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5 Problems of Bilingual Kids

5 Problems of Bilingual Kids

Bill Belew has raised 2 bi-cultural kids, now 34 and 30. And he and his wife are now parenting a 3rd, Mia, who is 8.

Bilingual situations are increasing in our society these days.

The good part is that the genes of your kids will be better than people getting married from the same culture.

Another reason for this increasing day by day is people are becoming more and more broad-minded and parents from different countries having different mother languages are a key reason for having bilingual kids.

There are many problems that the parents face in raising such kids.

However I believe there are more problems if you look at the scenario from the kid’s point of view.

Here Jinie is giving her view points to understand the situation from their POV and then we can focus on how to overcome them.

Issues with Bilingual Kids
Issues with Bilingual Kids

This post is specially for those parents who understand such problems and are willing to help their kids out:

  1. The confusion due to mixing of languages: There is a saying in old school books of “Jack of all trades and master of none”.
  2. Well that perfectly suites this scenario of bilingual kids. They never learn 1 language perfectly. This affects the way they talk and communicate. They try to use whatever words they find is easy and can remember easily to complete their statements and this results in speech which is not worth a penny.
  3. Parents should try to  focus on 1 common third language which helps not only the situation but also helps the kids to avoid more confusion.

Passive attitude: Kids start feeling discriminated by the society. Especially in the situation when mom and dad both are trying to make their kid learn their first language best. They feel they are not up to the mark. At times when they know how to read but not to write it makes them feel more inferior.

Issues with Grammar: This is one of the common problems with bilingual kids. They don’t know the exact grammar for that language. So they can never be perfect. They lack in this matter as well. Parents should try to help them and give them extra classes if needed to overcome this barrier which they are facing.

Rejection: There can be times when they become so frustrated that they give up on both languages at home and start following the language which is more common in society where they find their comfort zone. In such scenarios parents should honor them by accepting that language even at home and try to encourage them in the direction they want to proceed.

Learning and Writing: This is the biggest issue which bilingual kids will face. As we discussed above, they won’t be perfect in any language since they are learning both at the same time. So these kids might find difficulty when they have to communicate by reading or writing in that language.  For example: if they have to write a post in that language it becomes difficult for them. Some common slang language jokes which family reads out at homes, they might not understand. So parents should also help kids in such situations and try to overcome that.

Talk to Bill and others about their experiences raising bi-cultural Japanese-American kids.

My experience being raised bi-culturally in India and the Army

My experience being raised bi-culturally in India and the Army

Bill Belew has raised 2 bi-cultural kids, now 34 and 30. And he and his wife are now parenting a 3rd, Mia, who is 8.


I wouldn’t call myself a bi-cultural kid  growing up. My parents were almost from the same culture and similar backgrounds. But I do think that I have grown up in a multi-cultural environment.

For those of you who think that bi-cultural only means growing up with parents from two different cultures – I have a slightly different definition.

bicultural Kids have more respect for other cultures
Bicultural Kids have more respect for other cultures

I believe that a child is molded in to a person not just by his/her parents but also by the environment he or she grows up in.

The people s/he interacts with, the places where s/he stays, the kind of friends s/he makes and basically the kind of lifestyle s/he lives.

Your parents are an important essence of what you become when you grow up, but there are other external factors as well. And these factors I believe count in the multi-cultural growth a child can and should have.

I grew up in an Army life. My dad is in the army; we were moving every three years to new and different places and meeting people from all places and all different cultures.

I have grown up in a lifestyle where I was taught to respect every human being. I was taught to look beyond caste, color and creed of a human being. I was taught to greet any elder whether or not I know them.

Growing up in such a culture was exciting because I got to know so much more about my country, India. And I got to taste all different kinds of cuisines. Most of all I understood the different lifestyles of different people and the reasons behind it.

The most important thing I learnt from this was that I could look beyond what a person looked like and talked like and still have a conversation with him or her.

I realized that if I was in a room with people from other cultures, I should respect that and speak in a language that they would also understand. This is so that nobody feels left out and unwanted. This is the biggest issue that most inter-cultural groups will face. This, in fact, has helped me a lot after I came to US for higher studies.

Whenever we were a group of few Indians standing and talking, we could speak in our native language Hindi (well there are so many languages in India that sometimes even we could feel left out in a group of Indians!); but when we have someone from outside our culture standing with us, I will want to make sure we speak in English so that s/he understands what we are talking about. Even if s/he is not a part of our conversation, we need to respect that he is a part of the group and should not think that we are ignoring his presence.

