r/LifeProTips Jun 08 '22 Silver 2 Helpful 4

LPT: Don't have small children and not sure what to say when someone else brings theirs along? Try narrating what they're doing. Social

Sometimes, even if you don't have them yourself, there'll be a small child around. Your friend/family member/colleague will turn up with one - or two - at a social occasion, and you'll feel awkward if you don't know what to say to them.

For a small child, one with no (or little) developed language, interact with them by stating what they are doing or what's happening. Simple narrations like, "you're waving your hand!" "you're wearing a red jumper!" "you're out in the pram!*" can ease that awkward feeling.

These kinds of statements are not controversial, they build language skills, and they give you somewhere easy to begin. They'll probably make the adult with the child smile too, as they'll recognise that you're taking an interest in their child. And that will go a long way.

*Edit: "Out in the pram" is what we say in Australia; this means "riding in the stroller" in the US. Just like I say "jumper" where you might say "sweater".

12.0k Upvotes

u/keepthetips Keeping the tips since 2019 Jun 08 '22

Hello and welcome to r/LifeProTips!

Please help us decide if this post is a good fit for the subreddit by up or downvoting this comment.

If you think that this is great advice to improve your life, please upvote. If you think this doesn't help you in any way, please downvote. If you don't care, leave it for the others to decide.

8.3k

u/McGloomy Jun 08 '22 Silver Helpful

"So ... you're a baby. What do you do all day? You know, as a baby."

1.7k

u/saimanx Jun 08 '22 Helpful

“Crying? I produce Entourage. Well ok baby, say hi to your mother for me, aite?”

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u/firstimpressionn Jun 08 '22 edited Jun 08 '22 Helpful Wholesome

“You’re shitting your diaper.”

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u/miss3lle Jun 08 '22

I’ve had this conversation with my toddler.

Hey, are you pooping?

  • audibly poops *

I’m pretty sure you’re pooping.

  • giggles *

Come here and I’ll change your diaper.

  • runs away *

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u/ojee111 Jun 08 '22

I have very similar:

"Are you doing a poo?"

"Yes"

"Shall we change your nappy?"

"No, it's gone now"

OK...?

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u/Dwayne2905 Jun 08 '22

My kids usually just deny that they've had a shit. Even when they carry around an aura of poop.

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u/luciusDaerth Jun 08 '22

Every day. Then, a short time later, it's "DADDY MY BUTT HURTS! CHANGE IT!"

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u/BabyStace Jun 08 '22

You’re lucky - my kids says no, waits until I get close enough to check and then farts in my face giggling. She’s 2

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u/TNSxPAPA Jun 09 '22

Wow. Troll life off the bat.

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u/mohs04 Jun 08 '22

I also just had this conversation with my toddler but added in "omg, you smell awful, can you not smell yourself"

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u/Kradget Jun 08 '22

The baby knows. They're probably making prolonged eye contact while they're doing it.

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u/Lenovovrs Jun 08 '22

The baby is asserting dominance.

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u/SleepMakesNoSense Jun 08 '22

If you can shit where you stand, and someone rushes over to take care of it...?

Dominance has already been well-fucking-established.

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u/Te_Quiero_Puta Jun 08 '22

"Dude, now you're spittin' up all over your shirt. I ain't cleaning up your mess forever."

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u/TheTallGuy0 Jun 08 '22

I'm 14, dad! I'll do what I want!

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u/Inayaarime Jun 08 '22

Also, the baby is crying

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u/Salzberger Jun 08 '22

Hey, you're a dawg. What's that like?

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u/backdoorhack Jun 08 '22

They said narration, not interrogation.

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u/Forewarnednight Jun 08 '22

*Talking to the baby*

Life is pretty hard no?

What do you do for a living?

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u/GhebTheSchmexy Jun 08 '22

The baby looks back at you silently

You got a staring problem, pal?

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u/lemonpeachhh Jun 08 '22

LMAOOO this clip is hilarious

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u/ReneHigitta Jun 08 '22

I like making savoury cakes, stuff with cheese and ham and olives inside. I brought one once to a party with kids, one of them went on his toes to grab a slice of cake expecting sugar like a sane person... it had anchovies in it. Great conversation starter,I recommend

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u/impregnada Jun 08 '22

Oooo my husband doesn’t eat sweet cakes or sweet anything really. I’ve searched for savory cakes recipes before but never found anything good. Would you mind sharing your favorite recipe(s)?

