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Hi all,

My husband and I have adopted the Opol system so far with our newborn, soon to be one month old. My husband’s native language is Italian and he speaks only in Italian with our baby girl. My native language is Turkish and we live in Turkey. Since my parents kept telling us to speak our native languages with her I have been only talking to her in Turkish only. Me and my husband speak in English with each other. After reading the site and the forum I am starting to consider switching to English to have a dominant family language, thinking that she will learn to speak in Turkish when she starts kindergarten, and with my parents and relatives.

We have been going on with Italian and Turkish since a month now, is it confusing if I switch to English? Would she be delayed even more?

Finally, my concern is that, would she feel left out socially since she may not be very fluent in Turkish by the time she starts kindergarten?

Thank you all for reading and commenting in advance.

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Hi Asya, 

Just saw your post. Posting a quick reply here as someone raised as a multilingual, but also now is a parent attempting to raise multilingual children [smile] 

1. Is it confusing to switch to English?
My estimation is, “NO.” Your baby will adjust right along. The reason is, I remember growing up as a multilingual is that language is very much a “feeling” surrounding “meaning.” It’s not a verbal exercise until much later in life. Thus, as your person, your voice, the contexts and feel do not change, your switching of verbal words to English will not cause any issues for her. 

2. Will she feel left out in Kindergarten?
I assume that will largely depend on the culture of the kindergarten. If they are very inclusive, then no problems. If it is not very inclusive, then maybe. We cannot know. However, what we can know from reading your inquiry is that if you do not do everything you feel is “good” for your baby within the best of your intentions, the thought of regret will cause you more harm than good. Thus, my encouragement would be that you continue to stay self aware of your intentions, and pour love into your baby within the verbal selections you choose so that you will have zero regrets and your baby will have a great relationship with you when she comes home to you regardless of what happened at school. 

Every child is different, so you know best as the parent. I hope this can be of some support. Good night. 

Los Angeles, USA

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