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Saturday, March 24, 2012


JJ is now 14 months old and really communicating! We are a bilingual (Spanish/English) household plus we've introduced some common signs, mostly having to do with mealtime (this kid LOVES to eat!). We also have friends over a lot and have the radio on (in English and Spanish depending on our moods) most of the day in the background. The kid is surrounded by language. As a Spanish teacher myself, this is ideal, because he's exposed to authentic language in authentic circumstances. I try to recreate this as much as I can in my classrooms, but it seems my own child is more willing to play along than high schoolers. ;)

But one thing that I've noticed lately is that he says "No no!" more often than any other word. And it doesn't help much that it's the same word in English and in Spanish, so it seems like double bang for its buck. I want JJ to play and explore and discover and make connections. I want to encourage that in him, but with all the messages that he's interpreting, it's really started to get to me that the clearest message he may hear--and subsequently repeats--is "No!". As a dad who wants to be loving and supportive, that's a real zinger.

Enter "dad guilt."

Do I not affirm him enough? Do I not say "Sí" (I'm the primary Spanish-speaking parent) enough to him? When I see him playing in the laundry basket, as I did when I was his age, my heart melts. I love seeing him make connections and discover how much house he has to play in! Maybe he's not hearing all the times I say "Buen niño" (Good boy) or the "Qué obediente" (How obedient) or "Te quiero mucho" (I love you) right now.

Maybe he just needs a "Sí."