Wednesday, November 25, 2009


I know Tate gets frustrated.  A lot.  We talk too fast and he misses too much to keep up.  And we need to stop.  And go back.  And repeat it.  More slowly, and clearly. 

My bloggy friend Denise, at Hearing Elmo, has written about the importance of repeating back what you thought you heard, so the speaker knows what you missed.   Because our brains really want to make sense of what we've heard... even if it doesn't quite make sense.

Case in point...

Last night Tate and I were sorting through the tubs of Legos, looking for the pieces to build a particular kit.  We've been working on this rebuilding project on and off for months, and the boys and I practically have our own language to describe the pieces we're looking for.  Kerry joined us for a while and wanted to compliment Tate.

He said, "Maybe when you grow up, you could work for the Lego company, 'cause you're so familiar with all the pieces."

Tate looked puzzled.  And amused.  "Whaaaaaat, Dad?"

What he heard was, "Maybe when you grow up, you could work for the Lego company, and you sell the mayor all your pieces."

So familiar.  Sell the mayor.

He's such a good sport.  I love that he can laugh about it.


Anonymous said...

Grin. It will help him to continue with that attitude! Cuts down on the frustration in a big way.

There have been times I could not make out exactly what was said due to background noise. I 1) ask for them to spell the word or words I'm missing, or 2) they will automatically repeat what they said using synonyms that I very likely will hear better. It has made my kids especially, very skilled at finding synonyms. It made a great "word game" even when they were younger!


Deborah said...

Lol! That is too cute! I love the photo too! Maybe Tate and Bub will work together. He says he wants to be a LEGO designer when he grows up -- well that among other things :o).


Herding Grasshoppers said...

You're so right, Denise. It's a good reminder.

Sometimes it's more helpful to restate it in slightly different words.

This time, the noise of us stirring up the Legos had obscured Kerry's words, and it was funnier to repeat it verbatim so Tate could understand what he'd misunderstood :0)

leah said...

Background noise definitely makes a difference! Too funny, though- I could see Tate trying to figure out if selling Legos to the Mayor was a real job opportunity, lol!

That is a good point about repeating back what you heard, though. It makes it easier for people to realize what specific part of the conversation was misinterpreted!

Ruby said...

A great sense of humour ( and skill in Lego piece recognition!) will serve this young man well all his life. Bless him that he can see the funny side, as well.