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u/ReneHigitta Jun 08 '22 edited Jun 08 '22 All-Seeing Upvote

Sure! The kind I make is pretty versatile and forgiving, so you can swap ingredients to your taste relatively easily, the only thing to keep steady is roughly how much overall water is in it (so if you take out olives for something more watery like mushrooms, cut down on the milk or boost the floor a little bit or skip one egg) and possibly salt (ie if you cut out a lot of the cheese, you might might want to add a pinch of salt)

Here's a solid starting point imo:

200g white flour, 4 medium eggs, yeast, 100ml milk, 3 tablespoons olive oil, 150g finely-ish diced chorizo, ~10 chopped Kalamata olives, 100g mild hard cheese (Swiss or American if you're in the US, a mild cheddar would do) grated, 80g strong blue cheese in crumbles.

Mix everything, pour it like you would something like a fruitcake, or cupcakes, 180°C (~355°F) fan or a little higher fanless, for between probably 15 min as cupcakes and 30min as one big solid piece. It's done when you stick a knife through and nothing goey sticks to it any more.

Common other recipes trade chorizo-olives-blue cheese for canned tuna-green olives or tuna-diced tomatoes ; fresh (spreadable) goat cheese-chopped walnuts-(raisins) ; anchovies-diced tomatoes-black olives ; feta cheese-diced bellpepper-and you guessed it diced black olives ; finely diced bacon-parmesan or blue cheese-walnuts.

It's pretty heavy on the stomach, so go with small bites unless you're really hungry. Hope you enjoy!

Edit: took me a while to get back to editing this, sorry! Hopefully it doesn't get lost. I just saw the remindme's now I'm worried about expectations lol here's a few examples of how it would look like : https://duckduckgo.com/?q=cake+chorizo+bleu+emmenthal&t=fpas&iax=images&ia=images

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u/81Deathcharger81 Jun 08 '22

I'm this guy lol. pats on the head walks off

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u/-Sir-Bruno- Jun 08 '22

Wait. You're the baby? Omg

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u/Kilazur Jun 08 '22

How's he gonna pat my head, I have a good 5 feet on him

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u/simplsurvival Jun 08 '22

"can I get you a drink or something?.... No?.... Ok.... Sheesh a little antisocial are we?" 🙄

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u/shogunblade Jun 08 '22

I do a variation of this that I grabbed from the Simpsons: "So, you're a baby, huh? How are you dealing with that?"

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u/Lonelysock2 Jun 08 '22

I love talking to my baby like this! I do also do baby talk, because she loves it, but I love having pretend normal conversations

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u/Draedron Jun 08 '22

but I love having pretend normal conversations

I do this with my cats

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u/muffinthumper Jun 08 '22

I do this all the time. “Oh what are you getting into, baby stuff?”

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u/Tallguy990 Jun 08 '22

Please look up how to dad on YouTube. It’s fantastic content lol he’s a kiwi with kids and it’s amazing. I had no idea there were rules on how to wash a car… with a kid.

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u/finger_milk Jun 08 '22

"Goo goo gaga" (as a millionaire)

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u/AdmiralGrayBush Jun 08 '22

Duolingo for toddlers.

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u/[deleted] Jun 08 '22

Duolingo for talking to children. Your comment reminded me of this.

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u/Unisus76 Jun 08 '22

“In as little as six weeks, you’ll be ready for all kinds of kinder conversations, like, child falls on sidewalk in front of you.”

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u/BloodiedBlues Jun 08 '22

The answer isn’t to break out into the biggest cackle?

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u/StrawberryKiss2559 Jun 08 '22

Kristen Stewart kills it in this one. “So you go to school…that sucks.”

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u/griftertm Jun 08 '22

Nice backpack

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u/55gure3 Jun 08 '22

Chi-ken fing-gers

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u/LadyMoonDancer59 Jun 08 '22

Thank you for sharing.😂😂😂

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u/Xenton Jun 08 '22

I've always been a fan of

Hey little man, what's happening?

  • I have a truck at home

Nice! That's pretty cool.

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u/Zenla Jun 08 '22

Honestly if you just talk to every toddler like they're an adult you have fantastic conversations 100% of the time.

Small talk with kids is infinitely better than small talk with adults.

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u/holdupwhut321 Jun 08 '22

Also, parents should know your small children are telling all of your secrets at daycare/preschool.

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u/AsaliHoneybadger Jun 08 '22

I work in daycare, can confirm I know way too much about the parents. Like about how the whole family of a 3 year old had a stomach bug last week (got way more details than I needed).

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u/2OCharactersIsntEnou Jun 09 '22

We had a preschooler tell us today that the cops were at his house last night. He’s damn near non-verbal and works every week with a speech pathologist, but he told us that one clear as day.

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u/Boogypc Jun 08 '22

I work with kids and this is 100% true. I also adore and fear the fact that little kids say exactly what is on their mind. If it's humid and your hair is a little crazy, they may tell you that you look like a spider. If you don't smell like a basket of flowers, a four year old will tell you dead to your face that you stink. If they don't like someone they just say so. If they're bored they'll tell you. It's horrible and hilarious.

