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Is it talking another language really that bad?

Posted by on Jul. 2, 2013 at 4:50 AM
  • 14 Replies
So here it is l am mexican l have been here for 8 years and l am married to an italian from N.Y. this last Saturday our son had his birthday party so of course l have friends who speak english and friends who speak spanish at one point my sister in law (the wife of my husband's brother) grabbed my son and started playing with him she was sitting on a chair with him in her lap everything was fine until my son drop a dinosaur and he said half sentence in english and half sentence in spanish she didn't understand and started scolding my son telling him No, don't speak spanish to me say it in english what do you want?? My son got to a point where he wanted to get down and she didn't let him go she kept scolding him, finally l guess my son got distracted with his cake and stopped screaming and all that, l didn't noticed because l was serving the cake and busy with the guests but when they left all my female friends where very mad because how she acted and she treated my son, at the begining l was so mad because they where telling me all this stuff ( not at them, but at me because l didn't realize) anyway it has been on my mind ever since and l even want to call her and tell her not to treat my son like that again, and not EVER tell him not to speak spanish like if it was something wrong to speak it, she is italian she never speaks italian tho, but when my son was born l even told her l want you to teach him italian l mean the more he learns it is better, but l am not ashamed of my ethnicity and l want my son to be able to communicate with our family that don't speak english is that so bad??? Would you guys call her to tell her something???

I forgot to add that my son turned 3 so he's speaking but still doesn't have control of what language talk to who, my husband doesn't speak spanish so my son talks half and half it's not even that my son ONLY speaks spanish, all the cartoons are in english, the songs, the toys, etc l am the only one that speaks spanish with him.

So what you guys would do if you were in my shoes?

Update..--- thank you very much for all your advise for this time l am going to let it pass but l will keep my eyes wide open next time we see her, fortunately we don't see her very often, l hope it doesn't happen again but if it does l would make her very clear that whatever l teach my son is what l HIS MOTHER think that is the best for him that speaking two languages or more is not bad and also to keep her nose out of my life...
by on Jul. 2, 2013 at 4:50 AM
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Replies (1-10):
by Member on Jul. 2, 2013 at 4:57 AM
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Your SIL needs to get a grip. At your son's age it's not easy to separate the two languages. He needs HELP to learn. Scolding him will NOT help at all.

Personally, I would let it go this time but next time you see her, suggest to her that when your son says something she doesn't understand to ask you what he said so she can help him learn the difference between both languages. Make it a teaching moment for her rather than a blaming one.

People who only speak one language seldom understand the difficulties involved with speaking two ...

by Platinum Member on Jul. 2, 2013 at 5:11 AM
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That is odd....... I learned spanish and i was able to talk to a native italian just fine using spanish language.  Was it a slang word for an object?   I would be very upset if someone scolded my child for using the language they know from mommy. I agree with gold to use this as a learning experience rather than an accusing/blame experience.

by Member on Jul. 2, 2013 at 5:33 AM
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Your SIL sounds like a horrible woman. I would not let her be around my child again until she apologizes to you AND to him for being a racist.

She will probably get mad, though, and NOT apologize. Then you never have to see her! Problem solved!
by on Jul. 2, 2013 at 7:06 AM
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Your SIL was being harsh, he's 3.It's not easy speaking two languages, especially at 3 when they are still learning. I agree with pp, you should talk to your SIL about it, and that she can always ask you what he means if she doesn't understand

by Ruby Member on Jul. 2, 2013 at 9:05 AM
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Once he learns them both, which is awesome, he will begin to speak mostly in English. He is in transition. All kids learning 2 languages speak both in the same sentence.
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by Barb on Jul. 2, 2013 at 9:24 AM
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It is delightful to me multilingual.  And easier to learn languages when young.

by Bronze Member on Jul. 2, 2013 at 9:29 AM
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While I can understand "sweetie I don't know Spanish, can you say it again in English" and wouldn't be mad at that it sounds more like a power struggle (you will do it my way before I let it go) than necessarily 'anti spanish'.

My oldest will sign if he's feeling shy and I either interpret (if it's a simple thing not worth making a big deal about) or will remind him that not everyone knows how to sign and that he'll have to use his words.
by Member on Jul. 2, 2013 at 1:22 PM
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I would confront her and tell her she has no business scolding your son over such nonsense. What a bitch.
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by on Jul. 2, 2013 at 1:25 PM
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I would absolutely tell her how you want your son treated and particularly, not treated. Then I would pay more attention whenever she was around. I would limit her contact too.

by Silver Member on Jul. 2, 2013 at 7:05 PM
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 I'm an Italian from NY and I think your SIL is batshit crazy.  If the boy says a sentence half and half, make a habit of repeating it back to him in all one language.  He'll learn just fine. 

And stick close to him when that SIL is around. 

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