Do you speak ‘Childrenese’?

Have you ever travelled to a country where your native tongue isn’t the primary language spoken? Some of the locals may have been annoyed, wondering what you were doing there if you couldn’t speak the language. Others may have been patient, acknowledged your difficulty, and perhaps one kind person said,

“I speak English. How can I help you?”

Your relief in finding someone who could understand you would have been enormous.

Our children are, in many ways, strangers in the world of adults. They don’t speak our language particularly well – and we seem to have forgotten how to speak their language as we’ve aged. Our laws, customs, and culture can confuse them. Their attempts at acting like ‘locals’ in our land can be clumsy, ignorant, and downright rude.

How do we respond to them as they try to work out how to be socialised into our ways?

If you’ve travelled a road like this, you’ll know which one felt best for you.

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