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Wednesday Round-Up: New Year, New Blogs that Taste Like the Meltingpot

Hi Meltingpot Readers,

Because I live in academia, the advent of fall feels like the beginning of a new year to me. It’s where the reset button gets hit and we start all over again. I get a new crop of students, new classes and new writing projects to work on. My kids are starting new grades; I’ll have a 7th grader, a 4th grader and a full-day day care/preschooler for the first time. So, with all of this starting over, I’m feeling like I need to freshen up the Meltingpot too. I’m thinking about changing the layout, the colors and adding some new elements too. I also want to update my tasty meltingpot links over there on the side. And that’s where I’d like your help. What websites and/or blogs do you visit on the regular that you think Ms. Meltingpot and her readers would enjoy? Please share your thoughts and ideas and if I do like them, I’ll add them to my updated list. Here are a couple of sites I’ve recently discovered that I think are just delicious.

1. The new and improved MyBrownBaby.com. Denene Millner always has something relevant to say about parenting and pop culture, and she does it in a way that always has me nodding my head in agreement. Now, with her updated look, the site is even more of a pleasure to visit. And note, you don’t have to have a brown baby to visit.

mamiverse2. Mamiverse. I’m not Latina, but I kind of feel like I should know how to raise little Latino children considering my kids are Black and Spanish, which pretty much = Latino. Mamiverse is a beautifully presented lifestyle website with Spanish and English content for Latina moms or people who sometimes pretend to be Latina moms. Like me :)

3. HairStoryOnline. Yes, that’s my new, all-things Black hair blog, but I’m not  the only contributor. Seriously, if you want to know how Black hair and pop culture intersect on a daily and global basis, come check us out. There’s always something happening in the world of Black hair and of course, all textures are welcome.

4. NPR’s CodeSwitch. CodeSwitch’s tagline is ‘frontiers of race, culture and ethnicity,’ so you know Ms. Meltingpot is all over this blog. The stories the CodeSwitch team produces appear online and on the radio and they keep people thinking about race and such all over social media. These are some super smart people from very diverse backgrounds creating really quality content about topics mainstream news outlets often overlook.

Okay, people. Now it’s your turn. What websites should I add to my list for the new year? You know I’m listening.

And don’t forget, you still have one more day to enter to win a pair of tickets to see Romeo & Juliet –the interracial version – on Broadway. Leave your comments on Monday’s post to enter.

Peace!

Speaking in Tongues:The Best Way to Raise Bilingual Children

Imagine this scene, dear readers. Some friends of ours recently came to visit. A family of four, the parents are both ethnically Chinese. The wife was born in Hong Kong and came to the United States with her family as a young girl. We met in New York City when we worked at the same magazine. Her husband, also Chinese, was born in France, but his mother is Spanish and his father is French. So the husband’s first language is French, but he also speaks Spanish and Mandarin Chinese. They have two kids.

Because I love an excuse to entertain, we also invited another family over to eat with us. In this family, the father is German and Spanish, but raised in Madrid. Mom is Malaysian. They have two kids.

So, here you have a gathering of six kids, six adults and babygirl. One parent speaks to his children in French. One parent speaks to her kids in Cantonese. Two parents speak to the kids in Spanish. And two parents speak to their kids in English. And the kids, bless their multilingual hearts, respond in the proper language to the proper person. It was truly amazing to witness. And it was loud!

Us parents, we were having a great time discussing our own trials and tribulations trying to raise our children bilingually, or in some cases, tri-lingually. Every family had their own system but it all seemed to work. Our Chinese friends only allow their kids to watch TV in either Chinese or French. And both kids attend a French immersion school. El esposo has never spoken a word of English to our kids. Ever. Our German/Spanish friend initially spoke Spanish to his son on one day and then the next he would switch to German. That got old fast, so he quickly decided on Spanish and has been consistent ever since. At the end of the day, everyone decided that consistency in whatever method one chooses, is the most important element of successfully raising bilingual kids.

What do you think? What’s your secret to teaching your kids a second/third language?

I’m so listening. And in the meantime, here are some links to websites that might have some more answers.

Spanglish Baby

Growing Up Global

InCulture Parent

Peace!

Babygirl is Bilingual

Hi Meltingpot Readers,

I woke up this morning with babygirl by my side as usual. And as usual, we went through our regular morning snuggle routine which includes me asking babygirl to point to her nose, eyes, mouth and ears. Usually this game means I take babygirl’s hand and guide her to the different parts of her face. Then she  responds by grabbing a handful of my face, usually my lips, and tries like the devil to pull them off. This is followed by uproarious laughter. Hers, not mine. I know, sounds delightful, but I just assume one day babygirl will reward me by actually pointing to her nose herself.

Well, Meltingpot readers, today was that day!

Preparing for my usual lip twist, babygirl shocked the sugar out of me when she very deliberately pointed to her nose when I asked, “Where’s your nose?” I then scared the sugar out of her when I  screamed squealed in delight. Now,  el esposo was close by. And since he believes I carried babygirl for nine months and birthed her without the use of pain reducing drugs for his sole pleasure, he had to show me that babygirl could do the same in Spanish. “Donde esta la narîz? he asked sweetly. And wouldn’t you know it, babygirl pointed right to her nose.

And there you have it. At exactly one year, babygirl has proven to us that she is bilingual. El esposo and I are so proud :)