I was a sophomore in undergrad, teaching children at a local after-school program.
In a lesson with a young girl...maybe 7 years old...I said...
"You have to make sure you always count."
Her response: "But then we'd die."
I scratched my head over that response for the next few days. Then it occurred to me. Her young, innocent mind's interpretation of what I said.
In her mind, I was saying to always count, to the exclusion of everything else. So, if we always count, and don't do anything else, including eating, then we'd die.
Which is fair.
When it comes to children, we can't assume any prior knowledge. If it can be misinterpreted, it will be. If it can be misconstrued, it will. If it can be imagined into something else, it will.
And so, we have to be a clear as possible in every single thing we teach and do.
Every. Single. Thing.