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My son turned 4 in August and he has always been highly verbal (used words like edible, chrysalis, and many others when he was 2.5 yo). His vocab has grown at a rapid rate but lately he wants to know what every word means. He'll pick at least one word out of every sentence I speak and asks what it means. Even words that he uses in context on a regular basis. He only seems satisfied when I give him a dictionary type of definition. Is this a stage most kids go through or is he just obsessed with words?
It feels like he is dissecting everything I say.
 

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my ds does this. Has for YEARS. He needs to know what every word means and then he wants to hear examples. His favorite car game is thinking of two words that are the same but mean different things.

Of course this is the same child that directed/produced a 10 minute "skit" (remember no one can read so he was verbalizing directions) that he then had his 3 best friends DO for his preschool class yesterday! The teachers said they were quite surprised...
 

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My dd did this, too! She would get so frustrated if I didn't give her a detailed enough answer. And I, in turn, was frustrated by the constant interruption.
:

Like your son, she is a verbal kid and has always enjoyed word play. It was intense for a few months and has subsided (somewhat) now though she still gets mad if she think I'm holding out on her.


No idea if it's typical or not but it sure leads to some interesting conversations!

Have fun,

sakura

dd 12.03
dd 8.05
 

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I have a funny along those lines... DS is very verbal and also asks what everything means, never lets a new word slip through the cracks.

So he got interested in Gene Kelly and old musicals from a 5.5 year old girlfriend of his (DS is 3). So we watched a few dance routines from old Gene Kelly movies on YouTube and from the movie 'Summer Stock" there is a song called "DIG".

And he got totally obsessed with the following lyric...

"If you purloin, your sirloin,
The Butcher's gonna put'cha in the clink"

And it wasn't enough just explain things like "clink means jail"... we had to go into how the cells have metal bars and when they close or you bang on them they clink and that's where the word came from and how people who write songs like to come up with new ways of saying everyday things and rhyming and blahblahblah...
: And that was just THAT one lyric... then we had to dissect the rest. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nku18...elated&search=)

But I love that he's so curious!
:
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by boatbaby View Post
I have a funny along those lines... DS is very verbal and also asks what everything means, never lets a new word slip through the cracks.

So he got interested in Gene Kelly and old musicals from a 5.5 year old girlfriend of his (DS is 3). So we watched a few dance routines from old Gene Kelly movies on YouTube and from the movie 'Summer Stock" there is a song called "DIG".

And he got totally obsessed with the following lyric...

"If you purloin, your sirloin,
The Butcher's gonna put'cha in the clink"

And it wasn't enough just explain things like "clink means jail"... we had to go into how the cells have metal bars and when they close or you bang on them they clink and that's where the word came from and how people who write songs like to come up with new ways of saying everyday things and rhyming and blahblahblah...
: And that was just THAT one lyric... then we had to dissect the rest. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nku18...elated&search=)

But I love that he's so curious!
:
This just made me laugh so hard. But it also reminds me of my ds new obsession with expressions. He has me explain any expression of speech in agonizing detail, where it comes from and what the words mean separately and together. Then yesterday he was with his grandparents eating lunch. His grammy asked him where his big piece of bread with jam went and he replies, "It went down the hatch!" They both laughed and tried to figure out where he got that from. He proudly exclaimed to me later that he now knows how to use expressions!
He is also trying to figure out jokes...he gets physical humor but trying to sort out jokes that use plays on words is painful for me to watch. He demands joke books from the library and it is a challenge to find jokes that he can even begin to understand.
 

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I love these stories! Dd analyzes lyrics, too. So, I'll add one. Recently we had a disco greatest hits CD (Shhh! Don't tell!) on in the car and one song led to an in-depth discussion about 'broken dreams'. She wanted to know: What are they? Are they like nightmares and how do I know if I have one?

We had a great convo about it but I sure have trouble not laughing sometimes!


sakura
 

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Yes, it's right on track! He IS dissecting everything you say. Before, he wan't really conscious of the individual words. Now he's becoming aware that there are different words, and so he's conscious that he doesn't know exactly what some of them mean (before he was probably just going with the gist of the conversation). The technical term is 'metalinguistic awareness', if you want to look it up.

Wait until he gets to the stage where he asks not only what words mean, but how many different meanings a word has! (Or maybe that's just our 6 yo son.) How many meanings does 'flipper' have?
 

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We are in this stage too. It takes me 20 minutes to get through a story that should take 5 minutes. He asks a question on every single page of any story. I don't mind so much the "what does this word mean?" but then there are about 5 questions that spin-off from there.

And sometimes I have no idea how to explain what certain words mean. Of course I know what they are, but describing it in kid terms isn't always easy.
 
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