Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Elementary School Kids Elementary School Kids

Advice Needed: How do I get my kindergartener to want to learn...

Posted by on Jul. 10, 2014 at 7:30 AM
  • 32 Replies

When she was a baby I used to only speak spanish to her. She understood both english and spanish, since her father only speaks english. However, noone else spoke spanish to her, so she learned more english than spanish and at some point would only speak english.
Since she was going to daycare with english speaking kids, she did not lean any spanish there either. The problem got worse when she started preschool, to the point that I almost gave up and just spoke english to her, trying to introduce spanish words whenever I could.

Now she's about to go to kindergarten and she refuses to speak spanish. She doesn't even want to hear me speak spanish. I know she understands most of what I say to her, because when push comes to shove, she does as she is told even in spanish. 

My husband never bothered to learn spanish. I work all day and when I get home I don't want to spend the couple of hours I have left with her fighting because she doesn't want to even listen to me speak my first language. 

I want her to learn, It is something very important to me. Most of my family do not speak english and I want my kids to be able to talk to their grandmother and cousins.

I'm trying to introduce spanish to my toddler as well. She at least listens and is learning both languages, just like my older one used to.


Any ideas?

by on Jul. 10, 2014 at 7:30 AM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-10):
mjande4
by Platinum Member on Jul. 10, 2014 at 8:29 AM
1 mom liked this

First, stop stressing over it. Second, just continue speaking your native language here and there at home, but don't push it on them if they truly don't want to learn it. You will end up being resented. You also have to realize that as your child goes to school, she needs to get a firm grasp of the English language to succeed in this country.

Dalimonster
by New Member on Jul. 10, 2014 at 8:37 AM

Thank you. She does have a firm grasp of english, as do I. She speaks is almost as well as my husband, who is American. She is only having problems with tenses, which is quite normal at 5 years old.

I suppose I am stressing a bit too much. It is just very frustrating when your child refuses to speak to you because you are speaking a different language. 

I just hope her starting kindergarten in a town where there are very few spanish speaking people won't reinforce her sentiment about not wanting to learn spanish. 


Quoting mjande4:

First, stop stressing over it. Second, just continue speaking your native language here and there at home, but don't push it on them if they truly don't want to learn it. You will end up being resented. You also have to realize that as your child goes to school, she needs to get a firm grasp of the English language to succeed in this country.


mommy053008
by Maria on Jul. 10, 2014 at 8:44 AM
1 mom liked this
Just keep speaking Spanish. It is very good for a child to learn two languages. I wish I grew up bilingual. My daughter is at a school where she has to take Spanish class. :-)
mjande4
by Platinum Member on Jul. 10, 2014 at 8:45 AM

Keep in mind you have chosen to raise your daughter in America, not a Spanish speaking country, therefore she SHOULD be speaking English. It's not a battle I would wage. You can sneak phrases in here and there without being forceful.

Quoting Dalimonster:

Thank you. She does have a firm grasp of english, as do I. She speaks is almost as well as my husband, who is American. She is only having problems with tenses, which is quite normal at 5 years old.

I suppose I am stressing a bit too much. It is just very frustrating when your child refuses to speak to you because you are speaking a different language. 

I just hope her starting kindergarten in a town where there are very few spanish speaking people won't reinforce her sentiment about not wanting to learn spanish. 


Quoting mjande4:

First, stop stressing over it. Second, just continue speaking your native language here and there at home, but don't push it on them if they truly don't want to learn it. You will end up being resented. You also have to realize that as your child goes to school, she needs to get a firm grasp of the English language to succeed in this country.



steelcrazy
by Emerald Member on Jul. 10, 2014 at 9:06 AM
1 mom liked this

If speaking Spanish is so important to you, look into a language immersion school that teaches in Spanish.  

I don't speak a word of Spanish and have never had any problems without it.  I do speak from French and German though.

Dalimonster
by New Member on Jul. 10, 2014 at 9:14 AM
4 moms liked this

Choosing to raise my daughter in the US should not mean that she should only speak english. I resent that. Just because I came here and decided to stay because the job opportunities were better and I fell in love with my husband does not mean that I should just abandon my culture and language and that my children should be brought up without it.

Like I said, my daughter speaks english and will continue to do so. That is not in question here. I did not post this here looking for advice on how to get my daughter to abandon english. I asked for advice on how to get her to want to learn more spanish. Now if you do not agree that she should learn a second language, you are entitled to your opinion, and as such, you can keep it. 


