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Mom Balks After Boyfriend Demands She Stop Teaching Their Baby Polish Since He Can’t Speak It

Shot of a mother holding her baby daughter at home

Teaching several languages to children, well anyone actually, is often looked at as a great idea.

The mind is capable of storing a ridiculous amount of information.

So why not fill it with everything?

If nothing else, being fluent in several languages can really come in handy while traveling.

But some people may disagree.

Case in point…

Redditor Lotsof_Rhubarb wanted to discuss her experience and get some feedback. So naturally, she came to visit the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.

She asked:

“AITA for speaking to my child in Polish even though my boyfriend asked me not to?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“I (21 F[emale]) have been dating my boyfriend (26 M[ale]) for three years now, and we have a son who is 13 months old.”

“Not too long ago, my son said his first word, and I decided that now might be a good time for me to teach him Polish in addition to English.”

“For the past few days, I have been speaking in Polish to him.”

“I know he won’t learn it straight away, but in a few years, he might be fluent.”

“However, when my boyfriend saw me saying Polish words to him, he said that I should stop.”

“I asked him why, and he said it would be unfair if we could communicate with each other in a language he couldn’t understand.”

“He even said Polish wasn’t a useful language to learn, like Spanish or French.”

“I acknowledged this, but I have continued to do it even though my boyfriend has asked me to stop.”

“I feel guilty, but I do want to share my first language with my child.”

“I also feel hurt that he doesn’t care about my speech.”


Redditors shared their thoughts on this matter and weighed some options to the question AITA:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Many Redditors declared OP was NOT the A**hole.


“He said it would be unfair if we could communicate with each other in a language he couldn’t understand.”

“Then he better hurry up and learn Polish then.” ~ CrystalQueen3000

“Yeah. Why would you shut your child off from so many opportunities just because you don’t want to learn a language.”

“(In my opinion he should have been making the effort to learn your language even before children).” ~ lcyhrty

“Honestly like if I was in a serious relationship/had a child with someone whose first language was not English.”

“I would want them to at least teach me key phrases in that language because, more than likely they have family members who either don’t speak English at all or feel more comfortable speaking their first language, and I would want to be able to communicate with them too!” ~ Odd_Prompt_6139

“Absolutely! My daughter has some friends who are mixed Korean and Kenyan.”

“Their dad has never cared about whether or not they learn Swahili (he barely speaks it anymore himself), but they have spoken Korean with their mother since birth.”

“Guess who is now happily fluent in Korean because he loves his kids?”  ~ dixiequick

“My husband is English as a second language.”

“We have no intention of having children (we both already have older children), and we’ve been married a year (in mid-Aug), and I started learning his language when we started dating.”

“One reason was that I was interested in his culture – for his sake (never thought much of Dutch before I met him and never felt any desire to learn it. It’s not the most beautiful language 😁).”

“But also because I am curious and nosy and wanted to have some idea of what he would talk about with others.”

“By the way, this is the 4th language for me, so maybe it’s just me, but yeah.”

“At least some phrases or something.” ~ Lurk2877

“It’s my understanding that Slavic languages have at least some commonality.”

“So, if you know Polish, you will be able to understand at least some Ukrainian, Slovak, Czech, etc.”

“Slavic languages differentiated relatively recently, is my understanding.”

“The number of people who speak Slavic languages is over 300mm, which makes it the largest language group in Europe.”

“Further, if a child grows up knowing more than one language, that makes it easier to learn additional languages – the language center of the brain is more developed.”

“It’s not that learning Polish makes it harder to learn Spanish, Mandarin or whatever – it actually makes it easier.”  ~ Boeing367-80

“I bought a lifetime Rosetta Stone subscription for $149 during the Black Friday/Xmas sales last year. ALL their languages for a lifetime.”

“I’m brushing up on my German (lived there briefly as a kid so have perfect pronunciation but have forgotten a lot of the vocabulary) and learning Korean because I like Kdramas and Kpop, and my significant other is learning French (I took it in school but don’t like it so…).”

“I also bought a year’s worth of Babbel at the same time to compare.”

“Again, all languages. I haven’t decided whether to renew it this year. $99.”

“I got Korean flashcards to learn the letters and vocabulary, and those are great on the go.”

“I’m already beginning to understand some of the Kdramas.”

