If our children have the basics of strong communication skills with us, that is the sign our relationship can withstand a “new language”. What are the foundational basics of relationship/communication? (Part 2 of 3 in a series on Foundations of Language Development by Elaine Thiessen)
For our purposes here, we are talking about how language is learned, but it bears repeating: that is never in isolation from all the other areas that are actively developing in children.
Let’s look at the very ﬁrst things that a child develops and needs for emotional well-being and language learning—since we’ve just established that the two go together.
The communication milestones for babies in their ﬁrst six months of life include the following:
They remain the foundation stones for those relationships throughout the rest of life...
They remain the foundation stones for those relationships throughout the rest of life, and reoccur in most relationships that develop in a healthy way over the course of our lifetime.
As you begin to assess how to support your child in a bilingual journey, these are the three questions you want to reﬂect on:
Your message matters only so much as it is perceived by the child.
As you take time to reﬂect on these questions, we invite you to pat yourself on the back. Building good relationships takes eﬀort and energy. Being a parent is one of life’s most demanding and challenging jobs.
But it is also satisfying and rewarding when you do it without pressuring yourself to be perfect and without trying to manage your children so you can get on to something more important. There is nothing more important than people. There is no job that is bigger or better than the one you are doing.
Give yourself a moment of silent appreciation and aﬃrmation for what you are achieving on this planet. Children who have the support they need to develop healthy emotional and communication patterns are like a garden full of blossoming ﬂowers and singing birds. A family like this is a gift to the world—a glorious thing to observe, or even better…to participate in the growth.
- Elaine Thiessen
Did you miss Part 1 of this series? Read it here.
Part 3 is all about some practical steps to create a habit of connecting with your child, so your new language learning will be more joyful and not stressful.
If you’re a mom living cross-culturally and hoping to connect with a new language, culture and locals with your young children, we have an incredible video course to encourage you and help you grow into your role as mom of TCKs and language-liason! Read about it and watch a preview lesson here.