Friday, 10 May 2013

I've Hit a Big, Fat Brick Wall

Today I am not feeling very positive about speaking French with my children.

I have woken up questioning the whole thing.

It's really weird but I feel like I did way back in the early months when I started out speaking French to Poppette as a small baby.

Sometimes, I see mothers with children older than mine and I watch the interaction between them and listen to the things they chat about and the types of words they choose from their native language to have these discussions in.... and I wonder whether we will ever achieve that. Will I be able to teach my children about all the things I should teach them and all the extra things I want to teach them in my non-native language....Or not?

Should I speak English sometimes and what will the effect be? Interestingly, Poppette really pushes back if I try and speak English with her... (I will write a post about that later).

My two and a half year old daughter speaks French, my one year old son understands it and over the past two and a half years, we have built a mountain of French resources. This makes me feel that if I stop now everything will have been such a huge waste... but.... if it can't or won't work in the long term, is it better to cut and run?



  1. I know it's not the same thing but...when Suz was about 2 she started speaking to me in French. And I had to ignore her. I wondered if I was doing the right thing because I was missing out on her french part but "refusing" to speak french to her or even acknowledge her when she spoke french. That said...i think there are ups and downs, plateaus and such no matter what language we speak with our kids. It will work out and if it doesn't, you're not losing anything by trying (or do you think you are?). why wouldn't it? All kids are different... keep up the good work! you're doing great.

  2. Interesting question Reb (Do I think were losing anything)... I guess when I let myself worry about all this i do feel we are missing out on words! With the best will in the world, I dont have as many words infrench as i do in english so i guess our intereactions are more limited. I have heard other non-native parents say that it can be a good thing though as it means they are more deliberate in all their interactions with their children as they have to pick words carefully from the selection they have.... I guess it can be tiring...always trying to find the right words!

    As for how things worked with you and must have been really quite hard to ignore her when she spoke to you in've given me some food for thought there. Did it ever upset her or did she get used to it pretty quickly?

  3. she figured it out very quickly. I would ignore her in a loving way (if that's possible!). (sorry, checking in a couple weeks later...)

    1. Ok.... i'm going to give it a whirl :-) watch this space and thanks again for your help Reb !