It´s amazing how kids develop their tactical thinking to get what they pursue. It´s said that baby girls are especially good at this. My niece (3,5 years old) is certainly a good example as her teachers have reported a special ability at mediating in conflicts and not getting involved in any kind of violence. She has proven her skills in situations like establishing turns in the playground, who gets the new toy in class, or even finding diplomatic solutions between someone else´s fights.
In our case, our little punk has also started to develop certain “cutest-ever” tactics to get away with things. Sometimes when he´s been naughty and mum or I send him to the “thinking corner” to think about what he´s done, he just looks at mum in the eyes, tips his head over slightly and says “mama guapaaaa…” (Mummy pretty…). Anyone capable of grounding/yelling at this little angel would be practically considered a monster!!
The strategies that he uses with me are more focused on saying things in English like “I´m sorry” or “I love you” or saying things like “papa, thank you!” when I give him something. I think he detects quite well when he does one of these things that make us look at him like he is the most adorable angel (frequent among parents). As we are too busy doting on our cutie, his little mind classifies this moments as “another way to get away with my plans…”
We´ll see how all this progresses, but what I take out from it is that I´m now more sensitive to this kind of strategies and I have found myself to be more indulgent if he uses English, as if responding well to bilingual stimuli was some short of free pass, or at least a way to diminish the impact of bad behavior. I can´t help but thinking that if we want to picture bilingualism as a natural thing for him, we should stick to our rules whatever the language he is using… but he is just soooo cute when he says “Papi, I love you!!!”.
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