Smaller TalkTips for conversing with children.

Smaller TalkTips for conversing with children.

Issue 32

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Arts & Culture

How do you talk to someone whose worldview appears different from your own? It’s easy. When communicating with someone, say, on the opposite side of the planet, words tend to flow naturally. We know instinctively that understanding people involves gaining an insight into their life experiences.

By contrast, many of us struggle when speaking to children. The usual rules of human interaction seem not to apply and, instead, we fall back on mimicry and condescension. We try to connect by using exaggerated gasps of enthusiasm or forced emulation of their language and tone.

If you find your efforts to relate to children are often greeted with withering disdain, you might be surprised to hear that Sibéal Pounder, who writes humorous books for 7- to 9-year-olds, doesn’t believe there’s a...

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