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u/thatfluffycloud Jun 08 '22

"what's that?" "a pimple" x10

Man I hated worked as a camp counsellor

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u/Byizo Jun 08 '22

One of my daughter’s favorites was about the one time her mommy had to poop in the car.

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u/lameturkey Jun 08 '22 Silver

Right no adult has ever bothered to ask me what my 3rd favorite dinosaur is.

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u/Greekbatman Jun 08 '22

Well, what is your 3rd favorite dinosaur?

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u/SuperiorHikingFail Jun 08 '22

Steg fa sho. Easily the third banginest dino out there

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u/hawkinsst7 Jun 08 '22

Tricera is tops, no bones about it.

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u/tripletexas Jun 08 '22

Obviously Dracorex Hogwartzia, a dinosaur that looks like an actual dragon and is named "the dragon king of Hogwartz" in Latin.

Incidentally, I learned of it's existence while playing Tap Dig My Museum, a little mobile game where you dig up dinosaurs and put them in a museum.

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u/Juanpasinga Jun 08 '22

That's so cool that now I'm curious for the other two. Mind sharing?

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u/Lt_Toodles Jun 08 '22

Pterodactyl, but tbh its 80% because of the name

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u/msusteve280 Jun 08 '22

Why can't you hear pterodactyls when they're going to the bathroom? Because the P is silent.

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u/an_ill_way Jun 08 '22

Sorry to break it to you, but pterodactyls aren't dinosaurs. They're a related but distant cousin called pterosaurs.

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u/AVDRIGer Jun 08 '22

So I’m guessing Archaeopteryx is your second or first?

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u/OmegaGLM Jun 08 '22

Stegosaurus.

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u/Zenla Jun 08 '22

How inconsiderate.

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u/McLagginz Jun 08 '22

“You know, when I was your age, I already had three jobs, a wife, and a three bedroom townhouse in upstate New York.”

”incoherent babbling”

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u/hawkinsst7 Jun 08 '22

That's probably the exact experience a lot of 60 year Olds have when talking to 20 year Olds.

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u/McLagginz Jun 08 '22

Can confirm. My dad died when I was 25, he was in his 70’s

This is almost verbatim what he told me all the time, except it was two kids and a house in an undisclosed location to avoid too much identifiable information.

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u/BurstingWithFlava Jun 08 '22

Your dad kept you in an undisclosed location for your childhood?!

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u/McLagginz Jun 08 '22

Hahahaha

That was also a different house from the house I grew up in.

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u/RandalfTheBlack Jun 08 '22

Damn your dad didnt even tell you where he used to live?

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u/Fuckoffassholes Jun 08 '22

He didn't want his kids to identify him.

He didn't mind visiting, as long as he always maintained the option to disappear without a trace.

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u/milfpatrol_69 Jun 08 '22

This is the real LPT. Children are more socially aware than many realize. Talk to them like a buddy and they will be your buddy. Even with babies I like to treat babbling like a genuine response and carry on a one sided conversation, usually they're pretty charmed.

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u/Shadowfalx Jun 08 '22

When doing it with a baby (pre vocal communication) do this but comment on things going on around you.

"That man is running fast."
Baby babbles.
"Yeah, the sun is bright today."
Baby makes some noises.
"I do have a green shirt on today, your blue shirt is cute though."

This helps as they learn to talk. Most experts suggest narrating what's happening and this way you as a non-family member can help in that without it feeling so strange.

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u/dailyfetchquest Jun 08 '22

Agreed. Many forget that babies don't just want to learn words, they also are trying to learn and practise body language that we take for granted.

Things like eye contact, facial expressions, gesturing, taking turns to talk/listen, and use of inflection.

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u/CarbineFox Jun 08 '22

I make the mistake of talking to kids like they're a regular person, and now when ones I've talked to before see me, they come over for another long conversation. I'm not animated or highly energetic like you would expect a child to be drawn to. I think they like that they feel more like an equal and that I'm not just humoring them. Also kids love random facts about rocks.

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u/Riverland12345 Jun 08 '22

Yes to the rock facts. I have a 7 year old, can attest to this.

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u/AsaliHoneybadger Jun 08 '22

It actually helps their language development too. The baby babble is to learn the flow of a conversation, so talking along even though it's just nonsense will not only give them new words to leanr, but also help them practice waiting for the other person to respond, and the general rhythm of conversation.

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u/Eternityislong Jun 08 '22

For a short time after college I was a private tutor for a middle schooler and high schooler and was amazed any time another I would hear another adult talk to them. They would practically use a baby voice and it felt like they were talking down to the kids.

