural Picture Books For Younger Children

Here are some recommendations for those hard to find multicultural books for younger kids.

8 Awesome Pinterest Boards for Bilingual Kids

8 pinterest boards you should be following if you are raising bilingual kids.

How to Start a New Language with Your Child

A multilingual mom shares what's worked in her family

Thankfulness, Insecurity and Adoption: A Messy Lesson

My daughter likes moms who are made-up, fashionable and wear leather boots, in essence everything I am not.

Fall Traditions and Celebrations Around the World

See the beautiful celebrations around the world during the fall.

Cross-Cultural Differences in Discipline in Japan

Why don't the Japanese seem to discipline their kids this mom wonders.

5 Fun Halloween Costumes with a Global Twist

Original and sure to turn heads

What the British and Algerians Have in Common

And why it was so hard for me to date a German at first

Real Intercultural Family in France: Spanish, French and English

It all started in a history class in Utah.
[…] and a Polish Easter craft called Palma Wycinanka (cut paper palm). She also shares the interesting Czech Easter tradition of “whipping” girls and women with a special braided p...
From What’s Easter without a Whipping?
[…] InCulture Parent has a sweet Easter recipe for Italian cookies, and a Polish Easter craft called Palma Wycinanka (cut paper palm). She also shares the interesting Czech Easter tradition of...
From Polish Easter Craft: Palma-Wycinanka
[…] took me months to figure out that I was being rude (I am German, after all), and that the tutting was actually a very strong display of […...
From Are Germans Really Rude?
Dear Not Fluent, I think it's positive that you speak to your child both in Cantonese and English. Between 0-5 years, language learning is emotional, as opposed to adult learning, when you turn t...
From Do I teach my child my native language even though I am not fluent?
[…] from InCulture Parent has a sweet Easter recipe for Italian cookies, and a Polish Easter craft called Palma Wycinanka (cut paper palm). She also shares the interesting […...
From Easter Recipe: Aunt Angie’s Italian Cookies
I can relate totally. There is a point where one can adjust what read but what you read May not work at all. Mostly, it's going back to heart centered awareness not the mind that determines the bes...
From Why African Babies Don’t Cry
I can totally relate to your list, as we are raising our son to speak English and French. People say really stupid stuff about raising multilingual children, but then again, people say really stupid...
From 10 Things Not to Say to Parents of Multilingual Children
[…] spricht, begegnet man Menschen verschiedener Herkunft mit mehr Offenheit. Ein Beweis dafür ist meine dreisprachige Tochter, wie sie auf Koreanisch singt – dank einiger ihrer Koreanisch...
From Is My Daughter Singing in Korean?
Love this. I had read the other article and comments earlier, and was also horrified. One only needs to read more of your articles and blogs to know you are the furthest thing from a racist with a s...
From Do WASP Westerners Deserve Visibility in a Foreign Culture?
Your grandmother sounds like a very wise woman. I have 3 children and while it's a bit of an adjustment I have realized that things like babywearing, co sleeping and frequent nursing really are key ...
From Why African Babies Don’t Cry
@Calliope: Below is written with no offense given with the hope that none is taken. As this is just an online blog discourse, not some academic cultural theory debate and most importantly the commen...
From Are French Kids Better Behaved Because They are Spanked?
@Raymond Uhe I just wanted to say thanks for the post. Had I wanted to respond directly to this article, I imagine what I would have written would be quite similar. I've been living in Germany for s...
From Are Germans Really Rude?
I agree. Culture affects it, most likely the default parentin...
From Intentional vs. Default Parenting
I believe that in America we have gone too far in protecting and isolating children from world realities. The helicopter parent mentality has taken over our thinking that kids must be shielded, gui...
From Are French Kids Better Behaved Because They are Spanked?
A birth in india. Would seem like a lot to take on. Indian. Have nautral cuts. I use senses and ear power during energy. Nutrients. Milk baths . If I ever visit Kenya. I would see for sure the schoo...
From Why African Babies Don’t Cry
Sorry, meant Ivan's pos...
From Are Germans Really Rude?
I am German, but mobed to the US when I was pretty young and nowadays only go back to Hamburg to visit once a year. I think nobody doubts that there are many lovely people in Germany, but I absolute...
From Are Germans Really Rude?
It's very funny that people (who aren't French) believe that French children behave all the time, eat everything and never throw tantrums etc. But French children are some of the worst-behaved kids...
