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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Disclaimer: this will be very lengthy

I got into an argument with my mum (and partially my father) over a topic, and unfortunately on my dad's birthday. So the topic is this YouTube family I watch. It's a family of four, 2 daughters (a 4 y/o and a 1 y/o), a Korean wife, and a Kenyan husband. The couple speaks English to each other, the mum speaks Korean to the children, and the dad a mixture of English and Swahili to the children. Because of the dad's career circumstances the mum had to take the newborn (the youngest) and the eldest daughter abroad in Korea for about a year or two and just reunited with the father last year, so up until their reunion the children only spoke Korean and only until as of late they started responding back to the father in a mixture of Swahili and English. Just to note so I don't have to see anyone telling me this: the topic is stupid and irrelevant but I didn't think it would get out of hand with my mother. I'm interested in linguistics and was curious how they would react on the matter which is why I asked them.

So the scenario I presented to both of my parents was the dilemma the eldest daughter is facing. So the kid just started preschool and cannot understand the teacher or the kids, so the teacher gave the mum an ESL form for the child. The day after the mum received the form, the daughter refused to go to school (if you want to see the video, here it is). The child wails and is extremely upset and doesn't want to go to school. Before the timemarker the mum asked did the daughter have friends at school and was she enjoying herself and the daughter refused to respond, which leads me to believe that the reason she didn't want to go to school is because she doesn't understand the language of the environment. After the father finds out, he says he will not speak Swahili to the children anymore until they develop good enough English and says it's of a higher priority because they live in Virginia. The mum objects because the child is already in ESL and will learn English irregardless and notes that the longer the father waits to speak Swahili to the child, the more risk he runs of her not ever learning it, which is true. The more he waits, the more risk he runs of her associating English with him and the possibility that she will refuse to speak Swahili to him/become upset when he speaks Swahili to her.

As you can tell with the last sentence, I clearly side with the mum because it seems like the most logical thing to do. She's in ESL already learning English, and it is a surefire method that she will learn Korean and Swahili because her parents are speaking it to her at home. I do not see how much more her English will progress if her father switches from Swahili/English to solely English since she understands close to zilch now anyway and will spend most of her time at school than she does at home, and there is the blatantly obvious risk that she may never learn Swahili as opposed to there being no risk with the mother's method. But there is a split decision in the comment section about who is "right" and from a few comments I've read there seems to be a nuanced difference between female commentors and male commentors, which is why I asked my parents because I wanted to see will different sexes have different responses.

Nonetheless, my dad sided with the father for similar reasons. I explained my reasons, saying that children absorb languages easily and that the father is running a risk of the child associating English to him as a language code and may object to it if she reaches a certain age, as seen with the aforementioned source. He had questioned and I explained it to him and how it ties into the role of multilingual children learning languages and differentiating them. While I mentioned sources and constants in this subject, they aren't absolute to make my opinion "right". My dad sides with the father because he sees the child is frustrated in the environment and needs to adapt as soon as possible, whereas I'm more concerned with how delicate the language process is and if it's not done now, it will not be done later. So irregardless of this he still disagreed and we had a calm discussion and just ended it at a difference of opinion.

I mentioned it to my mother as we were driving to a gokart centre for my dad's bday. She took the same stance my father did for similar reasons that English is a priority, etc. I repeated my argument, but she didn't question the sources like my father did; instead, she rejected all of the information, even the most obvious one that children absorb languages easily because "children are different". My father oddly piggybacked this saying it's true because he "was different and thought differently than the over kids" and I told him that your personality has nothing to do with biology and how your brain operates as a young child. My mother then switched her argument to "well it doesn't really matter if he speaks Swahili to her because it's only important if they have a deep relationship with each other." I told her this is off topic and has nothing to do with the subject at hand, and both of my parents said it was indeed relevant and kept telling me "you'll realise when you have kids that their emotions are most important." I told them that their points don't make any sense and that they're ignoring the constants of the subject here, and my mother kept saying "well it's just a study, it could be wrong." And I kept telling her that "anything could be wrong" but there are constants in the world we live in, and it's a staple fact that children of any personality learn (sans intellectual disabilities) soak up languages like a sponge. My father kept saying "you'll realise when you have kids" and I repeated saying what you guys are saying makes no sense and is void of biology and any logic, and my mother started becoming snarky with me and saying "well, your logic isn't going anywhere" and tried ending it with "it's just a difference of opinion." I responded back saying "It's hard to take what you're saying as a mere difference when your "opinion" is ignorant" and she became extremely exasperated. My father said I stepped out of line, and I told him that I didn't call her out of her name or say anything directly ABOUT her, I simply said what she said was ignorant. And to finish a very long story, she became so upset over what I said that he had to come back home and forget going to the gokarts all together.

I'll try to tl;dr this, but: had a debate of a non-controversial topic with my mum for banter and small talk, we argued over our differing opinions, my mum ignored all of the facts/constants of the situation and eventually became snarky with me so I called her opinion ignorant and she became vehemently exasperated which ruined by dad's plan to go gokarting for his birthday.

The question: Should I apologise to her even though I'm not sorry whatsoever and it would be extremely insincere? I could make it sound convincing easily, but it would be really insincere as I don't think I did anything wrong.