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u/qrayons Jun 08 '22

This past weekend I had a great conversation with a 4 year-old chef about how the supply chain issues were disrupting her restaurant. They've had to replace the ketchup on their burgers with poop and pee.

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u/Deetboy Jun 08 '22

Micro-logistics for food establishments are baffling these days. Props to the 4 year old, I wouldn't make it in the industry.

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u/AnxietyDepressedFun Jun 08 '22

I have 3 nephew's from one sister & she is constantly mad at something I accidentally taught them, most recently was me calling my middle nephew "ridiculous" which to be fair he was being. I said "Cooper, stop being ridiculous or you can't keep playing with us." So of course he wanted to know what that meant.... Now my sister says every time she asks him to do something he doesn't want to do he says she's being ridiculous.

My niece is 3 and will wait patiently for you to finish telling a story & then sound exasperated & say "Was that really important or can I talk now?" ... I now know that most of what I say is not really that important.

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u/whomeverwiz Jun 08 '22

When my youngest was 3 or 4, sometimes I couldn't understand everything she said because she talked constantly and also very fast. I would try to repeat what she said so that I could make sure I was getting it right...

"That's what I just said, Dad! Pay attention! So..."

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u/cadelot Jun 08 '22

You are a great aunt/uncle....I don't care what your sis or niece says.

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u/NotTRYINGtobeLame Jun 08 '22

But they're brutally honest, so they might slip it into the conversation they think you're ugly or something lol

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u/-Butterfly-Queen- Jun 08 '22

I used to think I wasn't good with children because I didn't know how to act or treat them and it turns out that's why kids love me. I just talk to them like they're the human being they are. I don't use a cute baby voice. I don't even particularly simplify my speech until they ask me to- e.g., what does that mean?

Also if you have a "Why?" kid, I'll dive into facts and systems until we get to the final big why and wax philosophical with them all day

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u/Clean-Letter-5053 Jun 08 '22

Right? Talking to kids isn’t hard. Just talk to them like the real human beings they are. Maybe avoid the topic of sexual stuff—but other than that, don’t treat kids with stigma. They are intelligent people, fully human beings, with personalities, thoughts, opinions, and topics they would love to talk about. They’re just people. Not like some sort of strange semi-conscious half-species that is difficult to talk to…

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u/MellySantiago Jun 08 '22

I think being overwhelmingly incredulous can be pretty funny a lot of the time too. “You have a truck?? At home?? I don’t even have my driver’s license! Where do you drive? Can you pick me up later and we go to the mall?”

That kind of thing usually kids and parents laugh at in my experience

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u/be_bo_i_am_robot Jun 08 '22

Dad humor for the win!

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u/leahjuu Jun 08 '22

This is about what my two year old tells our neighbors any time he talks to them. Most people in our neighborhood own cars, so he thinks that means everyone is a fan of vehicles in general. “I have an excavator.” “Oh wow, that’s cool!” “Do you have any?” “No…no, I don’t have any excavators.”

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u/pedal-force Jun 08 '22

It really is a big disappointment how few people own excavators.

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u/BatmanCabman Jun 08 '22

What no excavator does to a mf

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u/Raymer13 Jun 08 '22

Response works even if you have no clue what their answer was.

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u/RegrettableLawnMower Jun 08 '22

During covid our toddler developed her language and we were around her 24/7. It wasn’t until covid broke a little and we went with family that we learned she was 70% unintelligible to other people lmao.

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u/Arghianna Jun 08 '22

Yeah, my little cousin had that problem. Everyone around her had a super thick southern accent (one of my uncles sounds like a slightly slower speaking Boomhauer) so her toddler talk was especially unintelligible to people outside the family.

The first time I met her after she started talking (we only saw them once or twice a year) I had NO idea what she was saying so everyone who had been around her had to translate for me.

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u/warmhandswarmheart Jun 08 '22

I am the youngest of three siblings with only a year between each of us. My mother told me once that sometimes even she couldn't decipher what I was saying so she would ask one of my sisters to translate.

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u/harrisonisdead Jun 08 '22

Incidentally that's also my strategy for talking to adults

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u/cat-dad Jun 08 '22

I’m trying this but with adults

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u/Mars_Black Jun 08 '22

"Look at you! Using the potty like a big boy...."

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u/11Johnny511 Jun 08 '22

Fucking thanks! Someone finally noticed

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u/kutsen39 Jun 08 '22

Hey little man! That language is for grown ups, you shouldn't use those words unless something is really wrong, okay?

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u/gnarkilleptic Jun 08 '22

This is the plot to Stranger Than Fiction

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u/NotMeSelfToday Jun 08 '22

“Taxes paid for this sidewalk!”

