#107–Blitz Q: What’s with pre-teen boys & mumbling all the time?

Can’t help the pic–Mumbles from Dick Tracy always cracked me up, especially the stenographer’s reaction to his speech.

Anyhoo, I was talking to my neighbor yesterday when she brought over some stuff and gave her a cup of coffee. I watch her kiddo most mornings, and I swear, he’s at that pre-teen phase where he just can’t make himself heard clearly.

It’s not when I’m asking questions, or his mom is, it’s telling stories and saying things in general. He’ll start out clear then progressively start to regress. Before you know it, every third word AT MOST is clear and you have to go “wait, what?”

I notice a speed-issue most with girls, like they’re going too fast or all over the place (that’s usually my problem–I go rapid fire at the wrong times, even today). Boys, though, seem to manifest this speech issue all over the spectrum. I see it more and more often as I tutor kids were you have to ask them to clarify what they said.

Some of it is speaking rapidly, other times it seems they’re not in a good mood or barely awake, but when you’re across the room, how can they expect you to hear them? And then they get mad when you don’t.

True, when you’re tired, it’s hard to be heard clearly. Still–yikes!

Anybody else have theories (or kids and stories) about why this happens? I’ve been wondering about this interesting phenomenon. A few friends who have kids have noticed it’s both their boys AND their girls at different times.

Some believe it’s partially a confidence issue. Others a complete ignorance as to how loud they really are (first they start out yelling your ear off from two feet away between about 5 and 10 years old, now you can’t hear them two inches away). I think it’s that an perhaps puberty going wild, whereby their volume and their tone aren’t in sync and they’re self-conscious about it.

Still, any takers on this observation? Floor’s yours…

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