Saturday, February 4, 2012

Dinner is served...

Delectable or Disgusting!

According to Tia, Natalie is very specific on her meal reviews. She’ll classify dinner as either “delectable” or “disgusting” and not much in-between!

This came up out running when I had noted Natalie’s comprehensive vocabulary for a 3 year old. Seriously, do you know any other preschoolers who use the word “delectable?”

One funny thing about our conversation about Natalie’s distinct appraisals of the menu is how well it ties into something I’ve been learning about in school called “splitting.”

In early development, after babies figure out they are separate entities from objects around them (think their mothers), a follow up stage is when they identify objects (again, think mothers) as all good or all bad. If they get fed when they are hungry, they love mom; if they cry for food and mom doesn’t attend to their needs, they hate her. They can’t really distinguish anything in-between.

Unfortunately, some children never outgrow this splitting idea and even as adults they think of people or things as 100% good or 100% bad and no middle ground. So, Natalie’s dinner assessment is par for the course from a youngster; dinner is either amazing or lousy, with very little in between.