When I was eighteen years old and studying marketing in my first year of university I undertook a research project. The title was something like "The effect of television on the commercialisation of children". I don't remember how I happened upon this topic but this assignment changed the way I viewed life or at least parenting.
Children were honestly not something I saw as being in my life plan. I was on a career path that in my mind would see me living in a minimalistic apartment with leather furniture and a lot of chrome (it was the nineties! power suits were still cool).
A few years later I found myself in Japan, working with kids funnily enough, still not seeing myself as ever being a mother. I was involved in another project which examined how children learn and acquire language.
These two projects had a profound effect on the way I chose to raise the two children I eventually had. They also spilled over to form the philosophy I have maintained for over ten years here at Mee a Bee. (Read more about that here).
Raising Bilingual Children
The first decision we made as a couple, before the arrival of our first child, was that we would be a bilingual and bicultural family. Being the fact-finder that I am I joined several circles and bought all the books I could find on bilingualism. I've long since passed on those books and newsletters but the Golden Rule we adopted was the One Parent, One Language rule (OPOL).
One parent, one language means that each of us only ever speak our native tongue to our children, from birth. Sixteen years later I have barely uttered a Japanese word to either of my kids and same for my husband with English.
I plan to write more about how we have managed, what strategies we have employed and how I gauge the success but in this first post here on the Queen Bee Diary I just wanted to start sharing some of my thoughts about raising kids, how there are no right or wrongs, how we all do things differently and how most of our kids will turn out just fine!
Thanks for reading!