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Speaking of yourself in the third person

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Does anyone else find themselves speaking of themselves in the third person all day? "Mommy has to go to the bathroom, Mommy has to get dressed" etc. Sometimes I get annoyed with myself because I think I should be speaking like a normal person and modeling that for my daughter. But I fall into so easily. Does anybody know of concrete reasons to avoid this, or is it not a big deal?
post #2 of 20
I feel it is a good idea to use third person because so many kids get the pronouns I and You mixed up. They get really upset if they say "you do it" and you do what they asked when they meant "I do it." I didn't use it exclusively and phased it out at some point. I probably used it mostly with ds when he was under 2 and not at all when he was 3. It's not going to slow them down at all, just make communication less confusing. girl: boy: girl: :
Stickies compliments of ds
post #3 of 20
I heard the same thing, and I think that's why I started.

Now she's 3 though, I really have to work on breaking the habit! :
post #4 of 20
I think toddlers refer to themselves in third person a lot too. Perhaps it's a developmental thing, and when they get older, you can go back to talking like a normal person.

(I think of how we automatically raise the pitch in our voices when talking to a baby, because it's easier for them to hear than the lower pitches... perhaps the same concept applies to this?)
post #5 of 20
post #6 of 20
Thread Starter 
thanks for the replies. It makes sense that it might help them until they can really understand which pronouns apply to which people.
post #7 of 20
I do it all the time, and ds is only four months old. I did hear it is easier for them to understand. The really annoying thing I've found is I'll start talking to the dogs the same way
The other thing I do, that I swore I would NEVER do, is say "we" alot. Someone calls and says "how's it going?" and I reply "Oh, we're having a fussy day today". Ugh, I really need to stop that.
post #8 of 20
i never did this with kids at all until my younger niece's ot suggested we all do it so that she would get the hang of who was who and what pronouns to use.
post #9 of 20
Anthroposphical wisdom teaches that very young children (age three and under, especially) do not experience the separation/ individuation of the 'I' yet. They see themselves as an extention of the mother, still. Using their name when speaking about/ for themselves is easier for them to understand and use. For example, a child would say, "Sara got hurt" instead of "I got hurt."

Again, this scenario occurs only when the child has been raised Anthroposophically. If the child has been raised with a parental focus on intelectual stimulation, the child's mind and mental processes will be more awake and sophisticated at an earlier age.

The earlier in a child's life they start referring to themselves as "I" the earlier their intelectual experience is awakening. In Anthroposophical perspective, this is not a good thing. It is a desire of this philosophy to keep the child in the ethereal, angelic realm of humanness until the time the child experiences his/her tooth change. That is believed to be the time when the spirit of the child fully enters the body and becomes grounded on Earth.

That said, it is therefore easier for the child to understand parents who say "Mommy is coming" instead of "I am coming."
post #10 of 20
I did this when DD was a toddler and had to train myself to stop when she got older. DH occasionally still does this - probably because he spends less time with her (he works long hours and I'm a SAHM) and is usually slower to adapt to changes in her.
post #11 of 20
Thread Starter 
Yeah, for me the issue is turning it off when it's not necessary. Sometimes I find myself replying to dh like that. DD has started saying "I poo" and grabbing her diaper lately (almost 19 mos.), but I don't think she really understands the concept of I. And that when she says "I" it is the same as when I say "Annika." So, I'll just keep saying "Mommy's on the potty" to her and hope I don't accidentally say it to my coworkers.
post #12 of 20
Originally Posted by riotkrrn
I'm trying to balance it out more, though, like "Mama will be right back, I'm just going to the bathroom."
I do the same thing. "Mommy's not feeling good right now, I have a boo-boo."

It feels almost instinctual to use the 3rd person, and that sort of reassures me that it's probably helpful for children to hear it that way.
post #13 of 20
i say momma more than i say i and my dd refers to herself as her name mostly but she does use i too....
she also says you, ours, we he she and hers and his and they are quite often used correctly
for us we are still very much a "we"
and we are ok with that for now
she is 19 months
post #14 of 20
What I think is hysterical is when I find myself talking to someone else's toddler and referring to myself as "mama" or "mommy". :LOL

For the most part, my use of this has slowed down. I try to remember to refer to myself as "mama" though because DS has been calling me "Anna" for about 7 months now, and though I don't mind, I miss hearing the sweet "mama".
post #15 of 20
I do it too, it doesn't bother me much but what drives me crazy is when dh or I slip and refer to each other as mommy or daddy in an inappropriate context (like dh once referred to me as "mommy" when he was talking to my mom )

Anyway, along the same lines - dh and I laugh when we end up with kids songs stuck in our head - for instance dh spent about a week singing Raffi's "Apples & Bananas", we have both been known to find ourselves humming "Down By the Bay", and I once had a horrible week with the "Ladybug Picnic" song stuck in my head...you know the one "1, 2, 3 - 4,5,6 - 7,8,9 - 10, 11, 12 Ladybugs wents --- to the Ladybug Picnic". By the end of the week I felt like my brain was mush...

DH and usually end up running out and buying something very adult (Outcast, Greenday, etc.) to counter these incidents.

Barney & Ben
post #16 of 20
Yeah, I hope we don't fall into that!!! I am all for third person with a very small child for the examples above, that developmentally it helps them seperate better, etc....

...but I hope me and hubby don't refer to eachother like that though, that would creep me out!! Like, calling to me "mommy can you bring me a towel" when bathing our daughter or something...it is different if he said to her "lets ask mommy for a towel" that's different, but you know what I mean!
post #17 of 20
Thread Starter 
Last year, fil said something to dh about "mommy said ..." when referring to mil. I don't think he calls her that to her face, but dh hasn't called her mommy in about 35 years, so I thought it was bizarre.
post #18 of 20
it is so cute though, my mom still does that to me once in a while and I am almost 28...like we will be talking about something, usually it is when I am upset and she is offering advice or something and she will say "now listen to mommy..."
not in a condescending or insulting way at all, like a gentle way, it is so cute!
I just don't want my husband calling me mommy!!! LOL
post #19 of 20
I have a book on language development at home (I am at MIL's) I am intrigued and will have to see what it's take on this is. So...subscribing....
post #20 of 20
Thread Starter 
I will definitely be interested to see what your language book says about it (if anything). It just happens naturally with me, so part of me thinks it makes sense, but sometimes I sound annoying to myself, so that's why I started the thread. However, the responses about young kids not understanding pronouns makes perfect sense.
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