Fathers' Communication Skills and Why They Matter in Raising Bilingual Children
By Jeffrey Nelson
A key component of a father's communication skills is that they communicate very succinctly and to the point. Fathers don't generally have time to 'beat around the bush' or stretch a story out. We want the facts, and we want them quickly and in an organized manner.
Why is this important? It's important because it's a key element in a father's communication skills; with the world, their children, and each other. On the topic of bilingualism, language development, and the role of fathers, communication is key. We must define how we communicate so we can better teach our children our language.
Here's a beautiful example of how fathers communicate slightly differently than others:
"I was starting to cook dinner, and I went to the fridge to grab the milk. I thought it would be behind the orange juice, and since we bought the gallon jug last time I couldn't see whether it was or not. I moved the orange juice and I realized the carton of milk was there, but there wasn't enough left. I thought about going out for more, but the baby was napping and I didn't want to wake him up. I had to put dinner on hold, which is fine, but in order to finish it I will need more milk... "
"I was cooking dinner and ran out of milk. If you want to eat, go get more milk."
I hope this is enough of an explanation. I definitely see myself sometimes just scrolling through information on the web and looking for "the point." Therefore, I will try and be succinct, preferably towards the bottom of my articles, so we can get this show on the road.
This concept is a pillar of a fathers communication skills. We communicate differently with our families and children. Raising children, an even more so bilingual children, is often seen as more of a mothers job; at least while they are young. However fatherly input is key at critical stages of child language development. Women understanding better how men communicate, and men better understanding how they communicate, will help foster a better environment while trying to juggle the already difficult task of raising children bilingually!
Written below is my attempt to put it succinctly for the various men reading this article. I have tried to keep it short, straight, and to the point with a clear example of the differences in communication styles. I will leave you with some action items. Hopefully you didn't just scroll down to the bottom, but if you did, I understand.
- Realize how you communicate.
- Work to be more expressive, especially with your children.
- Spread the word to other men.
About the writer
Jeffrey Nelson is a bilingual husband, father, author, and proud American raising his child in Spanish and English. He writes on fatherhood, bilingualism, and the intersection of the two.
Why raise bilingual children? Check out the benefits of being bilingual here.