We had a tremendous response to the recent blog ‘Sacrifice’ which looked at the emotional cost to VICI Language Academy founder Nathalie Danon-Kerr of sending her children to France to help them become truly bilingual while spending the holidays with their grandparents.
Some asked us what their father thought… So we asked! Here is Matt Danon-Kerr’s account of spending weeks apart from his boys every school holiday.
“For me I am living with bilingual children and that is something that I always wanted for the boys, but I never really appreciated what the cost would be; I thought it would simply be speaking French to Mum and English to me!
“I love the idea that they are not English children that happen to speak French, or French children who are able to speak English. They speak both languages fluently and switch between to the two effortlessly, seamlessly switching and that never ceases to amaze me.
“As a father I want what is best for my children and share Nathalie’s wish that her heritage is being passed on when they are spending the holidays in France. They boys have a social life in France – they have friends there just as they have friends here. Being bilingual they have much more complex social lives, but they achieve that effortlessly.
“Children will play with any other children and it only might get tricky with a difference in language; however their friends in France probably only know they come from England as they’ve told them! Of course they are boys so they also speak the truly universal language – football!
“As a father, as parents, we have to reconcile the price we have to pay with the fact that we are giving them such an amazing opportunity in life and as I said to Nathalie, anything worth doing generally has a high cost.
“It is only two weeks before the novelty of being child free wears off and you feel the loss of not having them there and that is when the emotional cost kicks in and it is a high price to pay, but definitely one worth paying when you see how much it is helping our children.
“Now and then they ask for a call and we chat and they are definitely enjoying themselves at Mamy and Papy’s… they say they just wanted to hear my voice!”
So now you’ve had the view of both parents on the level of emotional investment it takes to give your children the opportunity to become bilingual. Remember it only takes time and a very reasonable cost if you want your children to become bilingual with the help of the VICI Language Academy.