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date: 09 March 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Although historically theorists ignored the role of parents in children’s pretending, recent research has shown that American mothers model pretense behaviors for infants and coach young children’s early pretense attempts. In this chapter I first highlight four features that distinguish mothers’ pretending from children’s pretending with peers or solo. Next I discuss how mothers might help avert confusion in their early presentations of pretense, namely by changing their canonical behaviors in ways that might signal pretense (or “don’t’ take this seriously”) to their children.

Keywords: Keywords, Pretend play, mother–child interaction

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