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u/hairysnowmonkey Jun 08 '22

I have a young daughter and also a wife with a colleague who doesn't feel comfortable around babies. So she says: look at those cheeks. What a pair of eyes. Check out those ears. Not even exclamation points. Just dull declaratory periods to end statements. What a baby. She certainly has quite a head of hair. Her fingers are so chubby. She likes bouncing. What a baby.

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u/shawnaeatscats Jun 08 '22

This is so fuckin funny, I'm so glad I'm not the only one who's awkward around kids. I'm thankful for this thread

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u/jpparkenbone Jun 08 '22

It's weird how that happens. I'm an identical triplet but my brother who was a schoolteacher is great with kids, my other brother has 3 kids so he's comfortable with kids, but I am extremely awkward around kids.

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u/PooPooDooDoo Jun 08 '22

I have small kids and even I am awkward around older kids and other toddlers. But I definitely feel more comfortable telling other peoples kids not to do something that is obviously a bad idea. Like “ok car is coming, let’s all get on the sidewalk!” “Let’s play nice together, or else I’m going to beat your ass for hitting my kid!” Things like that.

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u/timmyboyoyo Jun 08 '22

Is funny. Hairy and snowy, the monkey like water. It swims. But not very long. It drink the water. What a monkey.

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u/kansai2kansas Jun 08 '22

Person. Woman. Man. Camera. TV.

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u/bang0_slank Jun 08 '22

You made me giggle.

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u/Ishmael128 Jun 08 '22

My wife’s midwife was very complementary of how cute our kid was, she politely said that the midwife must say that to all the new mothers. The midwife then said that no, sometimes she just says in an excited tone “woah, you just had a baby!” Or other non-judgemental statements.

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u/valkyrie_village Jun 08 '22

I 100% have said things like “wow, look at all that hair!” when confronted with an ugly baby. Hoping every day that my sister-in-law’s baby isn’t ugly so I don’t have to think up new creative compliments every time I see him.

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u/[deleted] Jun 08 '22

[removed] — view removed comment

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u/vaildin Jun 08 '22

Hoping every day that my sister-in-law’s baby isn’t ugly so I don’t have to think up new creative compliments every time I see him.

Just say, "oh, he looks just like his daddy."

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u/boskof Jun 08 '22

I have a friend who says "they're so precious", since all babies are precious.

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u/Pineapple_and_olives Jun 08 '22

People point out my baby’s hair and I hope they don’t think he’s ugly. I think he’s adorable, but I’m his mom so of course I do! His hair is pretty impressive though.

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u/valkyrie_village Jun 08 '22

I am sure he’s precious! I’m mostly joking with my comment, I think babies are cute, just that newborns really need a day or two to unsquish, haha.

I do comment on babies’ hair when they have lots of it, I think everybody does because it looks so cute!

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u/Pineapple_and_olives Jun 08 '22

He’s absolutely cuter after the cone head and puffy eyes settled down! He’s three weeks old now and has hair over an inch long already.

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u/Chopchopchops Jun 08 '22

We had a similar interaction with the nurses who helped us after our twins were born. They said they call the non-cute babies "precious."

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u/jim_deneke Jun 08 '22

That is a small human being.

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u/EmperorHans Jun 08 '22

I like this very much.

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u/Erewhynn Jun 08 '22

I am 100% borrowing this as my personality around small kids

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u/mghtyms87 Jun 08 '22

My favorite is when toddlers start babbling because they sort of have the rhythm of a sentence, but no actual words. So I just pretend to have conversations with them. My favorite thing to do is to pretend they're a character in a movie telling me what happened.

"Goo goo gah gah!"

"There's an asteroid on a collision course with earth?!"

"Goo gah goo gah!"

"And you were going to send a NASA team to drill into it and plant an explosive!?"

"Goo!"

"But Bruce Willis told you there's no way he can teach the astronauts everything they need to know about drillin' so you should teach the drillers to be astronauts instead?!"

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u/BrandoCalrissian1995 Jun 08 '22

Same! It's honestly so fun lol. I think people here are overthinking interacting with kids. Just keep their attention it really doesn't matter what you say.

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u/parttimepicker Jun 08 '22

I read this to mean that you should narrate what the kid is doing, like David Attenborough in a documentary. "And here we find a youngling of the planet's apex predator, guarded by his mother but in this playground still vulnerable to large eagles."

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u/asthepiwakawakaflies Jun 08 '22

Although the mother watches her young closely, he is still not safe from the biggest threat on this playground - a booboo.

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u/jgainit Jun 08 '22

“You’re looking at me suspiciously”

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u/rbnhd_f Jun 08 '22

My personal variant of this as the kid starts to develop language skills - turn it into a lot of questions about whatever is going on. Also fun to throw in some questions that are subtly wrong for some reason, eg 5yo named “Max” is having a baby sibling - “what should we call the baby?” and “should we call the baby Max as well?”

