23 October 2017

Starting Out: First Sibling Interactions!

I thought I'd throw in another video from the good old days!! Watching this brought back lots of memories from the beginnings of our non-native bilingual parenting adventures. I remember that when the kids were first born, that it was hard to speak to them in German. It felt unnatural. However, as we persisted, it became more and more normal. This video is taken when Ben is two years old and just starting to talk. It's fun to see that he is talking to his little siblings in German even though they can't even speak yet. One of my favorite parts of our non-native bilingual adventure has been watching my children interact with each other in German. And one of the reasons, I love this video, is because it shows one of the first times the Ben is really talking to his siblings in German. Plus, I thought it was pretty cute that as he was trying to take off his shirt, he decided to leave it on his head and pretend to be a doggy. 
Karl and I tried hard to speak only German to the kids when they were little. We did not always succeed, but by starting when they were super small, we were able to establish German as "our" language. In time, we became very comfortable speaking German to the kids. Those who are native Germans will be able to tell that our German is not perfect. But, we decided to persist...even with our imperfect German. I decided early on that an imperfect second language would be better than no second language at all! :)

Then (above) and now (below)!

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Bilingual Baby Dream Team

Going on 20+ years of raising our bilingual babies...
I'm so grateful for a sweet husband who was willing to give this whole experiment a try and and that he was willing to speak German to our kids, even though his German exposure had been limited to a few semesters of college German. It's been one of the most fun and rewarding things we've done. The fact that our family speaks German has given us our own identity and helps the kids feel like they are a part of something special. And anything that helps your family feel special and connected is a good thing.