something I noticed yesterday that sort of annoyed me and made me think for a moment. my parents were hanging out with their grandson (my sister's kid) yesterday and kept talking to him in their background language. in the week we've been here and on all the occasions I've seen them interact with him, I've noticed them doing this to varying degrees. yesterday of all days, it was particularly noticeable.
although this is our heritage, my sisters and I were all born in Australia and consider ourselves more Aussie than anything else. my sisters dh also considers himself Aussie. he cannot understand the language my parents are talking to their grandson in.
my parents aren't what I'd consider hugely "ethnic", they were born and raised in the UK but have clung to the cultural traditions etc pretty firmly. maybe more so as they get older, who knows.
my point is, should they be talking to their grandson in English or whatever language they wish to use? my main issue with them using a different language is that, whilst my sisters and I can all understand what's being said, my sister's dh (FOB) can't and neither can my dh. it just seems very excluding, esp on a day like Xmas day.
actually I'm not even bothered my dh can't understand, it just p|ssed me off for my bil's sake. I mentioned it to them but not sure how much they listened or cared.
I've not yet had a chance to bring it up with my sister to see what she thinks. I guess if she's cool with it then there's no issue at all as its her kid and her hubby. but it just struck me as a bit rude.
I get that they're trying to ensure our cultural background is passed onto their grandson but I don't feel it's really their job to do this. or their decision to make.
so, wdyt? am I over reacting? or does my concern seem valid?
we have our first due in a couple of months and if I saw them doing this with him, I'd be annoyed as my dh can't understand any language outside of English. but then maybe I'm just being preggo and unreasonable, who knows!?
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26-12-2015 10:39 #1
grandparents talking in a different language: wdyt
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26-12-2015 10:43 #2
ETA - although I agree, Christmas day in front of people who cannot understand what is being said is possibly not the best time to be doing it.
26-12-2015 10:48 #3
thanks for feedback. I'm beginning to think I must be totally unreasonable as these kinds of things annoy me. I talked it through with my dh in private and he agreed with me.
do you not think it could be taken by my sisters dh as being excluding?
not sure how much the bub will really learn in another language but I guess they're trying to ensure he's at least exposed to it and maybe picks up some basic understanding.
gosh maybe I'll be the rubbish parent for not passing on my cultural background to our child!? argh. it's a tough one!
26-12-2015 10:50 #4
grandparents talking in a different language: wdyt
Personally I would love it, my in laws are Swedish and we are always asking them to talk to DS exclusively in Swedish as it helps with language learning far more if one person speaks only in one language.
I don't understand it but it doesn't bother me at all. I doubt they're saying "mummy is a ****" in Swedish to him. I learnt two languages as an adult and it is so much easier learning as a child.
Edited to add learning languages young benefits children cognitively in all aspects, not just in learning that particular language.
26-12-2015 10:50 #5
ok just saw your ETA. definitely agree there. they used to babysit him twice a week while my sister was at work so I guess of they did it then, it's no big deal (and not like anyone can really stop them anyway). I don't think Xmas day was really the ideal time to be doing it either, maybe that's more my issue.
I'll flag it with my sister and see what she thinks anyway.
26-12-2015 10:51 #6
I would love it if my parents taught my kids another language. I can't see that they are excluding your DH and BIL, unless they are talking about them in a bad way!! I think it's great, and there is no harm done. If DH doesn't know what they are saying, can't you just translate?
It's pretty special to know two languages!
26-12-2015 11:05 #7Senior Member
- Join Date
- Feb 2012
- Brisbane North
My parents do this to our kids, its exactly the same scenario, plus dh is not from where my family is.. I dont care, at the same time dh's parents do it too and im the one who doesnt understand. I understand what MY parents are saying to the kids and its nothing harmful about dh etc, so what. Nor am I fazed when dh's parents do it and I cant understand them. As long as its not inappropriate conversation big deal then.
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26-12-2015 11:08 #8Senior Member
- Join Date
- Jan 2012
I'd really be encouraging a second language, in fact I have insisted on it with my DS with my family. I only speak to him in my first spoken language (not english). It is hugely beneficial if they learn it from birth, they develop a part of their brains that otherwise wouldn't develop, and it only gives them more options and opportunities later in life.
My DH loves that I do this and never feels excluded, he picks up a lot more than he thinks. If he doesn't, a quick translation from me and he's happy.
dS understands both english and my language really well and growing up in Oz he's going to primarily speak English, but I I know if he ever chooses to travel, study languages etc, he's got a head start.
I think your nephew is really lucky.
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26-12-2015 11:09 #9
My folks do it too and I'm happy for it to happen.
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26-12-2015 11:13 #10
My hubby is aussie born Maltese. His parent are now sadly dead and a lot of his culture lost to my kids. They didn't see his mother at all (she dies 5 days before our wedding) and his father only very few years due to distance.
It really sad that my kids didn't get more of their culture inheritance. I wish they were spoken to more in maltese. They only know a few words.
Kids that learn another another culture from birth are so more blessed. I can't see a downside to it for the child.
As for partners like me it up to us to actively learn with the child. Be involved. Sit down and join in the learning process.
Now if adults were talking in another language in front of a non speaking person is freaking rude. I hate it. It happens a lot in one of siblings place. You go for a party and end up in a room not understand a single word spoken by anyone else.
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