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F*#@kin’ Mosquitoes. Where do kids learn language?

F*#@kin’ Mosquitoes. Where do kids learn language?

“Who taught you to say that!?”

“Uh, you mom.”

Where do kids learn what they learn? Where would we like them to learn? Where do they want to learn? And then the big one: where do they actually learn?

Let’s see: textbooks, TV, friends, environment, parents? All of the above?

But what about the percentages? What about influence? Which ones do they actually hear?

Have you ever talked directly to your child and made it clear that you were speaking to them and they were looking you directly in the eyes and had their full attention on you and their response was, “Wait, what?” Uh, space cadet anyone?

But then you’re across the room at a party full of people chatting, music blaring and you mention your kid’s name and they dart over to your side and say, “Were you talking about me?”

How can they at one point be borderline deaf and in the next have supersonic hearing bolding on the Steve Austin?

Selective Hearing

Kids have selective hearing. That means: they hear what they want to hear. Which of the following phrases might the child hear from across the Grand Canyon during a thunderstorm:

  1. Could you pick up your shoes, dear?
  2. Have you finished your homework yet?
  3. There’s still a little more ice cream, would anyone like the last bit?
  4. Could someone please wipe up the smeared Nutella on the door handle?
  5. Whose socks are hanging from the ceiling fan?

Is it a question of neurons and focus on certain keywords? What if we asked, “Whoever left their dirty socks on the stairs and would like the last bit of ice cream can have it all if they finish their homework.” That might just blow their brain cells. I’m sure there are studies on this.

* * *

A three-year old walked by us at the lake and said, “F*#@kin’ Mosquitoes.” His mother, shocked, asked, “What did you say!?” The toddler repeated, “F*#@kin’ Mosquitoes.” Where did he learn that? He’s not watching the R-rated nature channel at age three. So where does he get it?

Grandmother walked on the other side of mother and said nothing and kept her focus directly in front of her.

Where do kids learn language?

Where do kids learn language?


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