Many studies have shown the benefits of raising a child with more than one language, but this research seldom mention the benefits for that’s child’s parents. I get to discipline my daughter in two languages and that, my friends, is priceless.
Actually, I find myself scolding my child in Spanish in a more “colorful” way than in English.
Borders Bookstore, New Year’s Day:
In English: “Amelia stop running around the store or you are going to fall!”
Three year old falls.
In Spanish: “Eso te pasa por correr como una loca por la tienda”
Translation: “Serves you right for running around like a maniac inside the store.”
(That time the technique backfired when I noticed my baby girl had a bloody lip but anyway, I told her not to run around the store.)
Family residence before sunrise
In English: “Amelia take your socks off or you are going to slip and fall.”
Daughter slips and falls flat on her behind.
In Spanish: “Toma. Tu culpa por correr con medias puestas.”
Translation: “Take that. Your fault for not taking your socks off.”
I have to admit I favor this kind of bilungual discipline in public. I’m sure I would get a look or two if instead of running to my kid’s side when she falls, I blame her for her stumble.
So if you have been wanting to pick up a second language but thought “when would I really need to speak Spanish, French, Tagalog in the United States?”, this is your perfect opportunity. Dust off the Rosetta Stone, bilingual discipline may be the secret to a well behaved child and a stress free parent. You can thank me later. Ay Mama!
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