I Used to Hate When Adults Spoke Like This

One thing I hated when I was a kid was when adults would assume an unnatural and high-pitched “kid” voice when speaking to me. We all do this with babies, but it can only last so long before it’s patronizing.

Almost every day, when talking to my son, I try to remind myself to speak to him like I would want to be spoken to, and almost every day, I realize I could do better. It’s not often the baby voice that is the problem, it’s the irritable and grouchy voice that communicates impatience.

The test I run myself through that gives me an answer right away is asking myself: would I ever speak to my friends this way? With friends, it better be worth it if you’re going to show your anger with them. And if you talked in a condescending way, they would either call you on it or just stop hanging out with you.

I try to purpose to not say anything to my own child in a way I would find impossible to hear. I try to never speak to him in a way that would make me lose friends my age. He’s a friend too. Sometimes the person in our relationship that needs to talk more like a grown up isn’t the 5-year-old.

2 thoughts on “I Used to Hate When Adults Spoke Like This

  1. Yes! They aren’t “just kids,” but are simply younger PEOPLE and should be treated with kindness and respect. To check up on my own interactions I regularly ask myself, “How would I feel if I observed another adult speaking/acting to my child like I am right now?” If this Mama Bear would not tolerate the words, tone, or actions coming from someone else toward my cubs, that’s my cue to adjust those things coming from myself.


    1. That’s a great perspective. I definitely have spoken to my child at times in a way I would disapprove of if it came from someone else. Like all people we’re around on a consistent basis, it’s easy to sum up our children and lose the patience and respect we would give even to strangers.


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