I now see why I struggled with showing my interests to my parents when I was a kid.
I’m listening to my cousin going on about Fortnite. The kid adores the game and is talking about the battle pass and he how hopes to get it later on today.
My mum just flatly says she doesn’t know what that means and has told him to hurry up as they go through the door, not giving my cousin any wiggle room to explain what it means. Fortnite is special to him, he wants to talk about it, he wants to engage but how can he when at that moment, the adult he’s talking to shuts him down?
Why can’t some people just take a damn minute to listen, REALLY listen to what kids are saying? He’ll now sit in the car in complete silence because his aunt isn’t interested in what he likes.
I’m not saying everyone has to be a fountain of knowledge for things like that. Hell, you don’t have to like what another person’s into but for the love of god, at least TRY and give it a go in understanding why it’s so important to that person.
“Oooh, that sounds neat! Tell me about it?” Is one of the best things you can say to a kid. (Or an author.) It matters less that you understand it than it does that they are allowed- are *encouraged*- to explain it
And also, if you’re truly lost:
“I’m not sure what that is, can you explain it to me?”
Kids LOVE getting to tell an adult something the adult doesn’t know. It makes them feel important because hey, we’re grownups! We know everything! Wait, we don’t? Wow! Let me tell you!
Working in the kids section of a bookstore, I saw this a lot. The parents would just brush off whenever a kid got excited about a book series just because the adult didn’t like how it looked, or it wasn’t a classic series that ~they~ read when they were kids.
But if I asked something simple like “what was your favorite part?” or “which character do you like best?” or even “what’s it about?” Let me tell you, they would tell me EVERYTHING. And I was all for it. Yeah! Get that kid excited about reading! Even while the parent apologized for their kid talking my ear off.
Man, I have never even watched someone play Minecraft before, and I know SO MUCH about that game just because I asked.
And you know the better part? If I actually knew about the series/game/subject the kid liked, they lit up like the sun and I became the coolest adult ever.
It’s little things like that that makes kids happy, and that makes me happy.
This also applies to people with Asperger’s talking about their special interests. I have Asperger’s myself and I became a quiet person from not being able to talk about my interests without people turning away in boredom. Now I have friends that let me prattle on about the stuff I love, and likewise I listen to them talk about the stuff they like. 😊😊😊