Considering N is quite a wary child, he doesn’t do badly with his ability to speak to anyone and everyone. Being an only child he’s used to being around adults on the farm, as well as children from nursery, school and having 6 older cousins. It still amazes me at how easily he finds it to chat away to adults once he knows them a bit.
He’s definitely not one for speaking to strangers thankfully. When we’re out shopping, if someone stops to speak to him, he’s unlikely to say anything back unless all of a sudden his interest perks up when something he is keen on talking about crops up. Even with other children’s mums that he’s met before, he will usually be quiet at first, before suddenly coming out of his shell and becoming a chatterbox.
He’s like I was as a child in some ways. I was shy as a child, so would definitely only speak to people once I really knew them, and was put on the spot to do so. But I don’t think I’d ever have chatted away to the extent that he does, in particular without a parent being there. I’d hope that he’s learnt enough about stranger danger that he wouldn’t chat away to a total stranger without us being there.
In the latest year he’s really come out of his shell more. I think being 7 he’s got a lot more opinions about the world around him. And he’s happy to try and convince people that he’s right. Because of course he’s 7, and he is always right. I wonder where he gets those beliefs from?
I don’t think he’ll have a problem when he’s older chatting away to different people in different situations. I’m still not keen. My worst nightmare would be being stuck in a lift with the most senior person in a company that I work for or with.
Making friends with grown ups
N’s favourite people to talk to are anyone who turns up to deal with farming. It could be the auctioneer, the feed merchant, the tractor mechanic or contractors. He’s not fussy. Given the chance, he will ask questions and give opinions on any of the work that they’re all doing.
With both us and the farm having lodgers, it also means he’s got more people to talk to, when he spots them by their cars or over at the farm.
He does have a soft spot for the farm lodgers. There’s a couple of Irish lads at the moment. They’re builders and if they’re helping out on the farm, N is there helping out as well. He will chat away to them and ask about how to be a builder. At one point, he decided that he quite fancied working as a builder and that maybe he would do that alongside farming when he is older.
The lodgers seem happy to chat to him, so it would be interesting to listen to more of their conversations as I’m not usually around. He’s usually there with the OH. During the snowy weather, he even got one of them helping him build an igloo before the lodger had to go off to work. Maybe N’s showing signs of being a good leader and delegator in future.
A couple of months ago he came home having spoken to them. He got out his colouring stuff and draw drew his version of a den that he wanted building in the garden. Supposedly the builders had said that they were build him one sometime and it was only going to cost him £4. I don’t think he knows when they’re joking or not. But he doesn’t seem disappointed that there isn’t an amazing den worth of CBBC’s Dengineers built in his garden.
But those lodgers seem to have fallen off the radar, and instead his new best friend is one of our lodgers. Our garden is next to theirs and in the evenings, he announces he’s going outside to get some fresh air. I can pretty much rely on the fact that he will be in next door’s garde helping her water their garden. This adoration is largely due to them having a) the garden tap in their side of the garden and b) an extendable hose. I’m quite embarrassed by the fact he’s always there like a shadow, but it is quite sweet to hear him chatting away and asking questions about their dogs and the garden.
They’re also willing to play water fights with him, so it means I’m not the one always getting wet. I’ve just got to stop him hassling them, so hopefully he’ll eventually get over the obsession with helping them out.
One thing that’s great about the all these conversations and the new people that he meets, is how much he finds out about the world and the alternatives to farming. I’m alway encouraging him to understand there is more than just farming. By hearing about other people’s jobs, maybe in future he might want to try something else other than just automatically becoming a farmer. Don’t tell his dad I said that though.
Builders, vets, tree surgeons, accountants, teachers, sales people and all the people with different jobs who have turned up at the farm and are willing to speak to him. They’ll give him the breadth of knowledge, especially about things that I don’t know much about. It does mean that I don’t see much of him in the evenings, because if he’s not out on the farm helping his dad, then he might be off chatting to whoever is around. I like that he has the confidence, and it’s good that he’s interested enough to ask questions and take in the answers.
I wonder whether this incessant kids chat will go into reverse as he gets older, and he’ll become less talkative.
Are your children why around adults or are they happy to chat away to them?