I am constantly amazed and reminded by the listening skills my children have. At one extreme I wonder why they can’t hear me tell them to put on their pajamas or brush their teeth, yet I know their hearing is just fine with they recite every word I say especially when I am not even talking to them. It is as if every word is being recorded and therefore I have really been forced to censor my language. Young minds are literal. I am learning how many expressions we say that are much more extreme than our intentions.
I bought my son a pop up, 3D, hologram Star Wars book. Since this is his newest obsession, I knew he was going to think the book was amazing. When I gave it to him I said, “You are going to die when you see what I got you.”
Instead of the excited smile I expected, he looked at me with sadness in his big blue eyes and sadly asked, “Why and I going to die?”
I chuckled inside and then explained that it was an expression. After he was satisfied I continued to think how weird some of the words and phrases we say are.
Not long later his little sister was acting like the typical terrible two year old. She was screaming, crying, flopping around on the floor for no reason. After trying to calm her for a long time, I left the room and said, “You are a real nightmare today.”
Little boy came over to me and I could see the wheels in his brain spinning, “How can she be a nightmare? Doesn’t that only happen when you are sleeping?”
“Yes.” I explained again. Noticing again our kids are learning and listening to every word we say. The innocence of children shows me that some of the phrases we use really don’t make much sense.
Have you experienced any similar wording mix-ups with your kids? Do you censor what you say around your children?