I see this in two ways: 1) I can be a people pleaser, turning the other cheek in situations where that I'm stubborn on simply to keep the peace, even if it means apologising to people when I don't mean it whatsoever or 2) I can be stubborn, standing my ground and never moving anywhere, but I will stay true to myself.

I see the latter leading me to become very narrow-minded and standstill, whereas the former will make me develop a very manipulative approach to dealing with people. I see this method as being the most effective in terms of being open-minded and getting along with people, but I will be betraying myself in the end by prioritising their emotions over mine, which is where I believe I will become "hollow" in the sense that the constant lack of attention towards my feelings will make me numb and will create more routes for me to become more manipulative with people simply to "get along" with them, then it'll turn into "getting stuff/information I want out of them" and so forth.
 

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I've done this in the past (with an ex-friend), and it's something I deeply regret. In my case there was a reason I did not feel sorry, regardless of whether or not I felt compelled to apologize, and doing so made me feel like I was degrading myself because I was disregarding the experiences that lead me to behave a certain way. Maybe apologize your dad for ruining his birthday. Reconsider if her argument is truly ignorant, if you still feel the way you do just let it blow over.

This has happened to me with my family, we start talking about something light-hearted and it ends up like that.
 

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You called your mum ignorant and that is out of line.

Your parents tried to tell you these two things:
"you'll realise when you have kids that their emotions are most important."
"you'll realise when you have kids"

They're not telling you those things to bug you or disregard the information you've come across. They're saying that because they're trying to tell you that there's more to it than what you're seeing.

How do they know that? Because they've had a child (don't know if they have more, but you're one obviously). Understanding comes from experience.

It would be good to apologise but the only point in apologising in this case would be if you could actually understand how calling your mother ignorant is out of line.

1. There's no point people pleasing.
2. There's no point manipulating people like that.
 

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Sounds like you're imposing rules on your own choices.

"I could apologize, but I won't be sincere; thus, I'll become manipulative."

You're already being stubborn by saying you won't be sincere. Who already decided that you won't be? Why can't that change? You're looking at the situation, as well as your choices, with you at the center, and the rest of the waters moving around you.

The only way to grow and truly become open minded is by moving the focus away from your ship, and out to the sea. Saying either you'll put your feelings first, or your mom's feeling first, is also you imposing your own rules on the choice. Why can't you choose to see the ocean as a whole, and put neither emotions first? They are both as important.

If you choose to find your way there, you'll find more growth. Become wiser, deeper, and more aware than your parents. If you don't, then how are your children going to improve beyond you?
 

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This is a stupid reason to have an argument. This family has nothing to do with your life or your parents'. Pick your battles. It's ok to get offended if your family member has beliefs that you find abhorrent but this is really not a relevant issue to anyone except for the family that is living through it.

As for the family, that is a confusing way to raise children. Their kids are going to have a hard time having to learn three languages at once. Clearly they are doing their kids no favors by raising them in this way. Their decision to raise the kids as tri-lingual is more about themselves than about the well-being of their kids.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
@Weekend

I didn't call her ignorant, I called her opinion ignorant. I blatantly clarified this to her and said something to the effect of "Just because you disagree with me doesn't make you stupid or ignorant, but this doesn't mean what you said wasn't ignorant by itself."

Although she held a similar stance as my father on the issue, the reason why I called her argument ignorant is because of the way she went about it. She disregarded all evidence and made erroneous statements that are not true, and upon me correcting her would play devil's advocate and say "not all studies are correct" to justify her opinion that is contradicting by facts. It is a fact that younger children absorb languages easily, but she disagrees and says it's dependent upon the child's personality and justifies it with "you can be wrong", which also implies in its usage that "I can be right" when she says it.

I understand the part about kids; you must be attentive to their struggles. My father used it in his initial point when I came to him first with the topic. However in the second instance with my father and the first with my mum it was used to deflect that their statements contradicted reality. They would repeat it everyone I mentioned the constants of the subject and tell me it's wrong because "I don't have kids." This has nothing to do with the fact that children absorb languages easily, which they objected to.

And in all honesty, I do not see what I said as being out of line whatsoever. I simply called her opinion ignorant, which she was also snarky with me as well but that apparently wasn't "out of line" either. Her wild reaction was what's inappropriate if you ask me, because her funky mood was so obvious that my father had to turn back home to calm her down.

@Gossip Goat

I wasn't the one to blame for ruining his birthday, my mum is. My dad and I get into arguments like this all the time, we raise our voices and talk over each other sometimes but it's never in anger. My mum takes it more personally like in this case, which is what ruined his birthday party. Because my dad and I know arguments aren't serious and it never disturbs our plans for the day or the general atmosphere when we're together, but it easily ruins my mother's entire day.

@dragthewaters

You misunderstand me. When I initially brought this subject up to my father hours before I introduced it to my mother, it was simply a casual debate. We exchanged points and nothing more. I like to pick at my parents' brains to see what they think on certain situations (I mostly do this with my father as opposed to my mum) but it wasn't something that got me heated. I was simply interested in hearing their perspectives, and the argument got heated when my mom started taking the argument personally, which she often does. I know she's very sensitive to this subject but on the surface I didn't see anything controversial about it so I didn't think it would cause any issues discussing it with her, but apparently I was wrong. I'm interested by random things and I like discussing it with people, there wasn't really any personal investment on my end that made this a serious argument from the get-go. And I don't see how a trilingual environment is confusing. One parent speaks X language, the second speaks Y language, and the child speaks Z in school. She's using the languages with different people in different environments, which is a pretty blatant barrier that separates the languages to avoid confusion.

