People put so much pressure on babies to learn things, and on parents to teach them. It’s hardly enough anymore for your child to just be doing all the normal developmental things, if they aren’t also doing something extra, it can feel like you really aren’t preparing them for life. Supposedly, babies are great at learning languages – their brains are little sponges. People say, “You’re bilingual, you should teach your baby Spanish at an early age!”
I’m sorry, have you met babies? Mine doesn’t even speak English. Listen, I tried to teach my baby Spanish, and he got puke all over my high-school Spanish textbook during the very first lesson. If he can’t even be trusted with the book, I don’t see how he will stick with the study plan I mapped out for him.
He hasn’t filled out the flashcards yet. They’re still laying on the floor next to him where I put them over an hour ago. He’s just rolling around and babbling, like he’s not invested in his own learning at all. I’m sorry, but if he’s not going to make even a small effort to learn, I can’t force him. I’m not a miracle worker.
I asked him to pick a Spanish name from a list, to personalize the Spanish lessons. He pointed to “Cristobal.” So, all throughout the lesson I’m like, “Cristobal, pay attention, I graded your quiz, and, I mean, It’s like you didn’t try at all, Cristobal. Cristobal, stop looking at your hand, and pay attention. Cristobal, are you even listening? Listen. Escucha! If you don’t pass the makeup quiz, we can’t go on to chapter 2. Now, try the exercises on page 12 again, and we’ll go from there.
He won’t call me by my Spanish name, “Mariella” either.
At 15 months he finally learned to say, “Mama.” And I was like, “That’s great, but it’s Spanish time! I’m Mariella. Ma-ri-el-la.” I feel like I’m doing all the work here.
Next week I’m going to try to jazz things up by taking him to a Spanish cultural festival they’re having at the library, and then he can do a report on a Spanish speaking country. I don’t know though, if he doesn’t show an interest, I don’t see how I can force him.
Maybe he’s not ready for this. I may have to give up on it.
In that case, I’ll just teach him French.