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Saturday, September 3, 2011

Why Parents Should Be Specific When Talking To Children

Though I cannot mention the little boy's name, for reasons that will soon become obvious, I feel compelled to relate the following story, because young children tend to take things very literally and parents need to keep that in mind when they explain things to children.

When I was a little girl, for instance, my family and I often played the game, Candy Land. The first time I played it, the instructions said that I couldn't move until I drew a red card, so I ran to the junk drawer in a frantic search for a red crayon. That was my first lesson in learning that words can have two or more meanings.

When the father of the little boy for whom this blog was written told his four-year-old son that he could "go potty" outside if he had to (they camp sometimes so it wasn't like he was telling his son that he could go potty every time he wanted to water a tree), the four year old already knew two different definitions for "go potty." His father made the mistake of thinking his son would consider only one, urinating.

As you might guess from the previous paragraph, one day the little boy pulled his pants down, crouched down next to a tree in his back yard and started pooping. His father ran up to him. "WHAT ARE YOU DOING?"

Well, Daddy, you did tell him he could "go potty" by the tree.

By the way, this same little boy, while shopping at the grocery store with his mother, pointed out a pear out of which somebody had taken a bite. "Eww, Mom, look at this! Somebody started to eat this pear!" The fresh bite looked mysteriously the same size as his mouth.

You cannot imagine my delight in knowing that this little boy is going to be providing me with lots of blog material in the future.

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