@Antipode

The way I see neither of us prioritising our feelings past each other is by me (and my mum) simply saying nothing on the matter. I don't see what I said as offensive in the slightest, and by me apologising it's indicating what I said was "wrong", which I do not agree with. I see your point and it is very insightful; I could change my perspective of apologising and see it from a total view of the relationship as opposed to taking a stance in an argument. But I am a very stubborn guy and I hold firm on things I'm very passionate about (like linguistics, which this topic is related to). I often see me apologising for something I'm not sorry for as submitting to the other person.
 

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@Antipode

The way I see neither of us prioritising our feelings past each other is by me (and my mum) simply saying nothing on the matter. I don't see what I said as offensive in the slightest, and by me apologising it's indicating what I said was "wrong", which I do not agree with. I see your point and it is very insightful; I could change my perspective of apologising and see it from a total view of the relationship as opposed to taking a stance in an argument. But I am a very stubborn guy and I hold firm on things I'm very passionate about (like linguistics, which this topic is related to). I often see me apologising for something I'm not sorry for as submitting to the other person.
Of the people who genuinely came to you to apologize for your feelings being hurt, how many of them ended with you believing that person was simply admitting they were wrong? And how many of them ended with you feeling better and more at peace, while also finally being open to understanding their side since your heart and mind wasn't filled with anger and pain?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
@Antipode

Most of the serious apologies I've run across I've interpreted as them admitting to a mistake, even though looking back in retrospect that may or may not be true. The reason why I see an apology as being so black and white is because an apology generally indicates a wrongdoing of something, and if I truly believe I did nothing wrong then it makes me confused on what I'm apologising for. Sure, I can apologise for offending her but with her being snarky with me plus being overly sensitive, I'm not as empathetic with her as I would normally be.

I think at this point I'm not very convinced that I'm apologising for the "right" reasons.
 

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@Weekend

I didn't call her ignorant, I called her opinion ignorant. I blatantly clarified this to her and said something to the effect of "Just because you disagree with me doesn't make you stupid or ignorant, but this doesn't mean what you said wasn't ignorant by itself."
I'm sorry.

Although she held a similar stance as my father on the issue, the reason why I called her argument ignorant is because of the way she went about it. She disregarded all evidence and made erroneous statements that are not true, and upon me correcting her would play devil's advocate and say "not all studies are correct" to justify her opinion that is contradicting by facts. It is a fact that younger children absorb languages easily, but she disagrees and says it's dependent upon the child's personality and justifies it with "you can be wrong", which also implies in its usage that "I can be right" when she says it.
I kinda picked this up when I read along. I didn't focus on it but I do agree with you that she didn't go about it the right way and that she did indeed disregard clear evidence.

I understand the part about kids; you must be attentive to their struggles. My father used it in his initial point when I came to him first with the topic. However in the second instance with my father and the first with my mum it was used to deflect that their statements contradicted reality. They would repeat it everyone I mentioned the constants of the subject and tell me it's wrong because "I don't have kids." This has nothing to do with the fact that children absorb languages easily, which they objected to.
I get what you're saying. This is quite annoying and it happens a lot in families... esp when discussing things with parents. They didn't handle this correctly and shouldn't have done this.

And in all honesty, I do not see what I said as being out of line whatsoever. I simply called her opinion ignorant, which she was also snarky with me as well but that apparently wasn't "out of line" either. Her wild reaction was what's inappropriate if you ask me, because her funky mood was so obvious that my father had to turn back home to calm her down.
Another user mentioned something about picking your battles. I understand you are not trying to fight with your parents on the issue at all but I know from my experience that when parents turn to these sort of responses ("ignorant" ones and how they're not even "logical" as in they don't even fit into the situation) it becomes dead. There's nothing to discuss, it's just a stupid "reaction". It turns into a massive ball of emotional reaction. Sure, it's hidden under trying to prove points or trying to get/gain understanding, but if that were the case, understanding would be reached at the end by both parties. So yes, it's an emotional ball of reaction.

I hope you get what I mean, I don't mean to say that you are a huge ball of emotional reaction, and they are a huge ball of emotional reaction, what I'm saying is that once it reaches the point of "ignorance", there's no way forward in terms of rational logic, the only other way of expression becomes emotion.

I guess you'll just need to notice when it gets to those points to quickly get out of it - even though you are not wrong because even trying to get them to understand where they went wrong logically, is pointless - because they will not get it. The only thing diving further into it, or being persistent about it will do is divide each person.

There's no alternative way to go about it than to leave the situation - even if it gets to you and annoys the heck out of you. The best way is to slowly "dissipate" as if there was never an issue and there was 'no friction'. 'Cause I've been there and done that and no amount of years is going to change it. :p

Perhaps just come here and vent about things if you need to talk about it.
 

