The Way We Speak to Our Children

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I had a very interesting revelation the other day when picking the munchkins up from school.

Our daughter is in 2nd grade (ages 7-8) and I was standing outside of her classroom door picking her up. The kids started filing out one by one and we started heading towards her brother’s classroom. The mom next to me has a set of twins in 2nd grade and she started talking to them about their day. Completely normal to do with your kids, but the WAY she was talking to them was shocking to me. She was talking to them like they were babies in a high pitched voice. Like they weren’t old enough to be talked to like she would speak to another adult.

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This mom isn’t the only mom who does this at the school either. I see it day after day at drop off and pick up. It blows my mind. I was guilty of talking to them like this when they were babies — but that’s about it.

I don’t think school aged kids, especially in 2nd grade, should still be talked to like they are infants. They are free thinking, independent learning, mini adults. They are at school for seven hours a day with a lot of expectations out of them from their teachers. It makes me think these parents don’t take their kids seriously, like they don’t think they are smart enough to understand them if they just talked to them like a normal human being.

Then I had a thought — these moms must be the helicopter moms I have heard about. The moms who are constantly doing everything for their child and probably won’t let them do anything for themselves. It makes you wonder, how does this effect the kid in the long run?

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I know I probably sound insensitive, like I treat our children like little soldiers, but I don’t. I treat them with respect and talk to them like I would want them to talk to me. You know what, I think that doing that not only benefited them as growing little people, but it helped our communication as a family.

What are your thoughts about this? Do you think I’m crazy for thinking we as parents shouldn’t talk to our kids like infants at age 7 and 8? Have you witnessed this with fellow mom or dad friends?

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15 thoughts on “The Way We Speak to Our Children

  1. I haven’t witnessed it, but I never talked to Munch like a baby or in a baby voice. When Munch started speaking we were told how well he speaks and inquires of things. I explained that we never talked to him like a baby. It was incumbent of him to learn the English language and not some gibberish.

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  2. Ya know I never really did the baby talk thing. I’d read that it’s not good for them in some book when I was pregnant. That being said…I still call my son pet names…like sweetie or others I wont list here because he would shrivel up and die. 😉 A few years ago (I’m shaking my head AT myself) he had to ask me not to do it in public. I was embarrassed. Embarrassed for me because good grief…what’s wrong with me…but more embarrassed for him that I was doing it! So that’s my story. 😉

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  3. No, my dear, you are so right about the way you nurture them. We need to respect the fact that one stage is phased out and another comes in otherwise, we would be raising crippled children. Way to go my dear

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  4. LOL, I am going to be honest when I saw the topic I was like OH SHIT, she is talking about the adult way some people speak to their kids. This is the opposite of that, which I am grateful for. I have been working around small children for my entire career. Then had my own kids and at no point did I speak to any of the kids in any way other than the way that I would speak to other adults. They need to hear the way that people really talk, using real words and engaging in real conversation. I can’t stand baby talk to babies, let alone to 7 year olds 🙂

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    • Haha I was waiting for your input! Which I greatly respect. It makes me sad watching parents talk to their 7 year old like they are top incompetent to understand in a normal tone of voice. I think because none of us talked to the kids that way, it made them more inquisitive, creative, and intelligent. I just know when I looked at that mom she could read what I was thinking because it was written all over my face.

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  5. You are definitely not crazy! At least not for thinking the way you do…although the parents that talk to their kids like babies might be making us all a little crazy 🙂 And it doesn’t stop at 8 unfortunately. My step-daughter is 10….and I STILL hear parents doing this!

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  6. Baby talk is a ridiculous thing invented by the ridiculous 1950s. The more we forget of that era, the better. For centuries, parents and teachers always just spoke to children at what level of language they were capable of understanding at that age or developmental stage. Absolutely no reason to change that now. We’re really not as advanced or smart as we want to believe we are.

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  7. There are two things that make me go nuts: Observing parents treat their children like shit and observing parents treating big kids like babies. I believe that you should always talk to them as if you would talk to an adult you love and respect. In a respectful manner, in a loving way. But giving them the same respect we expect from them. Now if they would talk to us as if we were 187 years old and totally senile we would not be happy either…

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  8. I love this. My son is 6 now and even when he was an infant, his mother and I never spoke to him like he was baby. There’s a huge difference (in regards to a child’s speech development) between parents who do and parents who don’t talk to their children like babies. My learned how to talk before he could walk and there has never been a time when anyone had an issue figuring out what he was trying to say. When his mother and I communicate with him, he speaks very well and he can communicate his thoughts and reason with us when we have discussions. Children are far more intelligent and able to grasp things more than most parents are willing to give their children credit for. Baby talk is fine of course, when they’re babies but when they’re over 2 years old…? I whole heartedly agree with you and I love this post. Peace and love to you.

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  9. You sound like a great mum. I never spoke to my kids like they were babies once they were at school. That sounds like someone who just doesn’t want their kids to grow up and it’s sad really. Great post. 🙂

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