Generally speaking, the father figure has an important role in the education of multilingual children. It is a known fact that fathers communicate succinctly and accurately. Fathers have no time to waste and they only want the facts, not all the unimportant details, so that everything is organized and efficient.
This type of communication streamlines the education process of the multilingual child. A good example would be to compare the mother’s and father’s communication style in a daily situation. Hence, the mother might say: “I started making dinner and went to the refrigerator to take the milk. I thought it was behind the orange juice, and since I bought a big container the last time, I could not see it behind the container. I moved aside the orange juice and realized that the milk was there, but there was not much left. I thought I’d go downstairs to buy from the store, but the baby was asleep and I did not want to wake him up. I had to postpone dinner, which is OK, but, to finish it, we need milk.” The father would say: “I was making dinner when I realized I was out of milk. If you want to eat, go get some milk.”
The difference in communication style is obvious. Often, we also tend to look for the main idea on a web page without paying much attention to small details. The same thing happens with the children’s education methods, particularly children who speak two or more languages. Mostly the mother is responsible for this, at least when the children are young. However, the father’s contribution to key moments in the development of the child’s language skills is essential. It is important for both the mother and the father to understand each other’s communication style with the multilingual child, in order to ensure that the already difficult educational process is successful.
In conclusion, here are some recommendations that you might find useful if you have a multilingual child:
- Be aware of the way you communicate!
- Improve your expressiveness when communicating with your child!
- Involve men in children’s education too!