Raising bilingual kids when parents are no longer together

Sometimes, life happens and the bilingual project you envisioned for your children needs an update.

We tend to see bilingualism as a practice for a families made of two parents but it can exist in multiple forms, whether the parents are together, separated or even if you’re a blended family!

If you’re separated from the other parent of your children, it is still possible to raise them bilingual. Just remember that :

  • Your children need you to have a positive approach towards your ex-partner and their language. Otherwise, they can feel torn between their two parents and refuse to speak one of the two languages.

  • Expose your child to your ex-partner’s language but keep in mind that even if you can speak it, outsourcing the transmission of your ex’s language to a bilingual babysitter, a close relative or a tutor is better.

If you’re a blended family :

  • You can delegate the transmission of the minority language (to a bilingual structure, a babysitter, a close relative, etc.) if you want to.

  • Don't forget to have an open discussion with the whole family: be clear on the positive attitude you’d expect from each of them and mostly, let them know why this is important for you to teach your child (to communicate with other members of your family, to understand the cousins, etc.)

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