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You misunderstand me. When I initially brought this subject up to my father hours before I introduced it to my mother, it was simply a casual debate. We exchanged points and nothing more. I like to pick at my parents' brains to see what they think on certain situations (I mostly do this with my father as opposed to my mum) but it wasn't something that got me heated. I was simply interested in hearing their perspectives, and the argument got heated when my mom started taking the argument personally, which she often does. I know she's very sensitive to this subject but on the surface I didn't see anything controversial about it so I didn't think it would cause any issues discussing it with her, but apparently I was wrong. I'm interested by random things and I like discussing it with people, there wasn't really any personal investment on my end that made this a serious argument from the get-go. And I don't see how a trilingual environment is confusing. One parent speaks X language, the second speaks Y language, and the child speaks Z in school. She's using the languages with different people in different environments, which is a pretty blatant barrier that separates the languages to avoid confusion.
Yeah except you basically called her ignorant (yes I know you just called her argument ignorant, but most people are going to take that as you calling THEM ignorant). The only person I see taking the argument personally in your original post is you.

Of course it's confusing for the kids to be raised trilingual. The daughter is already having problems leading to social issues and emotional distress due to it. And it can't be good for their social development for their parents to each speak a different language to them and then speak a third language to each other. That does not seem like a healthy model of family dynamics at all. I don't understand these people who refuse to accept that they live in America. Sure we don't have a national language but practically speaking English is the priority to get by and not many people speak Swahili or Korean.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
@Weekend

To be honest during that point of the argument it was less about who was on what side and me trying to clarify what the facts were. As I mentioned I'm passionate about linguistics and so instead of seeing their disregard to the facts as an "attack" or anything of the sort, I was actively trying to clarify what they were and how it plays into the process of multilingual children as I genuinely thought they didn't understand it up until they kept repeating "you'll realise when you're older." It really bewildered me how they kept brushing aside the facts as if they weren't relevant and that their opinions shaped reality, which that's where I said "you guys aren't looking at the biology of the human mind and the facts" which was kind of my parting statement, but this is where my mother became snarky with me and I decided to clap back at her, which I think I was fairly respectful in the way I did it as opposed to the bratty manner in which she did hers.

I understand what you're saying, but I did try to part from it at one point, but it was carried on. Sure, I could've ignored it, but I can ignore a lot of things and just let people speak over me. I think there should be a balance between standing up for yourself and keeping the peace, because both extremes lead down bumpy roads.

@dragthewaters

I can't control how other people interpret things. I even clarified what I meant to her. If she still feels that way then the brunt is all on her for still keeping that interpretation even though I clarified what I meant. And other than trying to get feedback on how this went astray, I don't really see how I took this personally since I can't take their opinion seriously when they disregarded all of the evidence.

I disagree since English at some point will become her dominant language, as with many children of immigrants. The daughter has problems because she doesn't understand English now and is frustrated because she cannot understand her peers, but within a few years she'll be fluent in not only English but Korean and Swahili. If you set boundaries on who speaks what language and use it consistently then it's not confusing whatsoever, which is what the parents are doing. And why would it hinder a child's social development just because they speak a different language with one parent as opposed to another? Children of immigrants who speak one language at home and English outside of their household are not any less socially developed than their native English-speaking peers.
 

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I understand what you're saying, but I did try to part from it at one point, but it was carried on. Sure, I could've ignored it, but I can ignore a lot of things and just let people speak over me. I think there should be a balance between standing up for yourself and keeping the peace, because both extremes lead down bumpy roads.
Now you're left wondering if you should apologise. It's like you somehow think you should but at the same time you've got reasons not to. Isn't that turmoil annoying? Maybe it won't last long for you... I think for me that annoyance leaves me rather quick to apologise.

So what do you think now? Do you think you will apologise to her for something or is it still in your mind about whether you will or won't?
 

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@Antipode

Most of the serious apologies I've run across I've interpreted as them admitting to a mistake, even though looking back in retrospect that may or may not be true. The reason why I see an apology as being so black and white is because an apology generally indicates a wrongdoing of something, and if I truly believe I did nothing wrong then it makes me confused on what I'm apologising for. Sure, I can apologise for offending her but with her being snarky with me plus being overly sensitive, I'm not as empathetic with her as I would normally be.

I think at this point I'm not very convinced that I'm apologising for the "right" reasons.

I'll try to share a short story. I come from a Christian family, so two years back when I came out as gay, it caused a lot of interesting things. For instance, my mother is a strong christian, a strong mother, and a strong personality--she is also very loving. That said, she's also ISFJ and locked in her ways, while also being wise. That summer, we ran into a lot of fights over stupid things, that would always find their way back to the discord of my mother not liking me being gay.

At one point, I put many, many hours into researching the bible and writing out--with scripture--how homosexuality could possibly not be un-biblical. I tried presenting it to her, and she refused to read it and demanded that I'd just share whatever I had found, verbally. I'm not the best speaker when I have to talk about myself, especially when someone is being hostile. So I refuse. And she got really angry at me refusing.

Needless to say, it turned into our biggest fallout. I had a few choices allotted to me. I realized, while I love my mother, and she loves me, that her mind could not be made up by me. That she had to find her own way in this situation, just how I had to find my own way. I accepted that if it would end with me being more aware, then that was fine.

So I apologized to her. Not for me being gay--not for my views--not for my logic--not for admitting I was wrong. I apologized for causing her pain, as she did the same. After that day, she slowly came around to accepting me in that regard, but not agreeing.

