How Dayana is Passing on Her Spanish Heritage to Her Kids - So They Embrace It!

 

Want your kids to be connected to their family heritage but are scared of how on earth you could bridge the divide in a way that would help your kids not only fall in love with the culture but also their language?

This week Dayana from Spanish at Cedar Hill shares the importance of passing on your family heritage to your kids especially while they're young.
She dives into how teaching her kids the Spanish language played a huge part in creating a consistent environment towards them leaning into their background and how you can get started at home with ease too!


Want to Read the Transcript? Check her full story out below!

My name is Diana Frich. I am from Colombia, I moved to the US in the year 2007 and I have three children. My daughter is going to be 12 in August. My son, my middle child is 10 and my little one is 6 years old.

At the moment when I had my first child, I was still in the process of learning English, myself with Spanish being my native language, I wanted to, have good foundations, but I wanted to practice and I wanted to learn all these things that you only learn when you really immerse yourself in another language.

So because of that, I didn't start teaching my kids right away about the language. But that goal was always in mind from the very beginning. I knew that eventually, and at some point sooner, rather than later, I wanted to start teaching my kids the language.

So my goal was to teach the language to my kids. So that way they could communicate with grandma essentially mainly, but also keeping in mind, all my family members that did not speak the language. So that was one of the main reasons why we wanted to do it. And in addition to that we understand, and we are aware of the many advantages of teaching the language you know, for, for, to raise children, bilingually creates a great advantage to them.

That was always kind of in the back of our minds and helped us start with some vocabulary, some easy things. We will do some flashcards. We will do talk about food and day to day things that were easy to kind of point at and show and, and talk to the kids about it. And then we just went from there.

That was, that was the main goal, just for them to be able, communicate with family and for the opportunities that they will have in the future. I will try to speak to the kids in Spanish, play music in Spanish. We will read books. We will go to the library and find books in Spanish. And then sometimes it was so neat to see how the kids will include that by grabbing the book and showing their dad what they did with mom early on during the day, that kinda thing.

So that's kinda how we, they approach it. The two older are able to communicate very good, and the little one, he just gets it and he doesn't even know how we don't know how, but, you know, or maybe we do know how it's, because we started speaking to him from the very beginning.

But it's just a beautiful thing to see how it happened. So naturally for him. See, I will say that preserving that heritage has been one of the reasons why we wanted to make sure that they were, were aware of what the heritage was for their mom and what traditions. So like we celebrate the independence of Colombia.

We cook Colombian food and obviously everything comes with like the names of the food or the kind of music and the kind of like books, traditional books that I grew up with, or the little, or the songs that I grew up with that I had to the kids from the very beginning when they were babies.

So it is very, very important for us to preserve those roots for, for everyone, even my husband, he it's a hundred percent on board so much so that just this past October, we spent a full month in Colombia because we wanted the kids to be immersed in this culture that we have been talking ever since they were born.

So it's, it's been beautiful to see how much they remember and they learn and they are accepting of my culture and now becoming their culture as well. My middle child, like I said, he's been a little hardest when I will say except all the, all these differences, right. That all the kids perhaps don't have, or their American kids don't have here. And like when we started routine, I will say for Spanish learning, he will say, "I don't like Spanish". And yet when we went to Columbia, he was the one that enjoyed the food. The most was, was most, most interested in the, and so these opportunities, we were like, "see, you are Colombian.

That's why you are enjoying this food so much. That's why you were feeling, you know, all these things". And he laughed and he's like, "okay, fine, I may be a little bit Colombian" so, yeah.

And you can see, like my older, my oldest, she just loves the culture more than anything. She just loves, it wants to learn more. She gets books at the library about Colombian people and asks many questions about it. And it's very nice to see that they accept it and they know that they are different in a very beautiful way. And that's what makes them unique and special.

There is this this generation that kind of missed out on the big blessing of being bilingual and learning the language for one or other reason. And I have, like you said, I have had many families come to me, ask me, like, what do I do? I just don't feel like, you know, confident enough or like I know enough to be able to pass it on to my children.

I just always encourage them because whatever it is that you are teaching your children, you don't need to be an expert on you just need to have the desire to start. And from there, you can, you will, the path will be creating itself.

And in the sense that you will, as you go, you'll start figuring out what works for our family. How can we go about it? Where can we find the community that we can learn from? Where can we find the material or resources that will support our journey of learning the language.

I just encourage them to, in a way that is more general as a mom, you can teach your kid everything, whatever it is just because there is no one in the world that will know your kid better than yourself. So even, even if it's the language, and even if you don't know all the grammar or all the vocabulary, you'll be able to figure it out as you go.

You just need to have some basics, which you have and go from there to be able to star me and start little, you know, you don't need to start have the whole, you know, school year or school career for the children.

Figure out when you start. We just need to start thinking about perhaps this year and then maybe this month, and then this day and go from there!

To follow along with Dayana's journey, make sure you head to her Website, Instagram and Facebook here and support the incredible work she's doing!

If you're looking for support to help your kids get started with Spanish at home so you CAN pass on your family heritage, make sure you download your free guide below to see how easy it can be to get started at home.

This resource is perfect for parents - even if you're not fluent in the language and would love a little extra support!

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