Wednesday, 4 August 2010

How to Talk to Children

I suck at talking to children. I don’t particularly like them and they are, quite possibly, scared of me. I’m also a really bad judge of age. I have no idea how old a kid is just by looking at them.
I remember going to a car boot sale with my brother. He was trying to flog some of our old crap to a couple of kids and we got talking to them. They asked us to guess how old they were. I know that children, unlike adults, like you to think they’re older than they actually are. Being kind (I thought) I said seven. I thought these kids had to be about five in reality.
They laughed and said no. Turns out they were ten.
Yeah. Like I said.
So, I’m walking the puppy and we come across a tiny child out with her grandmother. I couldn’t tell you how old she was. See reasons above. But she was tiny. She was scared of Beau. My little midget puppy.
I crouched down to her and the puppy’s level and tried to get them to say hello nicely. Beau wanted to get cuddles and I could see the little girl wanted to pet him. Unfortunately she would only touch him when his back was turned and of course, as soon as he felt her touching him, he turned around. So that kinda didn’t work.
Her grandmother (I’m presuming here, but I really hope it was her grandmother) asked me what the dog’s name was. I replied. Her response was “Bone?!”
“No. Beau.”
When they walked away I heard the little girl saying, “I liked Bone.”
We carried on our way. Around the bend there was two little girls, a westie puppy, and their grandparents all stood outside their house. I stopped to say hello to the cute puppy and let Beau have a sniff.
The child, stupid child, holding the westie puppy proceeds to roar and force her dog to come at Beau. He freaks out. Thanks, vile child, for scaring my dog and now making him weary of puppies smaller than him. Her grandparents (again, a presumption) did nothing to stop her.
Beau barked. The child said something unintelligible. Me, being rubbish with children and also lacking the ability to patronise them, just asked her outright what she’s just said.
She replies in a perfectly normal, understandable voice. Yes, children can talk like normal people! They don’t need to be patronised.
The moral of this story? Parents, grandparents, please don’t talk to your kids like they’re idiots or they’ll start to talk and act like idiots. We have enough idiots in the world. Thanks.


  1. Not talking to kids like they're idiots is up top of my parenting list. Thing is, they might be small...but they're people. A lot of idiots don't get that...and if they are the parents then the poor kids already don't have genetics on their side.

  2. Being a Teacher I can say from experience that the best Teachers are those who treat their students like equals rather than inferior, unintelligent, unwise fools.

  3. Yeah, I don't understand people who speak to kids like that!

  4. I used to think I didn't like kids, either. Then I realized I just don't like being around them.