Numbers and Time: A Child's View

Children have a very different sense of numbers and time. Here is a refresher course for you on both.

Kids’ math might be a little bit off, but they have a greater understanding of what numbers actually mean. Here is a list of numbers and what kids think of them:

There is no such thing as none to a child. If there is none, they ask for more and they will continue to ask and ask for more until none is gone.

Unless it is a kid’s birthday, they will always tack this number on to the tail end of whatever their age is. The fun part is watching kids try to make “half" while holding up their fingers.


When a kid says “one” it is always followed up by the word “more.” Once parents introduce television or videogames into their child’s life, “one” is then followed up by “more minute.”

Two is the magical number. Two is how many minutes kids' parents trick them into thinking they have left to play. It’s a good trick because it works by setting up an expectation and doesn’t force the child to quit what they are doing immediately. In reality, two minutes can mean one minute because kids forget or ten minutes because parents forget.

Three is the never number. Children hear that they have until the count of three and the parent never gets past counting two and a half or two and nine tenths.


Five is the trickiest number. Five is what we set kids up for as the greatest number in the world because at five they get to go to kindergarten. Kids wait for five. Then they go to kindergarten and wonder what the big deal was.

Kids know a lot less about time. Here’s what they do know:

Right now
Right now means that the kid should have stopped doing what they are doing about five seconds ago. The kid hopes at this point that their kid brain quits what they are doing so that they don’t hear the follow up, very dangerous single word, “Now!”

You are in trouble. You should have listened when it was right now.

A week
A week is FOREVER. They might as well curl up and die.

The rest of your life
This is how long kids get to feel guilty for not listening or breaking something. At least until they have kids and can pass the guilt on to them.

Six weeks
This is how long stuff kids send in for takes to show up. And usually it’s not as big or as x-rayish as anyone thought it would be.

Next year
Next year sucks because it means that they didn’t get what they wanted this year and their parent are rubbing their hair, trying to make them feel better and using the word "kiddo" a lot.

Never is the harshest word that kids learn is meaningless the second time it is used. Parent use never all the time and do not follow through. Kids pick up on this and when they hear never, they know they can just wait it out.


Tomorrow is the greatest time of all. Tomorrow is not today. Tomorrow is full of candy and sunshine and play. If today sucks, there’s always tomorrow. And when today is good, there’s a chance that tomorrow will be even better.


DogsDontPurr said...

Wow. Holy Juan is holier than I thought. You read my mind and turn it into religion!

Rach said...

i believe tomorrow is full of sunshine and puppies too.

Jamey B said...

You will learn that at age 13, children become experts in all areas and their parents become embarassing buffoons.

I love your comments about tomorrow. At what age do we begin to value our youth more than our futures??? Why does that change?