Crib Sheet: On Celebrating Hispanic Heritage
You're bicultural, and you want your baby to be proud of her Latino culture as she grows up. How can you do this? If being pregnant fills a woman with doubts and fears of not being a good enough mother, these feelings can be compounded when she is of mixed heritage or wants to raise her child to be proud of her Latino roots. This is an increasingly common issue, and one that is simple, although not always easy to address, even when the baby is in utero.
As a bicultural and bilingual woman, when I became pregnant with my first child, I spent plenty of time and energy wondering how I would manage to raise my baby to grow up with the same advantages I enjoyed thanks to my mixed heritage. Taking into consideration my own background, and knowing my child would have to navigate two countries, two cultures and two languages, I started by choosing her name carefully.
This crib sheet on celebrating Hispanic heritage includes:
- Choosing a name that will allow your child to easily move between two cultures.
- Knowing when to use Spanish and when you use English when conversing with your baby.
- Reading books to your baby in Spanish.
- Exposing your baby to images from the other country, even if you can't go yet to visit.
- Keeping in touch with family by using technology.
- Serving foods with Latin flavors.
- Teaching your child values and customs from your culture.
Lorraine C. Ladish is Editor-in-Chief of Mamiverse, an online hub for Latina moms. A mother of two young girls, Lorraine is fully bilingual and bicultural. She has authored 15 books of non-fiction on the subject of women's issues and empowerment. In addition, she has written and published two novels. She has contributed to People en Español, Redbook and Mamiverse in the past, and was most recently the managing editor of VOXXI Mujer, an online news site for English- speaking Hispanics. She is based in Sarasota, FL with her blended family. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.
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