when adults talk to kids

November 28th, 2008

Have you ever noticed the way in which adults talk to little kids? I say talk to because it's completely one way. It's a conversation that doesn't happen anywhere else. Kids up to a certain age are too young to assert themselves. It's not that they can't talk, they just don't have any comments to make. They haven't watched enough tv, heard enough gossip or seen enough popular culture to be fluent in the conversations. Kids do not talk for the sake of talking itself, adults do.

So when an adult talks to a kid of say 2 years of age, or 4, it's a constant stream of inanities. And there seems to be an unwritten rule that says when you meet a kid you have to talk. It's a precious opportunity for the adult to yap away without being judged on what he's saying. "Look at how big you are!" I may only have been alive for four years, but I've figured out that we have such a thing as growth. Adults talk to kids like they're idiots because adults have this urge to play idiots. They think "hey, a kid, what a wonderful opportunity to escape the judgment of my peers". And adults of all ages agree on this, they're just as eager to be around little kids whether they're 30 or 80.

This wouldn't be happening if the kid said "I'll have to stop you there buster, what you just said doesn't make any sense". The adult, after recovering from the stunning blow, would mutter "you're a clever one aren't you" and turn around on his heel. Victory! But this is not gonna happen.

See, adults *know* that kids that age don't have the confidence to talk back. There are so many factors in their favor. They're 3 times taller, have a deep voice, have the approval of all the other adults, aren't treated as kids by everyone. So if a kid doesn't have the confidence to engage in small talk, he's definitely not gonna have the courage to criticize. In fact, that's what the liberation of puberty is all about. Finally you have the courage to criticize all the things that have been pissing you off since the start.

But that's not what I do. I don't like the talking. Why should I talk when the other person isn't? Kids have this curious gaze in their eyes which is very conducive to mind games. "Does he think that I think that.."

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2 Responses to "when adults talk to kids"

  1. Steph says:

    you do not seem to have children, do you?