Thursday, July 5, 2007

Dumbin' Down

I have never been one to alter the way I speak in order to
accommodate my children. I use the same
words that I use when speaking to my friends. I will happily explain the meaning of a word if I Dictionary
am asked (I often am)
but I refuse to dumb down my vocabulary for the sake of my kids. This parenting philosophy makes me very unlikely to condone baby talk but I do like to prolong the use of some of
the more endearing words and phrases that come out of my children’s mouths. My daughter, for example, calls her shoes
her “woos” and I have adopted this word as my own. I rarely say “shoes” these days, even to my husband or son. I realize this is a little strange but I am
clinging tightly to my daughter’s youth and want to prolong the cute phase as
long as possible. I know what comes
next and cute is not one of the many words that come to mind.

Sometimes the choices that we make as parents actually
payoff. It is rare that we get to
glimpse the tangible results of our actions but it happens, sometimes. My refusal to modify the way that I speak to my children paid off last
week when I went through the motions of letting my son out of time-out. I asked him if he knew why he was in
time-out. This is what my four-year-old

“Because I was antagonizing my sister.” Slam! Duh duh duh.



  1. O.K., I GET IT, BUT, W H Y D O Y O U T A L K S O S L O W W H E N Y O U
    S P E A K T O M E ?

  2. Because you're special, Papa Dale. That's why.

  3. I know I'm kind of late commenting, but my 4 year old son says "stupendous". Only because he knows that he will get in trouble for saying something else that starts out stup...

  4. I am laughing because I, too, have never dumbed down my language when speaking to our sons. My husband gets a kick out of the fact that my 3 y/o old is now following his brother by saying, "Actually..." before answering a question sometimes. I see how verbal (and smart!!) my almost-8 y/o is now, and am glad to see it's paying off.