Experts: Stop Worrying About Your Kid Saying “Like” A Lot

Does your kid drive you crazy by saying “like” all the time? If “Could you like pass the ketchup?” is commonly heard at your dinner table, the excessive use of the word “like” may be bothering you, but experts say it shouldn’t be. It turns out, it’s totally normal and parents should ease up on trying to correct their kids’ habit of using the word.

According to one professor, language isn’t good or bad, it’s a living, breathing, evolving thing that reflects our changing times. And trying to curb your child’s “likes” is like trying to fight a losing battle. Most language experts won’t criticize the use of “like” among young people and don’t see it as the big deal some parents do.Dr. Kathryn Remlinger, a linguistics professor at Grand Valley State University, says it’s a sign of the times, explaining, “As society changes, language does too.”

So if your kid drops “like” into every other sentence, try to cool off on correcting her.Dr. Alexandra D’Arcy literally wrote the book on “like,” an academic text, “Discourse-Pragmatic Variation in Context: Eight Hundred Years of LIKE,” and she says kids will outgrow it. She explains that usually around age eight, they gradually start to tone down their “likes” in more formal settings, so parents don’t need to be so worried about it. Just like your toddler stopped singing “Baby Shark” on repeat, your kiddo will one day stop saying, “The bus was like so late today,” even if it feels like that day can’t come soon enough.


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