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08:19 am: the importance of paraphrasing in active listening
Teddy likes to have a drink with his vitamins. They're gummy vitamins, but he likes a drink.

So I poured him a glass of juice this morning - OJ combined with cranberry, because OJ can exacerbate his eczema, so I keep it to a minimum.

"I don't need juice. I have orange mixed with another flavor."

"You don't like orange mixed with another flavor? You loved it yesterday."

"I have orange mixed with another flavor! I don't need juice!"

"I understand your words but I don't understand what you're saying. You have orange mixed with another flavor, which you like, so you don't need juice?"


"I AM listening to you! You have orange and another flavor. You don't need juice."

"AAARGGGH! I'll say it another way. When I have orange and another flavor or orange and orange, I don't need juice."

He was talking vitamins. I was talking juice. The coincidence was that he had one orange VITAMIN and one other flavor AND I'd served him orange JUICE with another flavor. So the fact that I repeated exactly his words back didn't mean I had any remote frickin' clue what he was talking about.

Lesson learned.

Current Location: Longmeadow
Current Mood: confusedconfused


[User Picture]
Date:November 28th, 2012 08:45 pm (UTC)

I remember when my nieces and nephew were at those ages where they were using words but I had a hard time parsing it sometimes. I didn't see them very often so I didn't ever get the chance to get familiar with their natural rhythm of language. I always wondered if they thought I was an idiot, because they'd use the same words with their mom and she immediately knew what they were talking about while I was still "derp?"

It's frustrating, but also pretty cool as we all learn from each other.
[User Picture]
Date:November 28th, 2012 09:26 pm (UTC)

derp? !

That is exactly the feeling of being a parent! One long "derp?" Or maybe it's one "derp?" after another. Or maybe they're all different "derp?"s. But it's definitely derp?!

I'm sure your nieces and nephew didn't think you were an idiot... just a different species of some sort (a derp!). They don't think you're an idiot until they're a bit older, whereupon they think everyone is an idiot.
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