Monday, June 21, 2010

Lightbulb: A Thought on Kids and Communication

Currently Listening: "Breakfast at Tiffany's" by: Deep Blue Something

So... I've been hanging out with my brother and his family for a few weeks. He has two kids: one of each. The daughter is 11 and the son is... 8? Yeah, 8. I think.

Anyway, I'm not a 'kid' person. It's easy for me to say that I simply don't like kids, but in all reality, I just don't do well with them - children are rather an intimidating set. So are old people, but I digress.

So I'm doing the whole live-in Aunt thing and one exclamation that has been popping in my head on a daily basis is "Man, this kid talks just to hear his own head rattle!" I'm serious. It's not these kids in particular - I think the majority of kids' mouths run from the moment their eyes pop open to the point they finally pass out at night. Heck, I think a lot of kids talk to themselves - which I find slightly disturbing. Never mind the fact that I actually host an inner-monologue in my own head. The difference is that it's an inner monologue.

During part of my inner-monologue this evening, I somehow stumbled upon the idea of communication. What's so great about the 10 dollar words we learn to use with time? Well, I love words. I love reading. I do it just because I like doing it. Heck, I sometimes read crap about stuff I don't care about because it's well written. I've spent time reading a dictionary. And yes, I like learning about word origins and such. I just love words. The reason why I love expanding my personal vocabulary is because it allows me more precise expression.

If someone asks me why I'm frowning I can say "I'm sad." Which is fully true, but leaves quite a wide array of options of what's truly going on, because sadness can be the stencil of loneliness, regret, homesickness, or any near limitless number of possibilities. If I cannot pinpoint the emotional element to a short phrase, I'll expound upon it by an often much longer soliloquy that will usually host the happenings of my circumstance, how I feel.. and even how I feel about how I feel (heh, can you follow that last part?).

Children are most often just as we adults - only their vocabulary is less developed. In turn, they must talk a lot more to "get the point across" when it comes to their thoughts, feelings and experiences.

Another thing is the simple fact that, children are in a quickening state of awareness and understanding. I can be sitting directly next to my 8-year-old nephew, watching the exact same show, and he'll point out very obvious things that are occurring. It's been driving me silently insane, because I just couldn't understand why the kid felt he had to explain to me the same details I just watched! I just thought he wanted to talk... that he just wouldn't shut up. I'm glad now that I've held my tongue. Especially at his age, my nephew is learning how to pick up on facial and vocal expressions and make connections between actions, circumstances, and human reactions - which is going to be possibly the most important social skill he will ever learn.

My goal in the future is that, rather than stare ahead blankly and wonder "why is he/she still talking?", I'll listen slightly more intently to their longer explanations of shorter expressions, and then parrot what they said with words they can better use to express themselves concisely. Hopefully, this will assist in the ripening of their vocabulary.

Not that children should be denied the very important input of when to shut up - yet I'm sure that little virtue is one I can be certain will be well established with time by someone other than their aunt. In other words: gratefully, it isn't my place.

Justify Full

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