From Are French Kids Better Behaved Because They are Spanked?
My thinking is that Japanese "spoil" their children. Not in a bad way, but in the way that most youngest children in the U.S. are treated. The result is that it often only takes a look from their ...
From Cross-Cultural Differences in Discipline in Japan
This is interesting to me, Ember, because I've married into a Mexican family and I find myself more often disavowing the cultural stereotypes they have about Americans. (People are generally surpri...
From Do WASP Westerners Deserve Visibility in a Foreign Culture?
[…] Last time we were in Berlin we didn’t really explain its history to the kids because they were too small. This time it’s different and it’s not always straightforward. I ...
From Making Sense of the Berlin Wall as a Multicultural Family
[…] by critics, but recently a couple of comments really got under my skin. They were in response to a piece I wrote about my mother-in-law’s journey to Canada—her first trip to the West. ...
From My Chinese Mother-in-Law Comes to Canada: A Foreigner in A Foreign Land
I also have a really picky eater! My 3 year old sounds exactly like this and, while not scared to travel, I do get very sad that he can't experience the joy of a fresh dim sum, a juicy steak or a tr...
From Managing a Picky Eater with International Travel
This is really interesting. We all came from different countries with different culture and beliefs. Here in the Philippines ear piercing with a new born baby girl is up to the mother's decision. So...
From The Great Ear Piercing Debate in Our Multicultural Home
Back in the mid-70's I refused to put on an nylon buttoned overall because it looked too feminine to me,so my mother came back with the Martinet in hand ( a childrens whip,looks like a flogger but t...
From Are French Kids Better Behaved Because They are Spanked?
The strangest playground in the world https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/playmovie/back-to-the-land-an-adventure-play-documentary http://www.theatlantic.com/features/archive/2014/03/hey-parent...
From Top 10 Most Imaginative Playgrounds Around the World
I used to live in Kenya, and I moved back to my home country. Yes, it is easy to be a working mom in Nairobi when you can get employ a lady from the village, or the slum, to come and live with you ...
From Why Being a Working Mother is Better
Please send me e-mail address to which I can send 2014 announcement of the Children's Africana Book Awards and an article from Teaching Tolerance on the importance of the work your website is doing....
From What We Are Not About
I breastfed my daughter until she was 3 1/2. We had to stop because I began taking a prescription and could no longer do it. I am a single mom and I work full time. In those early years I felt li...
From Why African Toddlers Don’t Have Tantrums
I also need to comment that SIDS is only given that name as cause of death is undetermined. It can be that a baby just stops breathing, their body doesn't alert them, and we don't know why. There ar...
From Why African Babies Don’t Cry
Hi, I am 28 without children... I just like to read about medicine and various women's topics relating to it. I do not have any personal experience with breastfeeding. My question is aren't you conc...
From Why African Babies Don’t Cry
These books sound great and most of the titles are new to me. Thank you so much for sharin...
From A Year of Multicultural Picture Books for the Global Child
I appreciate the feedback everyone! And how sweet that this song even brings up memories of your mom teaching your sister this song as a child Bill! It's almost a year later and my daughter continue...
From Is My Daughter Singing in Korean?
I know this is old, but she is singing a Korean patty cake song my mom taught my sister as a chil...
From Is My Daughter Singing in Korean?
Lovely post! I nursed all four of our boys on demand and couldn't wrap my head about the whole scheduled feedings thing. We coslept and I did wear them a lot. With the twins, I sometimes felt like ...
From Why African Babies Don’t Cry
Hi Nichole, We did not vaccinate against either and felt fine about that decision. Hope you have a great tri...
From 6 Days in Nicaragua with Kids
Thanks for the great post. We are going to Nicaragua with out two kids- also 5 and 8- in two weeks. Did you vaccinate the kids for Hep A and typhoid? I was not planning to but would love more thoug...
From 6 Days in Nicaragua with Kids
"As a parent you have an intrinsic authority you display. When you discipline you should not doubt themselves, and kids feel that." Luliana Calin makes a crucial point. When it comes to parental dis...
From Are French Kids Better Behaved Because They are Spanked?
this was a beautiful article thank you. My baby also wanted to feed very often...we co -slept and I got used to waking a little to do it. She is now six and has asked for her own room and sleeps in ...
From Why African Babies Don’t Cry