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Centerpointe Research

Language

Second Childhood

You have a chance at being part of a second childhood.  Did you miss your children’s childhood.  Were you too busy supporting them, caring for them, dealing with their misbehavior?  That first year really went fast, didn’t it.  Did you notice how cute they were, how adventurous they were?  Did you never get any sleep, did you ever get anything done?

farmgrandchildAre your grandchildren your second chance at childhood?  Can you take time and notice the things you didn’t when their parents were small?  Can you now schedule some time to devote to them exclusively?  Do you spot problems before they get bigger instead of not noticing them until there is a disaster?  Do you have the smartest, most creative, most appealing grandchildren of all (Oh, and by the way the same thing can be true of nieces and nephews if you don’t have grandchildren or even if you have grandchildren).

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Some people, when they think of a second childhood,  they think it is a person’s regression to the babyish, unproductive,  immature ways of childhood. Play which is the primary occupation of childhood, is a way to explore and learn about the universe but you might not appreciate it when you are raising children.  They keep getting into stuff, they want the same books read to them over and over, and you don’t have the time to listen to them when they try to talk.  Language is a pretty basic skill, but they have to learn it by using it and by having people talk back to them.  There is a fine line between talking and reinforcing baby talk and expecting them to tell you what they want so you can understand them.  Also babies, toddlers, and preschoolers are constantly learning and experimenting with things.  They learn by example and how many of us have studied early childhood education.  They can teach us how to teach them if we listen and observe and experiment with how we present things to them.

grandparent-and-grandchildBetter yet, you are never too old to play with grandchildren or younger members of your family and you may be the best playmate they ever have.  It is never too late to learn to play even if it is in your second childhood.  Playing with children is not the waste of time that some people think it is.  Raising children is one of the most important jobs on planet earth.  Why leave this job to people who don’t care?  Why put people down and pay them poorly for doing it if they do care?

 

 

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The Tower of Babble And What It Means Today

Ever since Biblical times and the Tower of Babble, the people of the world speak many different languages.  The problem isn’t just that every different language may have a different word for house, but that some languages have several different words for house and some languages may not have a word for house at all.  This is what makes translations difficult and often confusing.  Also parts of grammar can be different and so can the structure of a sentence.  So when you learn a new language you have to pay attention to a lot more than vocabulary.  Different languages use different sounds and as children grow up with a language they learn how to selectively make some sounds (the ones that predominate in their language) and not others.  This is what makes it hard for some people to learn a new language.  They may have never developed the ability to make certain sounds and/or they initially had the ability to make made certain sounds when they babbled as babies, but as they imitated those around them, the  ability to make other sounds atrophied from disuse.  This may be why certain people who learned one language as a child and who learn to speak another language

"The Tower of Babel" by Pieter Brueg...

“The Tower of Babel” by Pieter Bruegel the Elder. Oil on board, 1563. The Tower of Babel symbolises the division of mankind by a multitude of tongues provided through heavenly intervention. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

as their primary language later as an adult speak with an accent.

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