This goes way back when my kid was six years old and as research has indicated that there are psychological benefits of learning another language. We, as parents thought it would be good to get him started as an immature since it helps in brain growth and aids in boosting memory.
So, we enrolled him to learn Hindi for an hour on Sunday mornings.
Needless to say, there was unrest in the house (yes, a preschooler can lift the roof with his pinkie finger and bring chaos)
According to this three-foot length individual, the homework was a torture since it was causing him severe mental and physical pain to write the alphabets and differentiate between vowels and consonants.
His constant whine was, “Do I have to learn this language? No one in my school knows to speak this dialect, so it is going to be a waste of time.”
I insisted while wearing a gentle smile (and controlling my animosity over this repeated situation) “You will realize the importance of this language as you grow up.”
His gruff was constant, “I do not think so!”
I would pretend I did not hear the above.
Time flew and as kid’s extra curricular activities grew. We would look into the options of carpooling with other children for the similar activities just to ease each other’s schedules.
In one such ride, my son had a gloomy face. I asked him the reason behind it, and he just avoided me. I knew I ought to give him space so, was quiet. Picked up his friend, Daniel with whom I was carpooling and we were on our way.
Usually the boys are talking and laughing, but today there was total silence. This puzzled me, however; kept quiet, while I turned up the volume of the radio with the hope that the songs will make them hum along, and the friction between them will wear off.
Alas, nothing happened.
Then all of a sudden, I hear my kid shout out (music was loud), “Mom mujhe yeh ladka achha nahi lagta” (I do not like this boy)
I could not believe what I heard, and I was glad that I had just parked at my destination.
I quickly turned and was gazing at my son with pride. I did not care what he said, and even though it had blemishes; what really enthralled me that he used his “other language” to communicate to me.
I replied back in Hindi saying that we can talk about this issue at home and then I expressed my happiness about him using this dialect to communicate.
He sure did understand the value of being educated with another accent cause I could see him relieved after informing me about the other kid.
He started considering this accent as our secret jargon and now uses it when we are in the mall or supermarket or just about anywhere in public.
My 2 cents
As Geoffrey Willans said: “You can never understand one language until you understand at least two.”
I am glad we pressured him to learn this language even though the inhibitions were clearly exhibited by him. Every Sunday seeing that sulky face was not a delight. But, since the motive was clear we did not pay attention to his frowns but kept our eyes on the goal.
I was a proud parent since the mission was accomplished!
As a parent, we can sow the seeds of what we find is right or wrong in a child. Whether they follow it, or not is their destiny!