How To Teach Your (Older) Child A Second Language | | Languages

Tanya Mozias Slavin is a writer and a linguist. She has lived in five countries and is a mum to a bilingual nine-year-old and a trilingual three-year-old. Find her at www.tanyamoziasslavin.com or on Twitter (@tanya_slavin) We all know that the best time to start speaking a second language to your child is right from birth. But what if you’ve missed that train? Maybe you were too exhausted as a new parent to think about anything else. Maybe you had deep seated concerns about bilingualism that y

Is our screen-time anxiety more detrimental than screen time?

“One… two… thrrr…” — He slams his tablet cover closed before I finish saying “three” and throws himself onto the floor, screaming. I sigh with exhaustion. We’re in the midst of another battle over screen time. This scenario repeats itself daily for many months: My 6-year-old son Martin reaches the end of his allotted screen time for the day but has trouble switching his tablet off, and after several attempts to get him off the device in a nicer way, I resort to angry counting. Like most parents

I Taught My Son To Bake By Giving Him Free Rein In The Kitchen

"Actually I've change my mind. It's not a cake. It's a soup. Can we fry it then?" When my son was little, I tried to get him interested in cooking, using all the recommended methods. But quality bonding time in the kitchen, prescribed by parenting experts, never worked for us. He loved playing with ingredients, but every time it (inevitably) turned out that he had to follow specific directions on what and how much to add, his interest vanished instantaneously. As a result, I gave him an early d

How Doing This 1 Thing Helped Me Truly Enjoy Spending Time With My Kid

As a parent today I feel as if I'm constantly inundated with fervent, well-meaning, parenting advice coming at me from all angles: in person, in magazines, on the phone, and all over social media. (Read more about how a one-week digital detox made this writer a better mom.) “Early music education is essential for the development of young brains," I'll hear as I contemplate signing my son up to learn to play violin. Then, “Baby swim lessons boost immune system and teach important life skills.” O

Test Your Knowledge of Canada's Indigenous Languages | Canada 150 | Passport 2017

During Canada’s 150th year, it’s only fitting we take a moment to truly appreciate this country’s linguistic diversity. In the 2011 population census, more than 200 different mother tongues were reported as being spoken in from coast to coast to coast. It seems even more important now, especially in the context of the current reconciliation dialogue, to appreciate the diversity of languages that are native to this land. Most of the Indigenous languages spoken today are either endangered or on t

My child is a perfectionist. Here’s how we find balance.

I turn away from the kitchen counter and see a little person, my son, handing me a piece of paper and a pencil. I quickly wipe my hands off on my apron and take the paper and pencil. But then I remember what happened the last time, after a similar request, and try to cop out by telling the little guy that I don’t know how to draw dinosaurs. I have never drawn a Spinosaurus. So I take a deep breath and carefully outline a bear-like creature with a turtle shell on top, hoping he won’t notice. Bu

The Silent Vampire Goes Trick Or Treating

As my little six-year-old vampire approaches a stranger’s door, my heart shrinks with worry. How will it go?  I know he can’t yell “trick-or-treat” like he’s expected to, or even whisper it. Will people give candies to a silent little monster with an orange bucket? The British old lady who opens the door exclaims “Ooh! Another one! You’re SO scary!” and spends some time trying to elicit the traditional “trick-or-treat” from him. She’s unsuccessful: he stands there silently, his arms stubbornly

Raising A Child Who Is Like Me

I wake up to a steady and dull thump-thump-thump outside. I look out of the window: grey sky and a heavy wall of rain. It’s Saturday morning. I breath a sigh of relief. I put my head back on the pillow, close my eyes and take in the comforting sound of pouring rain for a few more minutes. Saturday indoors? No pressure to get dressed, get organized, and go “do” things? The complete guilt-free permission to stay inside and let the day spontaneously unfold, guided only by our minute to minute desi

No-Limit Screen Time For Introverts

I don’t limit screen time. I don’t give out stickers for good screen time habits or take them away for bad ones. I don’t impose rules like you must do 10 push-ups, 25 minutes of physical activity, 15 minutes of creative work, and 20 minutes of educational activities before using any digital devices. My son, at 7, uses his tablet on his own terms and on his own schedule. The main reason I don’t limit screen time is because it fits well with my personality and parenting style. Yes, I consider it

As a non-Indigenous student of Oji-Cree, I learned much more than a language | Canada 2017

"You want to go where?" The travel agent's eyes slowly widened as his finger traced the map north, north, north … until the map ended and his finger was on the bare wall. The northern Ontario community I wanted to visit was not even on his map. I was no less surprised than him. I was an international student from Israel doing my PhD in Linguistics at the University of Toronto with a focus on Oji-Cree. Now the plan was to continue learning in Kingfisher Lake First Nation — despite maps that e