Taking It Literally….

Filed Under (Life Coaching & NLP) on 13-04-2011

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If you’re a parent, minder, or teacher of very young children, bear the following in mind.  

When children begin making sentences, they structure them in the order of subject – verb – object, as when they say “Mommy give juice!” or “I want ball.”, and this is the standard word order in English.  Passive constructions don’t make sense to children under 5 years of age.  In the passive construction the word order is reversed: objet – verb – subject.  When young children hear a sentence such as “The truck was bumped by the car.”, they think the truck did the bumping.  They assume that what comes first causes what comes next.

Young children also think that the order of ideas in a sentence and sentence order is a clue to time sequence.  So to a child under 5 years of age a sentence like “You can go outside after you pick up your toys” can mean the reverse of what was intended, i.e. ‘go outside, then pick up your toys.’  Consider then what is likely to follow from “Before you eat your dinner, you must wash your hands.”!

Contact me for NLP ways to work your linguistic skills with your children up to a higher level.

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