Take it from a scientist: Children are weird

I mentioned previously that I have a summer intern working with me on a language acquisition project. As part of one of our projects, she is analyzing transcripts of children interacting with their parents. Here are some observations she made recently:

I have come to learn that interacting with small children must be incredibly painful and that parents and their children have weird conversations.

The “painful” observation was left without further information, but she included the following excerpt from a transcript to illustrate the latter point:

Father: Marky’s sexy?
Child: Yeah.
Father: Why is he sexy?
Child: Because he doesn’t have any clothes on.
Father: You’re right.
Father: Marky’s sexy because he doesn’t have any clothes on.
Father: Are you sexy now?

Here is another data point she included:

Child: But we think G-d is mean.
Father: Why?
Child: Because he spanks me.

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