Before my children were born, my husband and I discussed our parenting styles, including bilingualism. He knew from the beginning how important it was for our kids to be bilingual in English and Spanish and also how much it meant to me for them to communicate with my family in Spanish.
While we didn’t think it would be so difficult, it truly has been a journey to becoming a bilingual family. I am currently the only fluent Spanish speaker in our home. My husband understands more than he speaks and the kids are just learning to understand. It can be frustrating to be repetitive but I know how much the kids have benefited from it.
I’ve learned that with my children, small changes are what work best. Slowly we’ve added Spanish phrases to our daily conversations and the kids are understanding more without having to repeat in English.
Here are some of our favorite Spanish phrases everyone, including kids, should know:
A simple greeting like hola is one of the first we tried with the kids. We use it to greet over phone and in person.
Como estas is commonly used after a greeting like hello. These are two Spanish phrases that go hand in hand.
Pronounced (KO-MOE ES-TAHS)
My kids have had to learn to say Mi nombre es because after many question of como te llamas or que es tu nombre we knew how important it was for us to recite that.
Pronounced (ME NOME-BRAY ES )
We believe in praise and using is the perfect way to praise our children’s Spanish. We also use it to state how we are feeling.
Pronounced (MWI BEE-EN)
Curious kids will always ask “what is that”/ que es eso. We often repeat it when answering their question.
Pronounced (KEH ES ES-OH)
Tengo is often used in our home to share what we have or what the kids may have in hand. We also use it when we play games or are coloring and I’ll ask what color is in hand or share what color I have. Can be paired up with YO to say Yo tengo.
Picky eaters? How about sharing what you like and making it a repetitive way of sharing with kids. My kids like it when I share my likes especially about food.
Pronounced (MEH GOOSE-TAH)
We love to say Thank you! This is one of the most common phrases said in our home.
If you want something in our home we encourage to ask in Spanish. It is easy to start your request when we practice this everyday
Pronounced (YO KEY-AIR-OH)
We mind our manners and a request must always be paired with a please.
Pronounced (POUR FAH-VOR)
The kids are fast to say sorry. We are working on saying it in Spanish.
We hear your welcome the most from visiting stores and saying thank you. The kids have walked out repeating de nada over and over.
Pronounced (DEH NAH-DAH)
It’s nice to say excuse me especially when getting in someones way the kids know when we pass others down aisles at the market we must say con permiso.
Pronounced (CONE PER-MEE-SOW)
My babies know how much I love them and they are learning to use Te Amo
Pronounced (TEH AH-MOW)
Next time you are leaving turn to someone and say Adios Although it’s commonly used We don’t hear it enough in Spanish.