Multicultural is the way to unite the world
Multicultural sensitivity is the way to unite the world

You might not agree with my definition of multi-cultural by saying that two different cultures like Indian or Chinese are vastly different from sub-cultures that exist in your own country. That is true, but if you ask a native of any country about the different cultures that co-exist with a country – it won’t be much different from my opinion.

We just know how to divide countries based on cultural difference; within those countries we divide in states and deeper and deeper till we say that each human being is different from one another.

When we being so different can co-exist, it is not a big deal for us to co-exist in different cultures.

We should be open to accepting these changes. If you think about, you have done it in the past and you can do it now as well. You will learn to respect a fellow human being and not disregard him or her for what culture s/he follows.

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Talk to Bill and others about their experiences raising bi-cultural Japanese-American kids.

The fun of being Multi-cultural | Diwali | Halloween | Indian-American

The fun of being Multi-cultural | Diwali | Halloween | Indian-American

Bill Belew has raised 2 bi-cultural kids, now 34 and 30. And he and his wife are now parenting a 3rd, Mia, who is 8.

Mickey's Halloween Party
Mickey’s Halloween Party
Decorating the house with lights for Diwali
Decorating the house with lights for Diwali

Hi Mia! Do you want to know what my favorite thing is about being an Indian in America? The thing I love most of being multi-cultural is that I get to celebrate two sets of holidays. Talk about never having a dull moment. Between the American holidays and the Indian holidays, I feel like I’m always celebrating something. Life feels like an ongoing festival.

My favorite time of year is from October until January 1st. For me the holiday season begins with either Diwali or Halloween. Diwali is celebrated on the new moon that falls sometime at the end of October or beginning of November. So sometimes Diwali comes before Halloween, and sometimes it comes after. These two holidays celebrate nearly opposite events. Halloween celebrates entering into the darkness while Diwali celebrates the triumph of light over the darkness. In spite of their different meanings, the holidays are celebrated very similarly.

For Diwali everyone wears a new outfit (which they actually call a costume, even though it’s just normal fancy clothes). For Halloween people dress up in some unusual costume also. For Diwali families prepare lots of homemade sweets to surprise and delight their family and friends. For Halloween families purchase or prepare lovely delights for the children that will visit them on Halloween night. Indian children run around their neighborhoods asking for all the treats available in their neighbors homes. American children run around trick and treating. I get so excited about the treats for both holidays, I’ve actually written treat cookbooks for both Halloween and Diwali (click the words to take a peek).

So what do us Indian-American children do? We dress up in fancy costumes one evening, and crazy costumes another. We indulge in Indian sweets on Diwali, and then gorge on party size goodies on the 31st of October. And We enjoy two really good reasons to run around house to house visiting friends and neighbors sharing treats.

And then, after all that, we still get to enjoy Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year! I love being an Indian living in America! It’s been such a blessing in so many ways.

Written by Monica Sawyer

Talk to Bill and others about their experiences raising bi-cultural Japanese-American kids.

Parenting | 6 Bad Results from Yelling at Your Children | What to do

Parenting | 6 Bad Results from Yelling at Your Children | What to do

Bill Belew has raised 2 bi-cultural kids, now 34 and 30. And he and his wife are now parenting a 3rd, Mia, who is 8.

Ugly Chinese American
Yelling at Children

Yelling at children is like asking them to live next to train tracks. After a while, you can’t hear the train go by anymore.

After a while, the child can’t hear the parent who yells at them anymore, either.

The University of Pittsburgh has an opinion after yelling, um, looking at 967 middle school students over the course of two years.

When parents yell at their kids, the children are more likely to:

1. be depressed

2. have behavioral problems.

Yelling = loud voice, cursing and using insults.

3. to not get the child to stop anyway

4. learn how to yell back = become aggressive

5. become ashamed =

6. retreat into their own world

Click to Read => 8 Best Healthy and Affordable Halloween Giveaway Ideas 

Yelling happens to be sure. Raising your voice becomes necessary at times.

“Honey, watch out for that oncoming car. Dear, you’d better move now or … ”

Danger is not always imminent. But to not correct a child is also dangerous.

A loud voice may come to sound like a passing train, but incessant nagging at a low to moderate level sounds like static noise. It can be tuned out as well.

Keep the lines of communication open.

Keep children focused on the task at hand.

More often than not, when a child is drifting it is because the parent is, too.

When parents are on purpose, so is the child.

Yelling is a voice that is loud and out of control.

A loud voice on purpose, used in a timely manner is necessary at times.

But … if parents would keep themselves on track, more often than not the child will be on track, too.

Sadly … we often see in children what we don’t like to see in ourselves.

Agree? Disagree?

Talk to Bill and others about their experiences raising bi-cultural Japanese-American kids.