Does anyone else try to listen to how you speak to your kids from an external perspective? Specifically, do you try to figure out how much they understand of what you say?
It occurs to me from time to time how much new vocabulary I throw at my toddler. As a hobby writer, I take pride in my word choices and am interested in using varied and specific language. I don’t tend to tailor my language selection for my toddler, either: if I want to say, “it’s hard to discriminate between the two,” I say just that. I don’t say, “it’s hard to tell the difference between the two.” I just define the new word (“discriminate”) for her and move on.
Often she soon uses the word herself, such as when she learned “problematic.” *heart swelling!* Yes, her vocabulary is quite large for her age, and it’s often the first thing people notice about her … once she puts away the shyness and starts talking.
Yet I can’t help but wonder … am I making her life sound kind of like a Peanuts cartoon?
For those unfamiliar, the adults in the Peanuts cartoon do not speak words. They only make a vague “wah wah” sound:
You gotta love that!
What I imagine Toddler hearing most days from me are things like this: “We need to wait for the seeds to wah wah. That means the first little leaves and stalk will pop out of the seed.”
You would’ve heard, “We need to wait for the seeds to germinate.”
Try this for a fun game: count how many times during the day your child/children hear “wah wah” from you (i.e., learn a new word – assuming you tell them what it means). (Seriously – let’s try it and comment below what you counted to!)
The more, the better!
It’s not a bad thing for your kids to hear “wah wah” … au contraire! You’re growing their brains! And let’s be honest: with our babies and toddlers, they’re learning so fast and so constantly that they’ll be hearing wah wah all day long.
And in the meantime, it’s quite entertaining to imagine how life sounds like from their perspective….