Another Way To Look At It...or...Thinking Like A Child
adapted from Kids Just Wanna Have Fun editorial page
by Linda Todd
My daughter and her husband moved to Portland and took my grandchildren with them (can you believe that?) I still get to talk to them on the phone a lot and that gives me the chance to really listen to what they are saying. I especially like to talk to Shayne, the oldest, he was five when they moved. Soon after they had moved I was talking to him. On this occasion I don't remember what we were talking about but he said to me,
"Time moves faster at our new house."
I said "Oh really?"
He answered "Yeah today is tomorrow at our house."
I had mentioned the time difference in earlier conversations and I thought he was just talking about that. But when I talked to his mom she had tried to teach him about the concept of today, tomorrow and yesterday, but he seemed to be having a little trouble (as kids that age do) understanding the idea. On Friday, she had told him he could call Grandma tomorrow because their cell phone rates are lower on weekends. When he got up that morning he asked,
"Is it tomorrow yet?"
She knew he was asking because of the promised phone call so she answered,
"Yes, it's tomorrow now."
I think that he was taking what he had heard about a time difference and mixed it with what he knew about the idea of yesterday, today and tomorrow and that's what he came up with.
Another phone conversation with my grandson, Shayne. At this time he was struggling hard to learn the alphabet:
"Grandma, I found the best TV show!"
"Oh really? What is it?" I asked.
"You want to be a Millionaire," he said. "It's so good they just have to pick an alphabet letter and there's not very many of them."
"Really?" I prompted.
"Yeah! If they pick the right one, they get to pick more. And if they pick they wrong one, they get a check!" he explained.
"They pay them for picking the wrong one?" I asked.
"Yeah they get a check for picking the wrong alphabet A, B, C or D. If they get the right one they get to pick again. And if they pick the right alphabet every time they get a million dollars!! It's easy!" he assured me.
Isn't life so simple when you're young? You don't lose if you guess wrong you get a check! He proceeded to tell me how to find the show.
"It's on channel 7 at 8:00. If you can't find it just push the up button until it comes on," he instructed.
"Oh! Do you still have that purple television?" he asked.
"Yes." (I had just bought a small purple TV that he saw when he last visited.)
"Oh. Well, I don't know if it's on purple TVs, so if you can't find it go to Aunt Jamie's house 'cause her TV is black and I know its on black TVs."
I think it's so interesting that he would think the shows might be different on a TV that's a different color then the others he knows.
When working with young children take the time to really listen to them and you will be reminded how they take bits of information they have already and add to it new things they are discovering. Sometimes the resulting information is a little mixed up. These funny little tidbits are one of the things that makes working with children so fun and reminds us of their innocence. Slow down and listen when you're around young children. Don't let your world move so fast you miss out on a good one.