“It’s pretty cool, and I’m 58 so this is also something proven to help your brain.”

“Any parent who speaks another language should make sure their kids learn it.”

“It’s so easy to learn as a kid.”

“You never know when it might be useful and even if not it trains their brain to learn other languages.” ~ HeddaLeeming

“NTA, besides the advantage of being bilingual, research has shown that learning new languages becomes easier the more languages you know.”

“Plus it would be the perfect opportunity to learn at least some basic polish for your boyfriend.”

“Aren’t there any Polish in-laws he needs to impress with a basic dominion of the language?”

“And finally, it sounds like you are proud of your heritage.”

“You have a right to be so and should pass it on to your child.”  ~d3lphx

“NTA. Never deny children their heritage.” ~ kokokaraib

“Agreed. I have a friend whose parents are both Romanian, but to fit in, they didn’t talk Romanian to him.”

“Now he barely speaks any and is crushed about it.”

“When he goes back to visit family, they mock him.”

“He still is easily identified as someone with foreign roots in the country he grew up in.”

“He only has disadvantages from his parents’ refusal.”

“He tries to learn it on his own, but you can never really make up for the lost time.” ~ Ask_Juju

“NTA. Your boyfriend doesn’t have the right to dictate what language you speak to your child in.”

“Further, it is good for children to learn multiple languages and cultures.

“Your boyfriend is being a controlling a**hole.”  ~ AShatteredKing

“And how dare he define which language is useful!”

“Maybe the kid wants to live in Poland someday.”

“Knowing one Slavic language also makes it easier to learn other related languages, opening doors to many European countries.”

“OP, your boyfriend is controlling, are there any other areas where he tries to control you?”

“Stay alert about the red flags.”

“If you don’t speak Polish to your kid and break up at some point, you won’t be able to recover the lost time.”

“Your child deserves to speak his mother tongue, it’s a blessing to be bilingual, no matter what language.” ~ Ask_Juju

“NTA. Your child had two parents, and learning two languages at that young age is INCREDIBLY beneficial.”

“Kids learn this sh*t at lightning speed compared to adults.”

“I work with a dozen folks who were born to native Spanish-speaking parents.”

“They learned both languages quite easily as children.”

“Your child should be exposed to both languages and cultures.”

“Maybe it’s time for your boyfriend to start learning Polish too.”  ~ Klingon80

“NTA. You need a new boyfriend.”

“The language is part of your child’s heritage and culture.”

“Why is HIS language more important than yours?”

“Is it always like this?”

“He can’t just say ‘Don’t teach my son polish,’ and it just happens.”

“Make him your ex and speak to your child in Polish in your home.” ~ JackedLilJill

“NTA, please teach that baby Polish.”

“My mom didn’t teach me Spanish, and it’s been VERY hard trying to learn as an adult.”

“It’s hard to even practice because native speakers don’t want to struggle through talking to me… please spare your baby of that. LOL.” ~ chocolatededdy

“NTA. I speak English to my kids.”

“My wife speaks Swedish to them.”

“We speak English as a family, but we live in Sweden, so the “environmental” language is Swedish.”

“Long before they started school and long before I was fluent in Swedish, they were fluent in both languages.”

“One parent, one language is the method, and it’s highly encouraged in multilingual families.”  ~ LadyLixerwyfe

“This is what my buddy and his husband do.”

“My buddy is Daddy and communicates primarily in English, and his husband is Papi and communicates primarily in Spanish.”

“Their little girl is 4 now and is smart and sassy.”

“She quickly figures out if you’re a Spanish person or English person and addresses you accordingly.”

“Kid brains are so elastic, and I really hope OP just goes on teaching her son Polish.”  ~ jenorama_CA

“NTA, there is no useless language.”

“Even the dead ones have their uses, let alone a language spoken by a whole country.”

“If he doesn’t want to put in the effort to learn a new language, then that’s fine.”

“But he doesn’t get to tell others not to learn, and if he thinks of a more useful language, he could learn it and teach it to your child as a special way of bonding.” ~ Status_Welder9824

Well, OP, Reddit is with you.

Learning as many languages as possible is a strength in life.

If you feel like your boyfriend is hurting your feelings, it may be time for a deeper talk.

Maybe you can offer to teach him and the baby together.

That could be a nice family bonding experience.

Good luck.