---

I could had hold onto anger and hate. But my apology was actually an act of forgiveness toward her and her actions toward me, even if I did not specifically say it to her. She didn't need to know I forgave her--that is for me. But it heals you and keeps the anger from bubbling. Keeps it from infecting you and driving wedges.

Let it go and use this situation to learn from both your perspective and hers. In the end, it'll help you mature far beyond your parents, and far beyond those around you. Understanding perspectives is the key to understanding the world around you.

---

And as a fun aside. I'm not going to share my personal opinion on the language debate, since that depends on many variables in that family. However, to challenge your stance, you suggested that children cannot learn language once it is too late.

It is true that children develop a wealth of language at young years. From ages 6-12, children will learn, on average, 6-12 words. Compare this to the amount of words adults learn a day, and it is staggering. Some child psychologists believe that children even enter into a rate of acceleration where they learn 20 words a day.

That said, it is not impossible for adults to learn languages, and in fact it is quite easy and possible. It happens all the time, and especially happens through immersion--when a person is only faced with one language and their intuition and verbal intelligence has to quickly adapt.

Because of this, you are wrong in saying that the child will never learn the other language if they don't do it now. They will always have the choice to learn it. On top of that, there is something to be said to focus on one language as a child. Children who learn two languages will be equipped with two languages, but a child who studies one language will become strongly equipped in one language. Similar to an RPG character that has to ration their stats into various categories, or become a master in one.

There is no wrong or right choice. It is, in the end, a difference in opinion, as your parents suggested. The question truly comes about when more variables are present. For instance, a family that is proud in their heritage deserves the opportunity to carry on their heritage with their children without opposition--while also being responsible enough to equip their children with the tools for that particular country of life.
 

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I feel like I should mention that self-esteem plays a huge role in a developing child's life. It's easy to see how this affects an individual at any stage in life as the evidence is all around us.

In this case we've already seen the child's reluctance to go to school. That's just the beginning and to be honest that is not a great beginning.

It's not just a verbal communication issue, her lack of understanding in English is going to cause problems in every subject area taught in school - not just her social well being.
 

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I can't control how other people interpret things. I even clarified what I meant to her. If she still feels that way then the brunt is all on her for still keeping that interpretation even though I clarified what I meant. And other than trying to get feedback on how this went astray, I don't really see how I took this personally since I can't take their opinion seriously when they disregarded all of the evidence.
But you knew she would feel that way about your comment, yet you made it anyway.

Well you are the one making such a big deal about it and forcing them to take your side, while they were willing to put the argument aside and just agree it was a difference of opinion. So clearly you are the one taking this personally.

I disagree since English at some point will become her dominant language, as with many children of immigrants. The daughter has problems because she doesn't understand English now and is frustrated because she cannot understand her peers, but within a few years she'll be fluent in not only English but Korean and Swahili. If you set boundaries on who speaks what language and use it consistently then it's not confusing whatsoever, which is what the parents are doing. And why would it hinder a child's social development just because they speak a different language with one parent as opposed to another? Children of immigrants who speak one language at home and English outside of their household are not any less socially developed than their native English-speaking peers.
But she is having problems now and that is her first experience of school which could cause her to develop negative feelings about school in general in the long term, as well as hindering her social and academic development. The first days of school are very important for making new friends, etc. and now she has probably been established as an outcast in the group due to her lack of understanding of English and it's going to hinder her ability to learn in the classroom as well and put her behind her peers. My question is, why the fuck didn't her parents teach her English before school if they knew she was going to go to an English speaking school? Totally irresponsible and selfish on their part.

It must be so confusing for that family to do anything if one parent is speaking language X, one parent is speaking language Y, and they are speaking language Z to each other and the kids are not allowed to speak language Z to them but have to speak in every other social situation. Bilingual families are different because the family shares a common language. And most bilingual families also use English with their kids. This is just a very fractured way of having a family, with a bunch of communication issues, and cannot lead to healthy social development. And it is completely unnecessary because practically speaking the kids will have little reason to use Swahili or Korean in their daily lives.

And what happens if the kids speak English when they are not "allowed" to? Do they get chided by their parents for speaking English at home even though they are supposed to speak English outside the home and are unable to progress normally due to their lack of knowledge of the English language, AND their parents speak English to each other? Yeah I have NO idea how that could POSSIBLY get confusing and distressing for the kids.
 

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You can't tell people what they should have been feeling or what not to feel. You can say "I apologise for what I said. I didn't have any intention to hurt you". Which is sincere, you didn't mean to hurt her. You see, this isn't about who is right, or logical fallacies or any of that. It is emotions. Your mother just didn't want to be seen as stupid and some people feel a personal connection between their own intelligence and how good their opinions or views are. And like I said, once someone is hurt by what you said, you can't tell them to NOT be hurt. I assume this is not how she acts ALL the time so just accept you hurt her unintentionally and apologise. She is also your mother. I don't feel like you gain anything or really defend anything by being stubborn about this and that matter is hardly personal either.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
@Weekend

The more I talk about this the more benefits I see to apologising as it will obviously mend this little dent in our relationship, which I've already decided I'll apologise to her in the morning. But internally there seems to be something missing that makes me feel like I'm being manipulative by doing this superficially as opposed to truly feeling I did something wrong.

