My native language is Dutch. My wife’s is French. We both speak each other’s language fluently. But we originally met each other in Germany, and have always been speaking English together.

When we got our son, we ignored all warnings around us about confusing a child, and built a tri-lingual household. I still speak English with my wife, but we both speak to our son in our own native tongue. We never used English as a secret language and always explained what we were speaking about whenever he asked.

Growing up, he has had little difficulty making progress in French as well as Dutch. This is a contrast with stories we hear from bi-lingual families where the parents together speak one of the two languages they are teaching their kids (“why do I have to speak French to my mother if my parents together speak Dutch too?”). And as a bonus, our son became fluent in English as well.