Friday, June 15, 2007

The Difference

I watched my friend's kids this afternoon. Both of them have been in "preschool" from a young age. The oldest is about 5 months younger than Ryan; the youngest is a bit older than Morgan.

This is how Ryan tells me he's hungry:

"I'm hungry."

This is how his friend tells me he's hungry:

"Is it snack time yet?"

This is how Ryan tells me he wants to watch a movie:

"I want to watch a movie."

This is how his friend tells me he wants to watch a movie:

"Is it movie time?"

This is how Ryan tells me he wants to go outside:

"Let's go outside!"

This is how his friend does it:

"Is it time to go outside now?"

It's a subtle but very important distinction, methinks; an independence paired with the ability to express individual desires and needs (and to wait if necessary) versus a dependence on arbitrary adult time and subordination of one's desires until granted approval by the adult. What's most troublesome is the assumption at the outset, almost as if he does not truly know if it's okay to be hungry or whatever until told that it's "time."

I mean, he still gets impatient, as Ryan does, and starts to whine if something takes too long, but instead of "I'm huunnnnggrrryyy!" it's "Is it snaaaaccckkk ttiiimmme yeeetttt?"

Is this a result of being in school? I suspect so although there may be other factors, certainly.

Just my little human observation of the day! Do with it what you will.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Holy cow.

Adults talk like that, too. They think its polite I guess. Its not really. I kinda hate it.

--Marnee

Rational Jenn said...

Yes, it's very strange. This little boy has been over several more times since I noticed it, and he does really speak that way.

It bothers me because it's passive and reminds me of animal conditioning somehow.

I can see how kids and adults might think it's more polite, but I prefer people to speak their minds.