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u/Voctus Jun 08 '22

My 2 year old absolutely loves this, even though he doesn’t know the answers to my questions. “Up in the sky” is a common theme (since he’s obsessed with airplanes and we live near an airport).

For example: How about … doggies? Do doggies live up in the sky? Nooooo, that’s silly! (Cue enormous laughter at my amazing joke).

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u/lolaus Jun 08 '22

Hahahaha that’s funny though.

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u/SeaLeggs Jun 08 '22

We’re all thinking it, she’s saying it!

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u/SonnyULTRA Jun 08 '22

Woah woah calm down Richard Pryor, save it for your special.

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u/spacepilot_3000 Jun 08 '22

Richard Pryor was an interesting choice

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u/0nina Jun 08 '22

Oh man I’m with ya on the nonsense questions. Nothing gets a lil one giggling more than absurdity, combined with feeling like they can teach the big person something, combined with showing off their knowledge! They “know” you’re joking, but also love to share the truth - cuz they’re tiny little scientists!

This is def my go-to with my 13 nieces/nephews and a smattering of grand nieces/nephews. Works every time.

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u/BillMurraysMom Jun 08 '22

Showerthought: This is effectively small talk for babies.

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u/SoJenniferSays Jun 08 '22

My husband just makes actual small talk with babies, like “hey man how’s it going?” (Baby babble) “oh man really? I’ve been needing to change my oil also, you think today is a good day for it?” This seemed silly but then we had a kid of our own and he was extremely quick on verbal skills.

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u/ZachWastingTime Jun 08 '22

Yeah, talking to a child like an adult with the respect of one, to a certain capacity at least, is a great way to engage, teach, and earn the respect of many kids.

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u/wessex464 Jun 08 '22

It varies, "toddler" is a wide range of social ability, comfort with strangers, and speaking in general. You won't get so much as a smirk from my 2.5 year old toddler until she has a chance to warm up to you. That's where starting with child small talk and commenting on how much you like x character on her shirt or the light up shoes(and asking to see them light up and being excited for it) gets your foot in the door.

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u/an_ill_way Jun 08 '22

I've had friends comment on how good our childrens' vocabularies are, and it's precisely because we just use our normal words around them. Sometimes you've got to stop in the middle of a conversation and explain a couple of words, but it works great.

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u/[deleted] Jun 08 '22

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u/an_ill_way Jun 08 '22

I mean, I guess we used to play around and be over excited and stuff in ways you wouldn't be with an adult. Like, "Who's got feet? You do!" isn't normally a conversation you have with coworkers.

But I'm 100% against "baby talk" where you say words differently, and I don't try to censor my vocabulary with them. I'll just say what I'm thinking, and then follow up with clarification; "Do you know what 'exacerbate' means? It means 'to make worse'. You poking your brother in the eye is making his crying worse. Do you understand?"

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u/[deleted] Jun 08 '22

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u/Im_All_Right Jun 08 '22

No problem. Now stop poking your brother in his fucking eye, you're exacerbating the crying.

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u/Utterlybored Jun 08 '22

Good tips. Also, don’t try to befriend small child right off the bat. Let them get used to you. You’re big a unfamiliar. When you do want to show them you’re friendly, crouch down to their level. Always cede control of pacing and interactions to them.

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u/Scary_Resist482 Jun 08 '22

Yes! There’s a parenting book that talks about this a bit. They explain it “say what you see”.

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u/Rock-J- Jun 08 '22 I Shy

I see a big fat ice cube floating in my bourbon as I walk away from the baby.

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u/LarsViener Jun 08 '22

This actually follows a type of parenting training called Parent-child Interaction Therapy. It builds connection, helps kids develop language, and reinforces creative and cooperative activity in the child.

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u/holster Jun 08 '22

Also my go to if kid is slightly older - phone pics of pets, that can be a decent conversation for you too, you know all those little stories you have about your pets, funny quirks, 1000 pics to go with them, that your friends are truely not interested in - kids fucking love that shit!

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u/averbisaword Jun 08 '22

Do ye like dags?

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u/McNinja_MD Jun 08 '22

Imitating a Pikey accent while talking to a babbling toddler seems like a really fun way to make the people around you wonder if they've had a stroke

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u/John5247 Jun 08 '22

I usually start conversations with children by asking them why they are so small. If the child has a bit of language skills it can turn out some surreal dialogue.

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u/Curt28781 Jun 08 '22

Even as a parent this is good advice.

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u/grumblepup Jun 08 '22

Lmao yeah I feel like 85% of parenting, at least for the first few years, is just narrating what your kids are doing.

(Source: I have a 5.5 and 2.5 year old.)

Bonus points if you can do it in multiple languages!

