Thursday, January 7, 2010

“Wanna Hear a Secret?”

“An inability to stay quiet is one of the most conspicuous failings of mankind.”
~Walter Bagehot

Over the years I have collected dictation I have taken from children. I kept it in a scrapbook. The children are hilarious….but of course I never laugh in front of them. That would be insulting…I am a pretty good straight-man; a side kick, the Ed Mc McMahon of Early Childhood Education….you know. The preschool children are the picture and I am the frame…we have an understanding.
Anyway, some of the funniest dictation I have come across has been “secrets” kids have told me. I have had to since educate families about the difference between the difference between a “secret” and a “surprise”.
Please, please, please do not encourage little ones to keep “secrets” when they are young. There are far too many predators out there that use this word, and it is often misunderstood.
If there is a gift or present you would not want them to reveal-“surprise” is an appropriate word. Young children understand what “surprises” are but may tell anyway.
Here are some examples of dictation I have taken over the past 10 years...
Names have been changed (of course):

This was a four-year-old child:
“Wanna here a secret, Ms Barbra?”
“My mom’s hair isn’t real.”
“Your mommy hair is real, Lisa”
“I really don’t think so-she said she colors it.”
“Hmmm? Well what do you think she colors it with?
“Crayons! What else?”

This was a ten-year-old-child (teasing about a present):
“I have a secret I will never tell anyone ever.”

“Good for you.” I said.
“Ever! Ever!”
“Good! Good!” I said.
“Fabulous! How about you play with Ellie?”
“It’s a good secret, too!”
“The block area looks interesting…”
“Guess what, Ms. Barbra……”
“Nope, I don’t want to know.”

A three-year-old-child:
“Guess what Ms. Barbra?”
“I’m not supposed to tell…”
“You’re not supposed to tell what?”
“Mommy has a big, big rash on……”
“Never mind.”
“We had a picnic and mommy got it on the grass.”

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