I believe that knowing where you come from is extremely important for your confidence and self-esteem. For someone growing up in a multilingual family being able to speak the family’s languages makes it easier to understand your background and becoming familiar with your cultural heritage.
The self-esteem that comes with being aware of your background and identity also positively impacts your behaviour towards others. Someone who is confident and content about their own identity has less need to look down on or criticise others. Something that every society could do more with in today’s world.
Speaking your family’s languages means that you can create and maintain relationships to the extended family and – in the case you or your family have moved – to your family’s home country. If you can communicate in the local language, you can experience your visits “back home” on a completely different level. You can speak not only with the extended family, but with family friends and neighbours. You can go shopping and explore the area on your own, without the need of someone to be your interpreter.
If you are lucky to know your family’s languages, take a moment to appreciate the value of this skill and contemplate how important it has been to you. How different would your life have been if you hadn’t known the languages you do? Which relationships would you not have had and what experiences would you have missed?
Make sure you take the necessary steps to give your daughter this gift of being able to communicate in your family’s languages. It will benefit her in so many ways: from it being easier for her to learn additional languages, having a more open-minded attitude to others, being better at focusing and even keeping her mind clearer for longer later on in life. And don’t forget, she will be more confident about her own identity, making her more confident as a person – a trait which is essential for us all.
May the peace and power be with you.