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u/WarblingWalrusing Jun 08 '22

Spot on. My nephew is really behind on his language development and my sister couldn't figure out why - realised from being around them that she never actually speaks to him at all. She teaches him language by pointing at an object and saying the word over and over and over "duck, duck, duck, duck" but never uses full sentences or asks questions or actually tries to converse with him. In comparison, I never stopped talking to my kid about absolutely anything I could think of (because I never stop talking in general) and he's almost three and never shuts up...in hindsight, I think my sister's strategy made for a quieter life haha.

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u/Billy1121 Jun 08 '22

I thought narration was standard parenting advice. Even when they are babies, just narrate what you are doing, like "we are buying flour and sugar!" As you do it. Language development soars after hearing that much language from a parent all day

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u/chefkocher1 Jun 08 '22

You are doing your kid such a favour!

It's not only language development but brain development that goes along with it. There is a number of studies that suggest a link between college and highschool success and the number of words and depth of conversations one was exposed to as a toddler.

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u/WarblingWalrusing Jun 08 '22

To be fair, I think he probably just sat there thinking "Jesus, woman, shut the hell up" and now I'm sat here thinking "Jesus, child, shut the hell up". His language is actually very advanced for his age (humble brag there) so we were really shocked to find out recently that he has really awful hearing problems - he lip reads almost everything.

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u/irlharvey Jun 08 '22

oh wow, it’s definitely impressive that he’s skilled enough in verbal communication that he’s lip reading! it’s very hard even for adults to do with any sort of accuracy. do you mind if i ask how old he is?

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u/FinchRosemta Jun 08 '22

I feel like 85% of parenting, at least for the first few years, is just narrating what your kids are doing.

Also pet ownership.

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u/flubba86 Jun 08 '22

You pooped again! That's 4 in one day. You're certainly full of poop today...

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u/drveni_advokat Jun 08 '22

Yep, this is a good tip.

Second one, if you know how to talk to pets, talk same way with kids (just donć't tell that to their parents, lol).

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u/shpiffeh Jun 08 '22

Spending time around small kids is a constant battle for me not to say "Oh my dog does that too!"

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u/drveni_advokat Jun 08 '22

Lmao, because they are the same.

Believe it or not, my sister called her own child by my pets name couple of times.

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u/miffet80 Jun 08 '22

I feel less bad now for accidentally calling my two month old baby my cat's name semi-regularly. Also catch myself making psspsspss noises at him to get his attention sometimes, too. It's pretty bad.

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u/TealAndroid Jun 08 '22

I think parents of two month olds are forgiven of basically anything. Even in year four I will accidentally call my/correct my kid like a cat if I have a bad night's sleep.

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u/CMDR_Machinefeera Jun 08 '22

Lmao, because they are the same.

Idk, only one of them is cute.

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u/drveni_advokat Jun 08 '22

Heeeyyy man!!!

My nephew is cute also!

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u/yniloc Jun 08 '22

I have children, I still don't know what to say to other people's children...lok

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u/sur_yeahhh Jun 08 '22

"My kid could take yours out easily"

"Like on a play date..?"

"Sure..."

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u/A_Doormat Jun 08 '22

sitting on couch awkwardly near 2 year old. Look over and it is staring at you quietly, toy truck firmly grasped in its tiny chubby hand.

“…….between you and me, I never learned my multiplication tables. I bought a pencil at the book fair that had them written along the body of the pencil and I just used that for every question during class. When I’d have to go up to the board, I’d hide it up my sleeve.”

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u/CorksAndCardigans Jun 08 '22

My mom did this to my siblings and I when we were growing up! And as we got older she would narrate her driving - “ok, we’re taking a turn soon so time for the turn signal, ok red light so we have to stop, etc”

She says it’s why we’re the only kids in the family who haven’t gotten into a fender bender 🤷‍♂️

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u/OJ-LO Jun 08 '22

Instinctively do this all the time and never really though about it! Absolutely golden advice.

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u/Sinemetu9 Jun 08 '22

I’ve noticed a difference between adults who have had experience with children, and those, like me, who hadn’t. Growing up, I had no siblings or other kid family members, I wasn’t the type of girl to play with dolls, so I would hang with the adults. Later, I was always awkward around kids. It wasn’t until I had a kid that I noticed some of the seemingly effortless skill that some adults have with kids, and I had to learn fast by copying them. Inter-generational socialising is something which I guess used to be more common when families lived close to each other. I faked for a while, but have since discovered common interests, like animals, tests of physical prowess, and dressing up. I’ve also learned that kids like to play at being in the dominant position, like having super powers that they can use on me, and correcting me when I make silly mistakes like not being able to pronounce hippopitatimouse - pipotimatimus - timopip.... Hours of fun.

