Please acknowledge my toddler when she speaks to you!! - Mothering Forums

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Old 05-28-2013, 11:42 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Does anyone else have this problem? My one year old says "hi" or "excuse me" as she walks by AN ADULT and they don't reply or even acknowledge her in any way. It's not that they don't hear or understand her. She's clear as a bell. And then, she'll say "Hi" or "Nice to see you" or "thank you" to someone her age and they just stare at her. I'm worried that my daughter is not getting the positive reinforcement that she should be getting to develop her self esteem and conversational skills. It makes my heart hurt to see her so proud and grinning from ear to ear to talk to someone and NOTHING happens. Has anyone else experienced this?

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Old 05-28-2013, 02:50 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ACuriousMom View Post

Does anyone else have this problem? My one year old says "hi" or "excuse me" as she walks by AN ADULT and they don't reply or even acknowledge her in any way. It's not that they don't hear or understand her. She's clear as a bell. And then, she'll say "Hi" or "Nice to see you" or "thank you" to someone her age and they just stare at her. I'm worried that my daughter is not getting the positive reinforcement that she should be getting to develop her self esteem and conversational skills. It makes my heart hurt to see her so proud and grinning from ear to ear to talk to someone and NOTHING happens. Has anyone else experienced this?

Yes, happens less now that she's closer to 17 months and people are expecting it more. when they're very little I think they assume they misheard.

 

I, too, was frustrated and feeling like they were not positively responding to her politeness, but she's just fine and still cheerfully greets everyone (and their pets). :)

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Old 05-28-2013, 09:07 PM
 
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Kids her own age and even older will probably continue to stare at her an not respond for some time.  3 and 4 year olds still have trouble responding in-turn to DS's statement, questions, and plans for play.  

 

I'm surprised adults don't respond!  I haven't experienced that where I am.   Maybe they are caught off guard.  I myself respond to 6 month olds, that simply smile at me, with a greeting and words.  Lots of people I have met though, tell me they never thought to speak to their babies and young kids because they assumed they don't understand.  Crazy, I know!  I think it will get better as she gets older.  If you respond to her, I think she will get enough positive feedback until others respond.


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Old 05-28-2013, 11:00 PM
 
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Lots of people I have met though, tell me they never thought to speak to their babies and young kids because they assumed they don't understand.  Crazy, I know!  I think it will get better as she gets older.  If you respond to her, I think she will get enough positive feedback until others respond.

 

We went through this, too. nod.gif  DS is 25 months now, and such a tenacious chatterbox, it's harder to ignore winky.gif (mostly we only hit this issue if people talk over top of him, instead of listening eyesroll.gif poor conversational manners...).  

 

I think it's caused by equal parts surprise and, sadly, people generally treating lil beings as second-rate citizens.  Like pranava said - many people even ignore their own littles, or write them off as ignorant, unable to understand your words or those they use themselves, etc.  So often, parents will be astounded I knew what their kid wanted or needed, but it wasn't magic - I was just paying attention.

 

I don't think everyone is used to treating tiny folks as valid humans who deserve respect and are capable of engaging in a conversational give and take.

 

I used to be annoyed and frustrated by this, but I watched DS' reaction - which was always remarkably resilient (he just gives the person a funny or pitying look orngtongue.gif or with peers, sometimes he'll just have both sides of the conversation for them).  It didn't deter him, and he has had plenty of reinforcement and practice with DH and I at home.  If there was a particularly egregious example, we'd sometimes talk about it on the way home from the playground.  In general, though - it bothered me more than him, I think!


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