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A conversation-starter that works with kids of any age.

by Babs Hadjusiewicz May 26, 2009

Though today's picture book is for young children, our topic for this TALKing Tuesday focuses on you and a question to ask your child of any age. In a word (or two), your child is never too young nor too old for you to ask this important question: "So when you grow up, who will you be?" Though you'll likely hear career language initially, ask the question often and you'll be amazed at how much language and knowledge you...and life...have (or have not) been "spreading on your child's buffet." Keep on asking, "So when you grow up, who will you be?" and you'll hear more ideas around how your child is THINKing about and processing his/her life experiences thus far. With your not-yet-TALKing wee oWhen I Grow Up covernes, do what I always recommend: Ask the question and then answer it...using the very words you'd like your child to say someday soon! So, as you repeat this question to your TALKer, you'll hear THINKing and then some language around ideas, like growing into a grown-up or adult. Becoming a dad, friend, grandparent, aunt, step-mom, neighbor. A reader, writer, listener, THINKer, TALKer,.... And, as developmentally-fitting with your child's age, you'll hear value words and ideas. You know, the ones you've continually "spread on that buffet" of language and knowledge. The words and ideas you've modeled and TALKed. WOW! Your child will TALK of growing up to be a happy person. A peaceful, kind, giving or generous person. A sharing, hugging, empathetic, cooperative, tolerant person. A loving or affectionate, grateful, supportive, cheerful, optimistic, patient, tranquil, compassionate, tender, relaxed,.... WOW! Just THINK how much TALKing you can do with your child today! That's right. It's never too early. And totally never too late. On to some back story of the picture book. When my two were 4 and 3, I heard our son declare to his younger sister how he couldn't be a fireman when he grew up. You can bet I tuned in to hear his reasons why not. "Because," he said, "I'm gonna be a daddy." That vignette prompted at least one story (though on THINKing Thursday, this week, I'll share another). Later, I wrote When I Grow Up, a popular little book for beginning readers...and preschoolers, too. With your infants to 8 yr olds, sing this book's poem to the "Twinkle, Twinkle" tune:

Pages from When I Grow Up by Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz

When I Grow Up When I grow up, Who will I be besides the person who is ME? I might bring mail. I might play drums. I might drive trucks. I might grow plums. I might fight fires. I might trim trees. I might type letters. I might fix knees. When I grow up. I think I'll be a worker who works but I'll still be ME! Copyright © 1996 Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz

WOW! Amazing how many distinct roles one person can and does play in one lifetime!

Enjoy this TALKing Tuesday while you're taking note of what it is that you've been modeling and TALKing while in the company of your child. And what roles you're wishing to add to that buffet of language and knowledge you're spreading as you TALK.calendar

Okay...double WOW! The good news is this: Even if your child is about to leave your protective parental hovering, you have tons of time to keep on sharing that unique language and knowledge which embodies your every hope and dream for the kind of person your child will contribute to this world! WOW!

Now for you, the parent...here's my question to you: "So when you grow up, who will you be?"

WOW! You can THINK on that just about any ol' way you choose! And stay tuned for this week's THINKing Thursday when we'll THINK and TALK some more on this same topic, with yet another piece I wrote from that same experience of hearing my little one TALK about who he might become one day.

Here's a heads-up! THINKing Thursday's piece is for two voices. Gather round so that those TALKing voices can be yours and your child's. WOW! In the interim, check out Wacky Wednesday's post tomorrow to learn about some interesting lizards I'll be visiting later this week.




Babs Hadjusiewicz
Babs Hadjusiewicz

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