Latina women have a rich Hispanic heritage that we want to impart to our children. Whether it’s sharing food traditions, speaking Spanish, or choosing a name that will help a bicultural child feel as if she belongs everywhere she goes, new mothers need help navigating how to bring Hispanic culture to their children. And Lorraine Ladish’s crib sheet does just that.
What to Name the Kids
Reading Lorraine’s thoughts on choosing a name was interesting because it reminded me of my mother’s experiences. She grew so tired of people butchering her name that she legally changed it to a more American-friendly version. I love her given name, but can understand her frustration.
I am of Dominican and Chinese descent, and my husband was born to a Caucasian mother and African-American father. Our children’s cultural backgrounds are diverse, and we don’t know what they will choose to identify as in the future. We picked names that sounded good with Armstrong, would look nice on a plaque in an executive boardroom, and one wasn’t likely to hear called in a prison or courtroom. We’re practical people.
We figured playing it safe with names wouldn’t hurt anyone. Also, my husband kept ruling out my awesome ideas — like Max Power for my son and Rio for my daughter. It’s a personal decision and not one to take lightly, but in this instance, since my husband and I are of different cultural backgrounds we chose good, old-fashioned, American-sounding names: Cameron & Preston.
When to Use Spanish and When to Use English
I agree with Lorraine: It is important to speak both languages to your child. I struggled with this when my children were younger. My husband is bilingual, but is fluent in German. I am not. He understands and can speak a little Spanish, but not enough to carry on a full conversation.