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Meaningful Listening at All Ages

by Docia Zavitkovsky
July/August 2009
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Article Link: http://www.childcareexchange.com/article/meaningful-listening-at-all-ages/5018892/

With so many new experiences to grapple with these days, grandparents may not always make time to listen to what the youngest children are saying. When we make a point to listen and respond we are amazed at the ways young children find to express their thoughts and feelings clearly, even though their vocabularies and concepts are still limited:

“I don’t like faces that are cross-ish.”
“We eat funny ‘cuz my daddy’s gaining off weight.”
“My mother just cries angry.”
“My grandma has a good doctor, but you can’t get the number ‘cuz she’s dead.”
“There, there, Honey, I’ll be your mother till your mother comes,” said a four year old to a two year old.

We tend to think that learning progresses from younger to older, but really growth and development take place at all ages, with each stage informing and influencing the other. Here’s an example of younger learning from older:

When five-year-old Nigel returned home from his first day in kindergarten, his grandmother asked him what he had learned. He stood up tall and said in a loud voice:

“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic in witches hands, invisible and just as well!”

Nigel’s grandma thought this ...

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