My Week of Speaking “Kid” or Know Your Audience

When is the last time you talked to a kid? If you have children 10 and under this does not apply to you. I’m talking to those of you with children that are teens, in their twenties and older. Last week I worked at our churches summer camp and I got the opportunity to have conversations with kids. It is something invigorating about being surrounded with people who take joy in ice cream sprinkles. Children will share stories with all the details, and I mean all the details they have no irony in their game just pure honesty. The interesting thing is that when you speak only to adults you speak “adult”, but you do not realize it until you are talking to children. I was working with children that were between 3 and 6. We were doing and art project and after it was completed I asked each of the children to bring up their design and share it with the class. As they came up I said now her design is this or his design is that. We actually shared all 25 designs with the class. I felt satisfied they did the project and they understood the project, but at the end of the project one little girl held up her hand to ask a question. She asked “what does the word design mean?” I thought for a moment and used the age appropriate word “picture”. I shared this story with some friends who all cracked up. The moral of the story is you are not effectively communicating if the audience does not understand you. I admire the little girl that asked for clarity and from that point on I caught myself when I would revert to adultspeak and use kid speak when appropriate, and I must say I enjoyed my time in the truly honest world of “kids”.

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