We don’t have kids and aren’t likely to unless two or more people die (that’s complex logic but not relevant to the story so we’ll skip it). However, most of my friends and siblings have children. Some of them have awesomely behaved kids. Others, well… not so much.
As an impartial observer of this phenomena I have realized something that I think has been missed in the couple of hundred years that people have been studying child psychology. It’s this; “bad kids simply don’t understand grammar.” More specifically, they don’t understand proper sentence structure.
As example, I recently heard a child, when asked to do something, state emphatically, “NO!”. That’s when it struck me… the brat just didn’t understand basic grammatical rules. “No” can’t be a complete sentence as a it does not contain both a subject and a predicate*. Obviously, this is in error and the child should be taught basic grammar to improve his or her compliance.
The subject of the thought that this child intended to convey was obviously the self reference subject “I” and the predicate “am not” but in trying to imply both the intended meaning was lost. A child must be taught these rules early in life so that they never make this mistake. Continuing with this example a child must be taught that the proper response to an imperative sentence is always a positive declarative sentence such that the meaning of “no" becomes, “No, I do not wish to be beat so will comply with your demand immediately.” or even the less formal, “No need to ask twice, I am already on it!”
See how simple that is? With simple understanding of this basic rule of grammar you can completely turn your child’s behavior around.
Used word … implied sentence or completion.
Yeah … I am still learning the grammatical rules that you have so diligently taught me but I will try harder with a little guidance!
Shut up! … in my room for being disrespectful last time I will immediately comply with your request this time.
I hate (that) you … even had to ask me to accomplish this task but will complete it as expeditiously as possible.
You Can’t Make Me! … comply with your request any faster as I am already moving as quickly as I can!
(alternate example) NO! … I do not need further punishment in order to comply with your demand and will complete the task as quickly as possible.
*There are people that believe that in the sentence “No” the subject, the predicate or both are implied and that as long as the sentence conveys meaning (rather than an exchange of information) the word can be considered either a negative imperative or a negative declarative (depending on context) sentence. Those people are poopoo heads.
**There are also people that will believe that grammatical errors purposefully placed in this article but not one of the direct examples provided are there for them to correct. Those people too are poopoo heads.
***As I consider readers of this blog my peers and consider this post an article we shall consider the reading of this article as a review. That makes this a peer reviewed article in my book which makes me more than qualified (probably the most qualified one in existence) to market services as a Youthologist. I didn’t know that they existed either but NerdyRedneck Rob over at The Nerdy Redneck blog turned me on to this lucrative industry. Thanks Sir!