Learn To Speak Child

Parent Says: Get dressed.
Child hears: Make funny faces at yourself in the mirror.

I’m sure you’ve seen the commercials for the Rosetta Stone, that program that’s supposed to teach you how to speak a new language in a short amount of time. I’m considering authoring one of those types of programs for the language of Child.

I’ve noticed that what we (parents) say and what children hear are two different things. Mind you, this is different than the Child’s Code, in which I explain behaviors children all seem to know that irritate their parents. This is strictly a language lesson. The translations are those I have gleaned from my own children and in my years of working with citizens of the child persuasion.

Parent says: It’s time to brush your teeth.
Child hears: It’s time to steam up the mirror and draw pictures in it.

Parent says: Go put your shoes on. We need to leave or we’ll be late.
Child hears: Go play with the cat.

Parent says: Drink your milk.
Child hears: Blow bubbles in your milk.

Parent says: Color on the paper.
Child hears: Color on the table.

Parent says: Clean your room.
Child hears: Dig out all the old stuff you haven’t seen in a while and play, making a bigger mess than before.

Parent says: Hang up your towel.
Child hears: Ball up your towel and carefully balance it on the towel bar.

Parent says: I would love it if everyone could have a nice smile in the picture.
Child hears: I would love it if I could see your tongue in every picture.

Parent says: That was a grown-up word, you don’t need to repeat it.
Child hears: Teach that word to all of your friends and cousins.

I wonder if we can turn it around, maybe add on the translation to throw the kid off. So it would be like “Go put your shoes on, and don’t play with the cat!” I bet we would get some funny looks.

3 thoughts on “Learn To Speak Child

  1. Parent Says: Get dressed.
    Child hears: Make funny faces at yourself in the mirror. UNTIL I YELL AT YOU

    I never realized how much yelling is done as a parent. But it turns out the delicate and finely tuned inner ear muscles of a four year old (which allow her to reply after the first nonyelling request) go into dormancy at age five – and the kid can’t hear you the first three times when you ask in a normal voice.

    Liked by 1 person

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