DEAR HARRIETTE: My daughter has the option of taking French or Spanish in her sixth-grade class. Almost everybody in my husband's family speaks Spanish, so I recommended that she take that language. But she has decided that she wants to take French instead. I regret that I didn't learn Spanish. I took French, and while it is a perfectly fine language, I think she can do more with Spanish, including being able to talk to some of her dad's older relatives. She has dug in her heels. What can I do to change her mind? -- Change the Language, Brooklyn, New York
DEAR CHANGE THE LANGUAGE: Your daughter is attempting to walk in your footsteps, at least for now. Stop fighting with her, and let her make this choice. It is not too late for her to learn Spanish as well. In many countries, people can speak many languages.
Your daughter can also learn different words and sayings as she spends time with her family. You can encourage her to ask them to teach her Spanish in the way that they know it.
If your daughter gains a love of language, it may extend more broadly than you can imagine today. Do not limit her. Encourage her to learn them all. And since you know some French, don't be shy. Study it with her and converse with her. This can be a lovely bonding experience for you.