Saturday, June 05, 2010

To teach or not to teach

If you've spent any time around T, you know he loves to talk. I always joke that it took him two years to start talking, and we haven't been able to get him to shut up since.

Since he's only 3, he has only a loose grasp on lots of grammar and semantics rules. He has a particularly tough time with gendered pronouns. Basically everything is a he or him or boy for T. For a long time I ignored it, figuring he'd eventually catch on. Recently however, he's gotten some startled looks from people when he asks what that boy is doing or refers to a woman as "he". I know that it's just because he doesn't know any better, but I started worrying that he was giving people a complex.

As much as I hate the idea of teaching him about gender, I have started working with him on men/women, girls/boys/, her/him, and she/he. It's made for some interesting conversations with friends lately. T walked up to a friend of mine the other day and said "You're a she, cause you're a girl." Yes, yes she is.

He also started correcting me recently when I talked about Finley's tooth. "No mommy! Finley has a teeth!" And so I told him that if you have only one, you have a tooth, but if you have more than one you have teeth. Today, that gem came out as "Tooth is one, but lots is teeth!"

I don't know enough about childhood development to know if he'll eventually get it without overt teaching, but the results of our lessons have been amusing at least.


Cathy said...

Interesting tidbit ont he gender thing; while l;earning about the different pain rating scales used for children there was a particular tool that shows the faces of a boy with different degrees of a pain from smile to tears. While this scale (It's official name is "The Oucher Scale")had boys of different races they only came in the male variety. The reason is supposedly because female children are able to identify with both genders while male children are only able to identify with males. This obviously changes at some point but it is interesting nonetheless

Jube said...

I think we teach boys they can't identify with females. T has no problem identifying with Dora or Kailan or Pinky Doo. What age were the boys in the study?

Becky said...

That's the reason Pixar movies have mostly male protagonists. They're afraid that little boys won't want to watch a movie about a little girl. (Though I'm guessing plenty of little boys liked Lilo and Stitch and Mulan, but whatever.)

Cathy said...

It wasn't one particular study, although I'm sure they are out there, it was in my text book. The faces of this pain scale are actual human faces as opposed to cartoons so maybe it has something to do with that, I don't know

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