@Antipode

Almost all of your post oddly reads like deja vu since I've not only had a similar experience coming out as gay to both my Christian mum (ISTJ) and Christian sister (ESFJ, who would pester the shit out of me trying to convince me out of it) and I had to reach a similar conclusion that you did. When I initially told my mother I was gay she of course told me that it goes against what she believes is natural and she thinks it's the wrong lifestyle but she still loves me irregardless. I had trouble understanding how she could love me, a gay son, while objecting to my sexuality, so I would try to convince her to approve of it, which she vehemently declined any notion and still said it was sinful. I had to come to the conclusion that both realities do indeed exist, and while she may not see my sexuality in a positive light, I in turn don't see her religion in a positive light either, something of equal importance as my sexuality, so I figured our differences can coexist in a bond of love. God just typing this makes me feel sappy :p

And about your perspective towards the argument, this is also deja vu because my father said the exact same thing. He stressed the child can learn the language if she takes interest in it, while I argued it's best for her to learn it unconsciously as she will develop a stronger knowledge of it and it will come much easier. I understand his point, and while it can very much happen, I think it will cause a disparity in connection to her father's culture if she grows up not learning the language from the get-go. I have a Vietnamese classmate who I went on vacation with; his parents speak mostly in Vietnamese to both him and his sister (who is six years his senior). His sister responds back in Vietnamese, but my friend only responds back in English. And when I asked him why doesn't he respond back in Vietnamese he told me because he's not "good at it" and while I may be projecting here, I felt a bit of sadness when he said that. He doesn't seem very close to his culture and there's a noticeable gap when he talks to his family. For example, we stayed at his aunt's house in Dallas and his aunts and uncles had to speak to him in English, (very crappy English) a language they cannot express themselves easily in. I have a similar viewpoint; I'm black but my parents put me in private schools that were virtually all white and thus I grew up speaking and acting "white". It largely disconnected me with my black peers who mocked me for it and to this day there's a large disconnection between me and my race. While I actively don't indulge in the culture for reasons outside of this topic, there's a perpetual dissonance of sorts when you're separated from your culture. You're separated from an environment that you'd align with the easiest upon entering this world and you feel very out of place everywhere if there's no "group" that claims you, something I feel like now. With the child in mind, because she does not look stereotypically Korean I highly doubt she will be accepted by other Koreans. She is more likely to be in connection to her Kenyan roots as she looks more black than anything else, but if she's cut off from it now then she will grow up feeling like an outsider like many other people who grow up in an environment outside of their (perceived) ethnicity.

Also I'd like to add that you're very wise and your posts are soothing to read, if that doesn't sound creepy enough :p.

@dragthewaters

in the moment I didn't think about her she'd interpret it. Also, you misunderstand. Simply because I disagree with them doesn't mean I'm "forcing" them to take sides. Like I mentioned before, when I introduced this topic to my father initially he had a very different opinion then mine but the conversation went extremely well. Even with my mother I was not "forcing" her to change her opinion, but more to acknowledge the constants of the subject. My father did--initially--and still kept his opinion, which I had no problem with. But I became very bewildered and confused how they could simply brush off facts and insert their opinion as if their perception shapes reality.

Also the child will be placed in ESL. I'm not sure if every school does this, but at least in my school they would gradually place ESL students in regular classrooms to progress their learning of the English language. It's not like she's not getting any time to learn English now; her entire time at school is literally going to be devoted to learning English (while doing her work of course, because the ESL teacher is there to transition the child from their native tongue to English). Also, because the mother was in Korea for a couple of years because of her husband's job, she only spoke Korean to the children (which is her first language). Also, you could argue that any language outside of English has "little reason" to be spoken. There's many Koreans in the states, not so much Africans but a language is a language at the end of the day. It's more beneficial to be multilingual than to be monolingual.

And at least in the videos I've watched, the children haven't broken any language codes. The mother speaks Korean with the kids and the eldest is just now speaking a mixture of Swahili/English to the father (the youngest hasn't spoken in these languages yet, at least that I've seen). It will likely stay that way unless they decide to switch. But I agree it would be confusing if both partners don't know the other's language (which the husband only knows very minimal Korean and the wife knows no Swahili). If it was my kids I'd prefer to know what languages they were speaking
 

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@Weekend

The more I talk about this the more benefits I see to apologising as it will obviously mend this little dent in our relationship, which I've already decided I'll apologise to her in the morning. But internally there seems to be something missing that makes me feel like I'm being manipulative by doing this superficially as opposed to truly feeling I did something wrong.
It kind of reminds me of a situation I was in. It was a bit like how yours played out but much more long-standing and with a different topic. What I said ended up hurting him so I apologised for that... but my main apology was done so that we could move on from the situation. In my case when I said move on, I meant I would get the hell out of there but let that person know it's okay. Okay - not because he did anything right - 'cause he didn't - okay as in, you don't understand and I get that you don't understand (I didn't state that of course)... so I'm just going to apologise so that you feel as though you are 'released' from it.

So I was indeed being manipulative in that sense but what else could I do... Sure, I can apologise to him... but it's also up to him whether he wants to apologise to me for the pain that he caused me. Well, he did apologise but for none of the reasons that were important to me.
 

