Sunday, July 12, 2009
Talking to Children
I always address kids when they come in the store as separate individuals from their parents. It freaks them out. Kids are not used to adults talking to them. Often they hug Mom or Dad's leg hard and shyly hide. After a short time, when they observe and decide I am not actually dangerous they will come out and start talking. Sometimes we have a great conversation, much to the shock of the parents as kids can be very candid and often say delightful and embarrassing things about their lives and their families. When I was a kid I often felt marginalized and not taken seriously and all of my life I've tried to give kids a chance to share their views and like Art Linkletter used to say, kids say the darnedest things. A little girl opened up the other day to tell my Mommy liked Jack better than Daddy and they had to live in a new house. She said it was fun because everyone was buying her things and they never got mad but Daddy doesn't like Jack anymore. Dad was right there, turning red but I knew this was a revelation for him; his five-year-old daughter was way more self aware than he thought. He learned a lot that moment that I hope stuck with him: kids hear everything and understand a lot more. It happens quite often that the parent is surprise by what their kids say. Maybe they should talk to them more too.