When did your mother stop talking to you in the third person?

My mother would sometimes talk to me by saying: “Mommy will do this” or, let’s say her name was Silvia, “Silvia will do that”. Is this common when talking to adult children? I repeatedly told her to stop it but she kept doing it even up until when I was 37 when she died. She didn’t do it all the time, she had no difficulty using the pronoun “I” with other people and she used it with me most of the time.

If it’s not common, what could motivate/cause that? I tried to get her to say why she did that but I got nowhere.

I suspect that’s a pretty atypical case to do it that late but parents watch their children grow up and become something else and it’s this whole process, and so perhaps some habits are hard to forget even as the person changes

I think my mother still does this, but only when she wants me to do something small for her, like get her a glass of water. So she doesn’t do this on the phone, only in person.

My father was the one who pointed it out to me about fifteen years ago. I’d honestly never noticed it before, which made me realize my mother has been using Jedi mind tricks on me for my whole life.

The “Jedi mind trick” is what irritated me. I think she was trying to infantilize me or refused to accept that I grew up from being an infant/toddler; That’s how you speak to children of 1-2 years old as they have difficulty with pronouns.

Mom stopped saying “It uses the potty on its own or it gets the hose” when I was 2.

I learned fast.

I think I stopped doing that with my kids around the time they entered elementary school. But…maybe it was just a holdover from when you were little? I don’t know - I used to love it when my son would say “am-blee-ance” instead of ambulance. He humored me until he was 6 then stopped. Maybe she was hoping you’d humor her the same way. It sucks to see your kids grow up. I could see wanting to talk to my own kids like they’re little, but actually doing it would sit strangely. Unless I could actually get them to do things with Jedi mind tricks, in which case it’d be totally worth it.

My mother never did that (as long as I consciously remember). I had thought before this thread that “Now Mommy will tell you something” was a Hollywood trope.

I find myself still doing it with my kids, ages 11 & 9. I think it’s just become a habit around them. It’ll get phased out eventually like everything else has. Seems like one of the last things to hold over from their “little kid” days that they haven’t shown any problem with.

Neither of my parents ever spoke that way.

My parents never did, and I don’t think I heard anyone else do it. Must be something that started after the 50s, without my noticing it.

My parents never did it. It sounds like something they started she started doing when you were little and it ‘stuck’. She was probably doing it more out of habit than anything else.
It reminds me of families where the husband and wife refer to each other as mom and dad. I know two families that do this. And they’ve been doing it for so long that even after their kids were well into adulthood (we’re talking kids in their 50s+) they still do it. And, it’s basically the only thing they call each other. Even if their kids aren’t around and they’re just hanging out with their friends, they still do it. Luckily, one of the couples is (was) your typical ‘cute’ old people, the other ones are just goofy/quirky, so neither of them gave off any kind of a weird/creepy vibe when they did it…it just became their pet names for each other.

A Dad but I still speak that way to my children that way sometimes, they are both under 10. I usually do it when I’m addressing both of them and I’m explaining a plan to them. Like “Ok guys Daddy is going to go in the store and buy the milk, I want you, kid A to do this, and kid B, I need to you stay with Dad and do this.”

I’ve seen depictions of this sort of talk in works of fiction, but never experienced it myself nor seen it first hand.

My parents never spoke to me like this.

If I were to guess, talking to you in the third person was your mother’s way of assuming her maternal role. When she spoke in this manner, she probably did her best to guide the person that she felt responsible for while at the same time communicating you a host of implicit ideas and feelings. These implicit ideas and feelings were still being conveyed later on even if she was not officially supposed to guide you anymore.

Like I said, I’m only guessing.

Since I saw this thread yesterday, I’ve been able to ‘hear’ this third person speak from a mom. That is, I knew there was some song or TV show or something where it comes up.
It just dawned on me, it’s Mother by Pink Floyd. Pink’s mom speaks (sings) in the third person throughout the song.

I don’t think my mother ever did it. I know I never did it with my daughter, nor do I do it with my granddaughter.

I’ve never heard it used that way. I might hear someone talking to him-/herself: “Now Silvia, what did you do with those car keys?” as if their parent were saying it.

Just a WAG: it means “I’m Silvia. Yes, I’m someone’s mother, wife, daughter, cousin, whatever. But I’m asserting my individuality rather than defining myself through my relation to others.”

I kind of address myself in a similar manner when I force myself to concentrate, but not because it would have anything to do with the way my mother would speak to me. Or my father. I’ve just realized it is quite an emotional issue when I think about it.

That seems like a good guess.

What do you think those implicit ideas and feelings might have been? You’re not in her head but I’d like to hear your guess.

I live in Bucharest, Romania, so we’re probably worlds apart. I’m not a specialist but based on what I know of general human behavior, a mother will muster all her inner resources to be her best self when raising her offspring. My “analysis” refers to situations when mother and child are alone - an audience will make things too complicated for me to dissect.

Every mother develops a specific jargon to communicate with her child, and this specific language can include words, expressions, and even styles that people don’t use in any other situations. The mother and child jargon and its use will develop meanings and connotations mingled with memories of the overall interaction and the emotions generated by this experience. Maybe the mother will have to make the conscious effort to double her self so that she can better control this new social role. Maybe she will carry out this function in a personal ritualistic manner where she can form and develop her new identity.

Of course the main function of this language is to pass on information, values, behaviors, to teach and to form aptitudes. But once the jargon has fulfilled its basic duty, it will not be discarded because it is embedded with all the memories and emotions that this unique relationship has fostered. Whenever she uses it, she will (re)live all these things, besides indirectly conveying the amalgam of emotions and values that this bond involves. It’s all fluid and complicated. Language, thinking, and feeling are all tied up. It’s an entanglement impossible to decipher.