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@Weekend

The more I talk about this the more benefits I see to apologising as it will obviously mend this little dent in our relationship, which I've already decided I'll apologise to her in the morning. But internally there seems to be something missing that makes me feel like I'm being manipulative by doing this superficially as opposed to truly feeling I did something wrong.

@Antipode

Almost all of your post oddly reads like deja vu since I've not only had a similar experience coming out as gay to both my Christian mum (ISTJ) and Christian sister (ESFJ, who would pester the shit out of me trying to convince me out of it) and I had to reach a similar conclusion that you did. When I initially told my mother I was gay she of course told me that it goes against what she believes is natural and she thinks it's the wrong lifestyle but she still loves me irregardless. I had trouble understanding how she could love me, a gay son, while objecting to my sexuality, so I would try to convince her to approve of it, which she vehemently declined any notion and still said it was sinful. I had to come to the conclusion that both realities do indeed exist, and while she may not see my sexuality in a positive light, I in turn don't see her religion in a positive light either, something of equal importance as my sexuality, so I figured our differences can coexist in a bond of love. God just typing this makes me feel sappy :p

And about your perspective towards the argument, this is also deja vu because my father said the exact same thing. He stressed the child can learn the language if she takes interest in it, while I argued it's best for her to learn it unconsciously as she will develop a stronger knowledge of it and it will come much easier. I understand his point, and while it can very much happen, I think it will cause a disparity in connection to her father's culture if she grows up not learning the language from the get-go. I have a Vietnamese classmate who I went on vacation with; his parents speak mostly in Vietnamese to both him and his sister (who is six years his senior). His sister responds back in Vietnamese, but my friend only responds back in English. And when I asked him why doesn't he respond back in Vietnamese he told me because he's not "good at it" and while I may be projecting here, I felt a bit of sadness when he said that. He doesn't seem very close to his culture and there's a noticeable gap when he talks to his family. For example, we stayed at his aunt's house in Dallas and his aunts and uncles had to speak to him in English, (very crappy English) a language they cannot express themselves easily in. I have a similar viewpoint; I'm black but my parents put me in private schools that were virtually all white and thus I grew up speaking and acting "white". It largely disconnected me with my black peers who mocked me for it and to this day there's a large disconnection between me and my race. While I actively don't indulge in the culture for reasons outside of this topic, there's a perpetual dissonance of sorts when you're separated from your culture. You're separated from an environment that you'd align with the easiest upon entering this world and you feel very out of place everywhere if there's no "group" that claims you, something I feel like now. With the child in mind, because she does not look stereotypically Korean I highly doubt she will be accepted by other Koreans. She is more likely to be in connection to her Kenyan roots as she looks more black than anything else, but if she's cut off from it now then she will grow up feeling like an outsider like many other people who grow up in an environment outside of their (perceived) ethnicity.

Also I'd like to add that you're very wise and your posts are soothing to read, if that doesn't sound creepy enough :p.
That is all very true. When I was younger, I used to think it would be "ideal" if we lived in a world where there were no races--where we were just one race.

Yet, such a world is not ideal. Races are beautiful, and the abundance of cultures that it brings should not be viewed as a hindrance, but our own responses toward them are the problem. While I don't have any desired connection to my heritage, I do think it is wonderful when someone young wishes to keep their culture and traditions alive, while also allowing it to adapt and grow with them.

That said, there are always other variables at play. For instance, while it is true that children learn languages quicker at a younger age, it is also true that they are far more impressionable at younger ages. Our fears--our personalities--our hobbies--our desires--our phobias--our insecure attachments--everything can often be traced back to key events in childhood. Single days. One moment. For instance, I know the very day my utter fear for formal public speaking came about. Bringing a child to a different country and not providing them with every opportunity to be considered normal with their peers can be a disservice.

Sometimes, at least. A timid child, for example, could benefit from learning just English. A socially satisfied and adept child could benefit from learning their own culture, since they don't run the risk of feeling ostracized at a young age with their peers.

Much goes into it. Due to my own disposition, I'd want to make sure my children were as equipped as possible to explore their education, their peers, and their world the way they wanted. That is why I'm there for them. Due to your own disposition, you'd want to make sure your children were as equipped as possible to make sure they were as equipped as possible to connect with a group to feel a sense of fulfillment with one another.

---

And thanks for the compliment. :) I like to think I'm too sappy and creepy to ever think anyone else can out-sap and out-creep me haha
 

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Disclaimer: this will be very lengthy

I got into an argument with my mum (and partially my father) over a topic, and unfortunately on my dad's birthday. So the topic is this YouTube family I watch. It's a family of four, 2 daughters (a 4 y/o and a 1 y/o), a Korean wife, and a Kenyan husband. The couple speaks English to each other, the mum speaks Korean to the children, and the dad a mixture of English and Swahili to the children. Because of the dad's career circumstances the mum had to take the newborn (the youngest) and the eldest daughter abroad in Korea for about a year or two and just reunited with the father last year, so up until their reunion the children only spoke Korean and only until as of late they started responding back to the father in a mixture of Swahili and English. Just to note so I don't have to see anyone telling me this: the topic is stupid and irrelevant but I didn't think it would get out of hand with my mother. I'm interested in linguistics and was curious how they would react on the matter which is why I asked them.