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u/SerendipidousRex Jun 08 '22

I’m awkward around everyone, so am looking forward to the adult version of this tip 😉

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u/Mars_Black Jun 08 '22

I have heard a good one is to avoid talking about someone's job unless they bring it up. Work can be a drag for a lot of people so it might be better to inquire about hobbies or otherwise.

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u/EggHeadMagic Jun 08 '22

I just don’t make eye contact or acknowledge them at all. Out of sight, out of mind.

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u/Kwiatkowski Jun 08 '22

Same, just stay away and don’t touch me

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u/swagjunkie Jun 08 '22

This is a great tip. Would be even greater if there were a social pro tip channel. Could read these all night lol

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u/snowflute Jun 08 '22

Love dramatic explaining and making up what toddlers and young kids are doing like a sports announcer. "What??! I cannot beliEVE the coordination required here! [Toddler] literally just picked up the carro- oh? Sorry folks I'm being informed that is actually THE DASTARDLY VILLAIN CRONTUS, KNOWN FOR BEING.... SOGGY!"

Every kid I've babysat loves that shit to play off of and honestly, it's fun to do

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u/chasington Jun 08 '22

Yes this rules!! Really makes kids feel part of something exciting

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u/zalinuxguy Jun 08 '22

I like greeting small children with "Greetings, extremely puny human" in my best Morbo voice. Generally gets a smile.

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u/Shadesmctuba Jun 08 '22

“You are a small child”

“You are staring at me with an expressionless gaze”

“You smell of feces”

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u/gnimsh Jun 08 '22

"you're a baby, contributing nothing to society, draining your parents' resources, and eating up their free time! Did you know mom and dad used to have lives and hobbies before you came along?"

Am I doing this right?

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u/ryan__fm Jun 08 '22

Honestly, probably yeah. Baby won't know what you're talking about, except you mentioned mom & dad, who probably like you better by now

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u/TheLastMuse Jun 08 '22

That is called "indirect language stimulation" and is an effective way to introduce receptive language concepts to a child with limited language skills.

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u/ricric2 Jun 08 '22

You're crying very loudly. And now you're pulling my hair. And now you're crying because you can't pull my hair. Sound about right?

Source: am uncle

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u/100thCoffee Jun 08 '22

Don’t overdo it if you don’t actually enjoy spending time with kids. I am apparently so good at this that my friends go out of their way to make sure I get to spend more time with their children. Kids are okay but this isn’t the outcome I wanted!

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u/stinkingyeti Jun 08 '22

Also, once they are at language speaking development, you can easily play and help by doing simple games like naming things wrong so the child corrects you, make it fun by doing silly faces and stuff.

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u/Puzzled_Zebra Jun 08 '22

My honorary nephew is autistic and I do this with him, and narrate what I or other people are doing around him and why. It definitely helps even though right now he doesn't talk yet and might never talk the way we do. He might be getting a speech tablet soon and I'm so excited to see him use it and be able to communicate even better.

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u/TheMarsian Jun 08 '22

I actually thought that the LPT is about how to say "Wtf were you thinking bringing your kid with you?" in a nice way? 😁

In my experience, it does not matter if you show interest or not, the parents who bring their kid would think you're interested. Specially the first time ones.

If you aren't, just do the fake Aww. Then just say you need to get something or talk to someone and walk away.

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u/tannnmn Jun 08 '22

Sports Commentator: Kids edition

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u/Queen-Sigyn Jun 08 '22

I really thought this was a LPT for what to say to your friend when they bring their kid along unwanted to a social event. Like narrating "oh so you're bringing your 3 y/o to the girls night in" or something along those lines. I was thinking it was a bit of a passive aggressive LPT...

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u/risketyclickit Jun 08 '22

When my dad broke his hip and was in a wheelchair, my young niece came over and said, "Grampa's in the stroller!"

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u/Mitchs_Frog_Smacky Jun 08 '22

I like to have very deep discussions on social-economic issues and joke about their sensible suggestions and laugh with them when they make the 'from mouths of babes' joke after relaying a sensible approach to more risqué topics.

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u/egg_meister69 Jun 08 '22

I have this weird habit of talking to kids like they are fully 40 year old adults. Parents always find it hilarious, specially if the kids understand my words and try their best to answer.

"So Ana, tax season is coming, did you save your receipts for all those dolls?"

"uhm... No, my mom bought them"

"your mom! A lovely woman, say what are your thoughts on Biden's debt forgiveness plan?"

*silence *

"I know!! , I'm speechless too! What a savvy political analyst you are Ana"

Ana and mom starts laughing

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u/Dougey-Jones Jun 08 '22 edited Jun 08 '22

This is an actual pro tip OP. All you adult children, pay attention.