Raising My Children Bicultural and Bilingual

Joelly Favela

“I’m honored to be able to pass my first language and culture down to my children.” I have chosen to raise my children with the beautiful American and Latino culture, fluently speaking English and Spanish.”


1. Studies show that children who speak a second language develop a better attention span and can multitask better.

2. Languages are highly valued in the work place.

3. Speaking multiple languages is beneficial when the child (or adult) travels to other countries.

4. Once adults, social opportunities might arise.



  • Alternate reading books in the languages that are being practiced.
  • Watch movies in the two different languages.
  • Teach ABCs and numbers in both languages.
  • We try to avoid using multiple languages in one sentence.
  • Make sure teachers, coaches, nannies, etc., are aware that the child is being raised bilingual.
  • Don’t get discouraged. Be patient. Keep in mind that it may take a little longer for a bilingual child to begin talking because they are trying to process more words in their mind.
  • We celebrate holidays across cultures — Fourth of July and Mexican Independence Day (September 16), Halloween and El Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead).
  • We eat traditional dishes from both cultures; hamburgers and hotdogs to beans and rice.
  • We listen to a variety of music; from Justin Timberlake to Joan Sebastian.
  • I make sure my children feel proud and thankful for embracing both cultures. In our case, we are Mexican Americans. I love to point out all the beautiful aspects that make our countries so amazing.

Written by: Joelly Favela, La Llave podcast
Photos: Trio Míos Photography
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