Caution! What is this child learning from her environment?Driving down I-85 last weekend, we were returning from a trip to IKEA and Sam’s Club. The grandchildren, ages 6, 4, and 21 months, were in the car with me, along with their mother and grandfather. To alleviate boredom, we engaged the older children in a game of “I Spy”. After a while, my attention shifted away from the game and toward our toddler, Bella. As she listened to the verbal exchanges, she repeated some of the words we were using. I heard: “Yep, yep, yep”, “I dun know, I dun know”, “Hey Dude, hey Dude” and “Nope, Nope, Nope”. Listening to the slang and misuse of the English language we had been modeling for Bella, made me feel both alarmed and appalled!
Toddlers spend every waking minute of their day watching, listening and learning from their environment. This little incident of the “parrot” in the back seat was a reminder for me to be more mindful of the content of the environment we have designed for our family.
Katherine Generaux, Community Inclusion