Fractions And Ages Don’t Mix: Just Stick With Round Numbers

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Why do kids use fractions when telling their ages? I think that is so ridiculous. Just say you’re three years old. Or four years old. Or 12 years old. Whatever. Don’t do this “Hi, I’m Allison and I’m 11 and 3/4 years old” thing. It makes you look silly.

OK, I’m kidding. I don’t care if children do this. In fact, it can be kind of helpful when comparing the super young children. But I’m really annoyed when adults do it. A few months ago at the gym, someone asked me how old my daughter was. I said she was four. The guy furrowed his brow as if to question me and said, “Really? When does she turn five?” I said that she turns five at the end of August. “Ohhhhhhh,” he responded, knowingly, “So she’s four-and-a-half.”

Uh, OK, grown man. I guess you got me. She was just over halfway between her 4th and 5th birthdays. Do you feel better?

If the point is to let people know you’re about to have a birthday or will have one in six months, how about you just say that. For instance, “Hi, I’m Allison and I’ll be 12 years old in September.

But I’d say we should limit how long you can use fractions to give a child’s age. Or, if you really insist on it, you should get more precise. Like, “Hi, this is Peter. He’s 7 and 50/73.” Something like that.

It could be a great way to teach children more about fractions.

(Photo: basketman23/Shutterstock)