Kids! Either you love ’em, can’t stand ’em, or don’t really care. I myself, as I’ve mentioned before, am a bit of a childless mother
; I LOVE kids but have none of my own as of right now (although I’m reminded of the joys parenthood might someday bring
on a regular basis).
Kids (well, okay, most
kids) are rad. They’re genuine and inquisitive; they’ll pair a set of fairy wings with a cape and think nothing of it; they can find excitement in the most mundane activities (like watching a washing machine spin) and they’re not afraid to make mistakes. Not to mention, they’re hilarious. Gosh, I want to be a kid again!
You get what I’m saying, though; kids are kind of the best.
But I know that’s not how it goes for everyone . . .
Some people have anxiety or are just flat-out uncomfortable when it comes to hanging out with or talking to kids. For example: I once watched my cousin’s 2-year-old walk up to our other (adult) cousin to ask for help putting on his little Velcro shoe. My cousin stared at him for a second and then got up to get another beer and left the poor kid standing there.
They’re not evil goblins (not all
of them anyway); just because they want to talk to you (or ask you to help them put on their Velcro shoe) it doesn’t mean that they want you to be their new parent. Really, they just want to have a good time as much as you do.
So breathe in and out and remember these handy dandy pointers on talking to kids during your next encounter:
Tips for Talking To Kids When You Don’t Have One
1. Remember that they’re people.
While you don’t have to go as far as asking them if they’d like a beer, you don’t have to go all “goo-goo, ga-ga” on them, either. Treat kids as you would any other new acquaintance.
2. Make an effort to see eye to eye.
Literally. Kids are historically shorter than adults so get on their level!
3. Find out their interests.
It’s as simple as asking what kind of toys or cartoons they like. If you haven’t kept up on the latest trends in the kid world, great! Most kids delve right into explaining their interests! Plus, it’ll cut the time you have to do the talking.
Those tiny minds have a lot to say.
What about you? Have any tips on chatting with kids?