I remember several years ago when my older son first discovered the power of words. He would say something “risky” and glance at me, waiting for a response. For the little guy, risky meant occasionally throwing in an “I hate…” instead of an “I don’t like… .” Already he’d discovered the power words hold over people.
Now both my boys are using langauge to define themselves.
My older son, now in third grade, has taken to using poor grammar when the mood strikes him. He knows his writing / former English-teaching mother can’t help but respond. Sometimes I correct him, other times I try to ignore it. It’s his way, I think, of becoming his own little person, growing more and more into his own self.
My first grader has recently christened himself with the nickname, BoB (which is regular Bob with fancy first-grade style). Every school paper includes this new name. Sometimes he adds his new last name, which looks like Heflafe, and is pronounced Heffley, I’m told. Just like his brother, this is his way to leave his own unique mark on the world.
Have your children discovered the power of language? How have they expressed it?
This post is a part of Steady Mom’s Thirty-Minute Blog Challenge.
Jonathon Arntson says
I don’t have kids, but I have eight nieces and nephews. My three year old nephew is at the word discovery age and says thinks like, “Mom, Mom, I just really think it’s important that you know, Mom, that I really think you should know that I really love you.” Also, he does the politician stance off putting his hands in a loose fist, like game show contestants too, and says things like, “I have something to tell everyone. This dinner is espetional.” (Exceptional)
He also says, “Uno mas,” instead of one more.
Too funny. My oldest has a Kindergarten teacher that hypenates her name. So mostly she goes by Mrs. CW. Now my son signs his work with his initials too.
Jemi Fraser says
My kids are older, but I remember them going through this stage. They loved new words, risky words and silly words. Pumpernickel pudding became a regular phrase around our house for a while. They both used it when they were frustrated 🙂
my son is 2.25. he has always been pretty advanced for his age verbally. he speaks in 5-6 word sentences AT LEAST. his most recent extremely irritating habit has been to repeat everything repeat repeat repeat…today was a new one he said “I have an idea” and when I asked what it was he said “I can’t remember” and laughed at himself and hit his head. we did have a small incident today where he kept repeating a not too nice word over and over and over – I said that’s not nice but he just ignored me and kept saying it so I just walked away. he stopped.
Kristi Faith says
LOL Ahh, my six year old has recently started with “ain’t” and it drives me CRAZY. I repeat with correct grammar and she goes, “yeah” like, duh!
Rhiannon loves to experiment with new vocabulary which can be tons of fun when she can’t quite pronounce the word. LOL I think it was obsequious the other night.
Oh yes. Somehow the word “hate” has made it into my 5 and 4 year olds vocabulary lately. It isn’t a word I love, but it is powerful and they know that.
It is interesting how kids figure out the power of language to begin to distinguish themselves as individuals and mark out their personal boundaries (to borrow a term from the psychologists).
When my daughter was 4, I remember her demanding “I need privacy!” and slamming a door like a petulant teenager. It was a bit of a shock that she understood the concept and the line-in-the-sand nature of privacy.
VR Barkowski says
Like Jonathon, I don’t have kids, but I do have a bevy of nieces and nephews. It is amazing to watch kids individuate themselves and become their own person. All children at one point or another discover the power of words. It’s not always pleasant for the parents, but recognizing it for what it is, is more than half the battle.
Shannon O'Donnell says
I love this post. Kids are so aware of language and sometimes so literal about it, too. My 7 y.o. is definitely experimenting. His latest thing is using the word touche for everything. He’s decided it’s both a French and a Russian word, so he it must be Frenchussian! 🙂
Caroline Starr Rose says
Great discussion everyone! More proof that language and the words we choose carry so much meaning.
Great post, Caroline. It’s fun to see kids experiment with words – preferably the good ones (although the bad ones provide great teaching opportunities).
My 12yo has always had an amazing vocabulary, and loves to discover new words and their meanings. Every once in a while he’ll throw something into the conversation, then say “I’ve been waiting for months to use that word!” It’s pretty funny.
Jody Hedlund says
I LOVE your new picture! And the header! Very nice look!
What cute ways children have of expressing themselves. I hadn’t thought of this specifically for each of my children, but I’ll to be on the lookout!
I love how your little ones express themselves with words.
My big kid changed his name to JJ when he started school. We’re having word issues with him big time right now. When he encounters words like naked, dam, or donkey, he can’t resist giggling and making other kids read them or say them. For donkey, he likes to say, “you know what the other word for that is, right?!” I know it’s a phase, but can it pass already?
My daughter is just learning language and loves trying out new words. Today she told me, “Mama, you is a no m’am!” Apparently whatever I was doing was very, very wrong. Too cute!
Oh My!!! Our just 2 year old says an emphatic no in front of everything and then repeats the last word you said. “Would you like to go to bed” “No, bed”; “Would you like some chocolate?” “No chocolate!”… Very funny!!!
chili pepper says
Raising seven of my own and a few others along the way, too… it does amaze me how they will find anything to try out their independence. Our two year old is currently in the I can do it myself stage and trying to branch out on her own… it means some funny outfits!
Like Tracy says, it’s fun to see kids experiment with words.
Lately it’s been cliches like “hit the road” and “hammer it home.” We joke with the kids about running out into the street and hitting it with our fists, or getting a hammer and hammering our home. hehehe. My kids have riotous fun with words. I do, too.