Friday, April 23, 2010

Referring to Ourselves in the Third Person  "Mommy's here."
"Mommy loves you."
"Mommy will get you something to eat."
"Mommy will change your diaper."
"Mommy thinks you're ready for a nap."
"Mommy needs a nap."
"Mommy wants to know when Daddy will be home!"

It's so funny. We all do it. And I know we're actually supposed to, though I forget the psychology behind it. Still, we sound very much like Elmo.

And at what point do we change over and start teaching our children about the art of the personal pronoun? Carrie wonders . . .

Now Carrie would like to ask a question: At what point is it ridiculous to refer to yourself in the third person to your child? Surely it's sometime before "Mommy will really miss you while you're off at college."


Christy Bullock said...

Ha Ha Ha! Love it! I catch myself doing this so often and wonder why. I didn't know there was a psychological reason for doing it. I'd like to know why.

Carrie Bevell Partridge said...

I don't know. I think that when they're little, it's just less confusing. It cracks me up, though.

laurie said...

Not sure the full reasoning behind it, but I know a bit... When you speak in 3rd person, you're translating your experience into the perspective of the child. Particularly babies & toddlers aren't as capable of translating "I" into "mommy." So you intuitively do that work for them, so that they can more easily understand what's going on! Isn't it beautiful how a mother's intuition is so attuned to the child's needs - even without knowing why!

p.s. Not sure the magic age at which point this is no longer helpful, but I'm guessing sometime in the pre-school years.