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Raising A Child in a Multi-Culture Home

by Cortland williams

My wife and I have been blessed with a little one of our own. I come from a Hispanic culture and my wife comes from a Caucasian American culture. When it was just us it was very obvious to see the difference between the ways we were raised. Hispanic culture is all about showing love, always hugging and loving on each other. With my wife's family, they don't show that same level of affection I have been accustomed too seeing in my family. Of course they still love each other and will always be there for on another but they just don't show it physically.

Now that we are raising a child of our own, we need to communicate on how we want to raise him. The values, culture, and language we want to raise him with. We both agree that we want him to be taught both Spanish and English. Living in Southern California, it is vitally important to be able to speak Spanish. More overall opportunities in general for people who speak multiple languages. We have a great system set in place to be able to teach him both languages at the same time. In our home we mainly speak English to him. I speak some Spanish to him but I refer back to English so he can start to understand the meaning. When we are at work he stays with a sitter who only speaks Spanish to him. This way he is learning both languages at the same time which will help his development tremendously.

In order to accomplish this agreement, we needed to work together and communicate on what values we want to raise our child with. For example, my wife expresses that she does not want to raise her child in the same lifestyle she was accustomed too. Her mom never showed affection towards her growing up, and she doesn't want that to happen with our son Anthony. And she's not. My wife is an amazing woman who does so much for our family and loves on our son in a way she was never loved upon.

Every relationship requires a lot of work. We all know that. We all have our differences and different up bringing's that define who we are and who we want to be. Dealing with different cultures and raising a child can be very tough but communication is key in making it work.

There are going to be tougher barriers I know we are going to have to get through with raising our child. A thing like religion is a huge one. Different cultures have different beliefs and it is very important to be understanding about the other persons' beliefs, even though you do not agree with them. You must find something that works for the both of you or else the relationship will never be as great as it could be. Be open, be patience, and be kind. Everything will fall into place.

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Links to websites with information and advice about raising bilingual/multilingual children

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