Lost in Translation – What We Say and What Kids Hear
3 mins read

Lost in Translation – What We Say and What Kids Hear

Communication…or should I say miscommunication. In my opinion, it is probably one of the most frustrating things. As adults, we all know those people who can never understand what you are saying, or they completely misunderstand what you were trying to communicate to them. They just stare at you as if you were speaking another language. Most of us have worked with that special someone that can’t seem to comprehend the simplest of tasks or instructions (which you have explained perfectly, of course). It’s just a fact of life that verbal misfires will happen. Everyone’s communication styles are different and it causes major frustration and friction at times.

The same can be said for communicating with our children.  I probably don’t have to tell you that Kids have their own definitions and interpretations of things moms and dads say…Or maybe it is just selective hearing or even flat out disobedience. Whatever it is, it seems that kids hear something completely different than the messages we, as parents, think we are relaying to them. Even on the simplest of things. It just shouldn’t be this difficult, should it? They are just simple requests.

These are things that are clearly lost in translation at my house!

What Parent’s Say What Kids Hear
Hurry Move as slow as humanly possible and suddenly have the dire need to poop.
Stop Keep doing exactly what you are currently doing.
Clean your room Put a couple toys away (under the bed) and then make a bigger mess with all the toys you have just found while “cleaning”.
Come here Don’t come here. Just stay right where you are.
Get dressed Go upstairs and do everything except actually get dressed.
Get in the car Go outside and run straight over to the neighbor’s house to see what is going on.
Let the dog outside Stare at him while he pees on the carpet.
Be quiet Bang on anything you can find and scream.
Eat Cry and spit out what is in your mouth. Ask for a snack 10 minutes later.
Hang up your coat Throw it on the floor 2 feet away from the hook.
Brush your teeth Squeeze out the toothpaste and smear it all over the counter or eat it.
Close the fridge Stand there and stare blankly into the fridge without a clue what you are looking for.
No Probably not really no…It’s a “maybe”. Better ask 10,000 more times.
Get off the computer Keep playing until your turn is up…even if it takes 10 more minutes.
Don’t tell your brother Tell him right away…the second you walk in the door. In fact, yell it at the top of your lungs.


What communication issues have you had with your kids?