So the scenario I presented to both of my parents was the dilemma the eldest daughter is facing. So the kid just started preschool and cannot understand the teacher or the kids, so the teacher gave the mum an ESL form for the child. The day after the mum received the form, the daughter refused to go to school (if you want to see the video, here it is). The child wails and is extremely upset and doesn't want to go to school. Before the timemarker the mum asked did the daughter have friends at school and was she enjoying herself and the daughter refused to respond, which leads me to believe that the reason she didn't want to go to school is because she doesn't understand the language of the environment. After the father finds out, he says he will not speak Swahili to the children anymore until they develop good enough English and says it's of a higher priority because they live in Virginia. The mum objects because the child is already in ESL and will learn English irregardless and notes that the longer the father waits to speak Swahili to the child, the more risk he runs of her not ever learning it, which is true. The more he waits, the more risk he runs of her associating English with him and the possibility that she will refuse to speak Swahili to him/become upset when he speaks Swahili to her.

As you can tell with the last sentence, I clearly side with the mum because it seems like the most logical thing to do. She's in ESL already learning English, and it is a surefire method that she will learn Korean and Swahili because her parents are speaking it to her at home. I do not see how much more her English will progress if her father switches from Swahili/English to solely English since she understands close to zilch now anyway and will spend most of her time at school than she does at home, and there is the blatantly obvious risk that she may never learn Swahili as opposed to there being no risk with the mother's method. But there is a split decision in the comment section about who is "right" and from a few comments I've read there seems to be a nuanced difference between female commentors and male commentors, which is why I asked my parents because I wanted to see will different sexes have different responses.

Nonetheless, my dad sided with the father for similar reasons. I explained my reasons, saying that children absorb languages easily and that the father is running a risk of the child associating English to him as a language code and may object to it if she reaches a certain age, as seen with the aforementioned source. He had questioned and I explained it to him and how it ties into the role of multilingual children learning languages and differentiating them. While I mentioned sources and constants in this subject, they aren't absolute to make my opinion "right". My dad sides with the father because he sees the child is frustrated in the environment and needs to adapt as soon as possible, whereas I'm more concerned with how delicate the language process is and if it's not done now, it will not be done later. So irregardless of this he still disagreed and we had a calm discussion and just ended it at a difference of opinion.

I mentioned it to my mother as we were driving to a gokart centre for my dad's bday. She took the same stance my father did for similar reasons that English is a priority, etc. I repeated my argument, but she didn't question the sources like my father did; instead, she rejected all of the information, even the most obvious one that children absorb languages easily because "children are different". My father oddly piggybacked this saying it's true because he "was different and thought differently than the over kids" and I told him that your personality has nothing to do with biology and how your brain operates as a young child. My mother then switched her argument to "well it doesn't really matter if he speaks Swahili to her because it's only important if they have a deep relationship with each other." I told her this is off topic and has nothing to do with the subject at hand, and both of my parents said it was indeed relevant and kept telling me "you'll realise when you have kids that their emotions are most important." I told them that their points don't make any sense and that they're ignoring the constants of the subject here, and my mother kept saying "well it's just a study, it could be wrong." And I kept telling her that "anything could be wrong" but there are constants in the world we live in, and it's a staple fact that children of any personality learn (sans intellectual disabilities) soak up languages like a sponge. My father kept saying "you'll realise when you have kids" and I repeated saying what you guys are saying makes no sense and is void of biology and any logic, and my mother started becoming snarky with me and saying "well, your logic isn't going anywhere" and tried ending it with "it's just a difference of opinion." I responded back saying "It's hard to take what you're saying as a mere difference when your "opinion" is ignorant" and she became extremely exasperated. My father said I stepped out of line, and I told him that I didn't call her out of her name or say anything directly ABOUT her, I simply said what she said was ignorant. And to finish a very long story, she became so upset over what I said that he had to come back home and forget going to the gokarts all together.

I'll try to tl;dr this, but: had a debate of a non-controversial topic with my mum for banter and small talk, we argued over our differing opinions, my mum ignored all of the facts/constants of the situation and eventually became snarky with me so I called her opinion ignorant and she became vehemently exasperated which ruined by dad's plan to go gokarting for his birthday.

The question: Should I apologise to her even though I'm not sorry whatsoever and it would be extremely insincere? I could make it sound convincing easily, but it would be really insincere as I don't think I did anything wrong.


I see this in two ways: 1) I can be a people pleaser, turning the other cheek in situations where that I'm stubborn on simply to keep the peace, even if it means apologising to people when I don't mean it whatsoever or 2) I can be stubborn, standing my ground and never moving anywhere, but I will stay true to myself.

I see the latter leading me to become very narrow-minded and standstill, whereas the former will make me develop a very manipulative approach to dealing with people. I see this method as being the most effective in terms of being open-minded and getting along with people, but I will be betraying myself in the end by prioritising their emotions over mine, which is where I believe I will become "hollow" in the sense that the constant lack of attention towards my feelings will make me numb and will create more routes for me to become more manipulative with people simply to "get along" with them, then it'll turn into "getting stuff/information I want out of them" and so forth.
she is your mom. Suck it up already.
 
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