How Dayana is Passing on Her Spanish Heritage to Her Kids - So They Embrace It!
Learn a Language, Learn a Culture
Our cultures give us a sense of belonging and bind us to our loved ones. But as time goes on, and lives get busier - we’re struggling to pass this incredibly important knowledge to our kids.
Some families have unfortunately lost touch with their traditions, practices, and even their languages. It can happen for many reasons, but one of the most common is migration and assimilation.
For instance, Latin American families were discouraged from speaking Spanish when they first began settling in the US and that made it difficult for them to pass their language and traditions to their children. Now, their kids are at threat of completely losing connection to their roots.
Which would be an incredibly sad loss for them and the world as a whole.
Think about your own home. Do you wish your kids knew a little more about where they come from? Perhaps, you want them to better connect with their grandparents.
You can try taking baby steps and begin by teaching your kiddos their mother tongue. It's the easiest way to get them excited about their culture and will benefit them in more ways than one.
Today we’re going to meet a mama who embarked on an incredible journey of re-introducing her kids to their culture through Spanish language lessons.
Some background on Dayana
Dayana, who grew up speaking Spanish in Colombia, migrated to the US many years ago, where she now raises 3 adorable little kiddos.
In order to make her transition to the US easier, Dayana was keen on assimilating with the local culture and made it a point to improve her English language skills and spoke it all the time.
Since her children were US citizens, she thought it would be best to start them off with English to help them better fit in. But Dayana always knew that she would eventually teach her kids their native tongue so they would never lose touch with their Colombian roots.
Dayana’s journey to teaching her children Spanish
Dayana’s entire family speaks Spanish and she had this vision of her children interacting with the family in their native tongue and forming closer connections. This was reason enough to get started teaching her kids Spanish.
However, she was also aware of the many benefits of raising bilingual children, which gave her even more reasons to get started on gifting her kids a second language.
She started off slow by:
Incorporating some flashcard activities into playtime
Talking about different types of Colombian food
Using day-to-day objects to teach them words in Spanish
Speaking in Spanish around her children
Playing Spanish music
Going to the library and helping them read books in Spanish
These easy activities caught the interest of her kiddos almost instantly and they just couldn’t get enough of it. Both her oldest and middle children were now fluent Spanish and English speakers. As for her youngest, a 6-year-old son, she didn’t have to put in much effort as he naturally picked up the language from his older siblings.
Along with these language lessons, Dayana also made sure to include lessons about their Colombian heritage through food, music, books, and holidays. They even took a 4 month long trip to Colombia to truly immerse her kiddos in the culture.
And it worked like a charm!
Dayana’s words of advice to her fellow mamas
You don’t have to be an expert in whatever you wish to teach your children. All you need to do as a mama is have a goal and take it one step at a time. Along the way, you will slowly but surely start to understand what works best for your family.
At the end of the day, you’re the only one who knows what's best for your child and once you’ve figured that out, there’s nothing that you can’t teach them.
Keeping our kids connected to their roots is incredibly important, and one day they might pass on these very lessons and traditions to their own children. An extremely easy way to do this is through language.
Are you and your kids working towards learning about your own heritage? Let me know in the comments!
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