Robyn Fivush

Maternal Reminiscing Style

Parents, and especially mothers, begin reminiscing about past experiences virtually as soon as children begin talking. But some mothers are highly elaborative, talking about past experiences in more coherent, detailed and emotionally expressive ways, whereas other mothers are not so elaborative. Children of more elaborative mothers develop better narrative skills, earlier theory of mind (the idea that each of us has a mind, with independent thoughts, emotions and beliefs), a stronger self-concept, and better emotional regulation. Children learn to frame and narrate their personal past through maternally guided reminiscing conversations, and this provides a foundation for how children come to understand themselves, others, and the world around them.  

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