1. Daniel Post Senning

    The more general guideline is that if anyone is present you don’t refer to them in the third person. I wish more people were aware of this as I hear it happen not infrequently and it always sounds strange to me. Modeling correct use of grammar in conversation with children as well as on the page is an important part of teaching children what is expected of them.

  2. Vanna Keiler

    Wow! This question seems tailor-made for me. A relative of mine does the exact same thing: talking about her 5-year old daughter in front of me. Whether the conversation is about her merits, her demerits, discipline, praise…there is no conversation filter in front of her daughter. I have glanced at the daughter and each time confirmed she was closely listening to what was being discussed about her, and tactfully tried to change the subject. I have even tried to gently suggest to her not to do this behavior. The problem is, if you don’t bring it up right away in front of some people, they seem to develop amnesia and deny it ever occurred. What bothers me is obviously the effect it has on the morale and dignity of a young child, let alone an adult.

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