DH is multilingual. The children and I are not. I would very much LOVE for the kids to be bilingual Arabic (DH's mother language) English.
But at this point that has not happened.
And I think it's completely unfair to them as they can't speak to half of their own family! (I guess this has REALLY hit home to me now as the older two are starting to talk to people on the phone and I remember that I was probably 5 when I used to type little letters to my grandma on my mom's work typewriter,
) Seems just so friggin wrong to me that for whatever reason, DH refuses to talk to them in Arabic. He's dropped the argument with me now that they'll confuse the two. Now he's moved into "they will learn when we go overseas" Sigh. While they might learn fast in full immersion, I think the whole experience would be better for them if they had at least a LITTLE bit of the language!
Not to mention don't you think his mom might like to be able to talk to her grandchildren?!
I guess this is mainly a vent. Maybe I'm super sensitive because I grew up with a close relationship to both of my grandmothers especially, and I just lost my mom's mom the day after Thanksgiving. I adored her, and I am fairly sure I was closer to her than many of the grandkids....I just can't imagine not being able to know your own grandmother. I am almost going to cry now as I type this.
But also a chance to share a few of the funny comments DS1 is starting to make.
The kids had a lot of fun in the town where DH's aunt lives, visiting her. It just so happens we visited several Sudanese families there. Later, the kids overheard a conversation we had about possibly moving there, and DS later tells me we can't move there because I don't speak Arabic. LOL (the kids actually WANT to move there, DS tells me so regularly, that he wants to play with his "cousin", DD wants her hair braided like DH's aunt's and the other little girls--something they can do and I can't.)
Anyway back to the original subject.....I've told DH I really think this sucks. I've told him all my reasons. I've told him *I* would like to begin to learn a little conversation at least. I've even told him I don't give a flip that i don't know what he is saying to them, I WANT him to spend some time talking to them, I will NOT feel "left out." In fact, I would like to LEARN.
I have even gone as far as to suggest we have maybe mealtimes or something where we ONLY speak Arabic. Not that we're going to punish the kids or not answer them if they speak English, but that it would be a good way to learn.
I told him that while we were at his aunt's house, his brother called (Dh was not there) and his aunt actually put me on the phone. I exhausted my entire vocabulary with a greeting and "How are you" and then I half-understood a response
Has anyone had this experience in getting started being a bilingual family?? What did you do to change it? My main concern/point is I want my children to be able to communicate with their own relatives. This is, after all, their FAMILY......