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About This Blog

This blog is for anyone interested in raising their children in a foreign language--meaning a language which neither of the parents speak natively.
We have used the approach where both parents speak the target foreign language (in our case, German) to the children. Neither of us is a native German speaker, yet we have spoken German in our home for the past 20 years and have 8 German speaking children. In this blog, we hope to share our successes, our lessons learned and a few of the insights that we've gained along the way.

Cute Goodnight Prayers

I just stumbled across this old video from 1997. Ben is 4 and Michaela and Kiana are two. It's a video of our bedtime routine. As you can see, we are mostly speaking German to the kids and they are speaking German to us. I'm helping each of them say their prayers. Even though we often spoke English during the day, especially when we were in public settings, our nightly bedtime routine was always in German. I would always read the kids scripture stories in German. They would say their prayers in German and then I would sing them German lullabyes.

Michaela and Kiana are super cute in this video (if I do say so myself). Michaela makes sure that we thank God for the moon (twice). Kiana is super cute as she says her prayers, because she knows her daddy is videoing her. After her prayer, she tries to tell me that she wants me to to carry her into her bed. She sais something like "Kemmy me". I understood "Kami" (which is my sister's name). Then, she still won't get into bed until she is wrapped in her blanket "superman style". And then she does a very cute "snore". Even though their language consists of both German and English words, they still understand German better. The fact that we always did our routines in German (our target language) really helped us to keep the kids' German alive throughout the years, because they always associated certain routines with German. Even today, my older teenagers (who almost exclusively speak English to each other), still say our night time family prayer in German. And when they go to bed, they say "Gute Nacht" instead of "good night." Well entrenched routines and habits make a big difference.


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