Quoting mjande4:

Keep in mind you have chosen to raise your daughter in America, not a Spanish speaking country, therefore she SHOULD be speaking English. It's not a battle I would wage. You can sneak phrases in here and there without being forceful.

Quoting Dalimonster:

Thank you. She does have a firm grasp of english, as do I. She speaks is almost as well as my husband, who is American. She is only having problems with tenses, which is quite normal at 5 years old.

I suppose I am stressing a bit too much. It is just very frustrating when your child refuses to speak to you because you are speaking a different language. 

I just hope her starting kindergarten in a town where there are very few spanish speaking people won't reinforce her sentiment about not wanting to learn spanish. 


Quoting mjande4:

First, stop stressing over it. Second, just continue speaking your native language here and there at home, but don't push it on them if they truly don't want to learn it. You will end up being resented. You also have to realize that as your child goes to school, she needs to get a firm grasp of the English language to succeed in this country.




mjande4
by Platinum Member on Jul. 10, 2014 at 9:18 AM
2 moms liked this

NO WHERE did I tell you to abandon your culture or language. I did, however, tell you to stop pushing it on a child who isn't interested. She will resent you if you do, because I can tell you from years of experience kids want to fit in and they do NOT want to be the kid who doesn't speak English well. You can teach her without her knowing it, just be SUBTLE.

Quoting Dalimonster:

Choosing to raise my daughter in the US should not mean that she should only speak english. I recent that. Just because I came here and decided to stay because the job opportunities were better and I fell in love with my husband does not mean that I should just abandon my culture and language and that my children should be brought up without it.

Like I said, my daughter speaks english and will continue to do so. That is not in question here. I did not post this here looking for advice on how to get my daughter to abandon english. I asked for advice on how to get her to want to learn more spanish. Now if you do not agree that she should learn a second language, you are entitled to your opinion, and as such, you can keep it. 


Quoting mjande4:

Keep in mind you have chosen to raise your daughter in America, not a Spanish speaking country, therefore she SHOULD be speaking English. It's not a battle I would wage. You can sneak phrases in here and there without being forceful.

Quoting Dalimonster:

Thank you. She does have a firm grasp of english, as do I. She speaks is almost as well as my husband, who is American. She is only having problems with tenses, which is quite normal at 5 years old.

I suppose I am stressing a bit too much. It is just very frustrating when your child refuses to speak to you because you are speaking a different language. 

I just hope her starting kindergarten in a town where there are very few spanish speaking people won't reinforce her sentiment about not wanting to learn spanish. 


Quoting mjande4:

First, stop stressing over it. Second, just continue speaking your native language here and there at home, but don't push it on them if they truly don't want to learn it. You will end up being resented. You also have to realize that as your child goes to school, she needs to get a firm grasp of the English language to succeed in this country.





soymujer
by Mikki on Jul. 10, 2014 at 10:25 AM

My oldest first language was Spanish.  Then he learned English.  We spoke Spanish at home and he'd get English at the daycare.  Then I divorced his dad and went to English only.  Biggest regret ever.  And now as teens and having to take Spanish in school, they want nothing to do with the language.  Even though they still talk to their dad.  Good luck.

family in the van   Mom of four


Dalimonster
by New Member on Jul. 10, 2014 at 10:30 AM

:-( That is what I'm trying to avoid.  I need a way to get back into speaking more spanish to her without her screaming and crying. :-(


Quoting soymujer:

My oldest first language was Spanish.  Then he learned English.  We spoke Spanish at home and he'd get English at the daycare.  Then I divorced his dad and went to English only.  Biggest regret ever.  And now as teens and having to take Spanish in school, they want nothing to do with the language.  Even though they still talk to their dad.  Good luck.


WatchmansMoon
by on Jul. 10, 2014 at 11:28 AM

The fact that she knows what you're saying is all that's important really.  She's very fortunate to be learning two languages as she grows up, even if only speaking one of them right now.  Have you ever heard of children that don't start speaking at all until they pretty much use full sentences?  All the information is in there, they're just not speaking it back yet.  Your daughter's is a lucky little girl, and she'll thank you when she's older.  And I hear my Vietnamese neighbor speak only Vietnamese to her two boys, while dad speaks English with them.  They never respond back in anything but English, but they seem to know everything she's saying to them.  I think she'll be fine.  Just don't stop what you're doing! 

~ Seek the Light ~
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

close Join now to connect to
other members!
Connect with Facebook or Sign Up Using Email

Already Joined? LOG IN