Absolutely light years ago, I sat in a stuffy psychology classroom listening to a passionate, mop-haired tutor wax lyrical about the Theory of Mind.
|The Theory of Mind allows us to lie and pretend|
Now, from what I recall, in a nutshell, this meant having the ability to second guess other humans. She said it was what leads us to lie, amongst other things, and that enables us to get what we want from others.
Theory of mind (often abbreviated ToM) is the ability to attribute mental states — beliefs, intents, desires, pretending, knowledge, etc. — to oneself and others and to understand that others have beliefs, desires, intentions, and perspectives that are different from one's own.
Now some children find pretending difficult. Natty, for example, very much lives in the moment and finds questions about what she'd wish for difficult. It was homework once to make a fantastical wish and we had to adjust it to asking for something tangible. She just didn't understand the concept.
By the same token I have never ever witnessed Natty tell a lie. Ever. Perhaps she is just too truthful? A common interchange in our house is:
Maybe she just doesn't yet have the ability to create an untruth, to imagine anything other than the reality she is experiencing?
Well all that changed yesterday. When Daddy Downs Side Up collected her from school, the teacher recounted him to one side. It had been classmate Sam's birthday. There was cake. Cake of the chocolate variety.
When all the slices had been distributed a sad looking Natty went to the front of the class and politely asked
"Please can I have some cake Mrs S? I haven't had any yet."
Now, I'm certain that Mrs S was impressed with the beautiful sentence, as we were as parents. It's always the first thing you think of isn't it, when your child has a speech delay. But you see the second part of the story was that whilst asking so very politely for the sweet treat, little Natalia had a full chocolate beard and moustache.
|"Please can I have some cake? I haven't had any yet."|
Yep, she'd had a slice of cake already and was cleverly trying to obtain another by deception. I know I shouldn't be proud. But I just can't help it. Nice try little minx. Nice try but you've been busted!
I'm sure we can use this to our advantage. We just have to work on her not truthfully and forcefully expressing her disgust when a meal or gift doesn't meet with her approval. There's a glimmer of hope...
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