On this week's 'Parenting' segment on the Moncrieff show, one listener sought advice about her son's tendency to change accents based on TV shows and video games he is consuming.
Joanna Fortune, psychotherapist specialising in Child & Adult Psychotherapy, joined Moncrieff to answer this and other listeners' questions.
"My nine-year-old son has started changing his accent over the past year."
"Sometimes an accent will last a month and sometimes it disappears quickly."
"He loves video games and American TV shows and we are very worried that he's being unduly influenced by these things."
"However, on the flipside, we're reluctant to talk to him about it because we are a theatrical family and this may be a period of experimentation for him. We don't want to limit is sense of play."
"It's either a problem or concern or it isn't."
"I would play with this to work out which is it."
"I'm wondering have you ever asked him about these accents."
"See is this in fact a form of role play which would be really healthy."
"Typically children up until seven are in that kind of role play."
"But just because they leave that phase of early childhood into middle childhood, doesn't mean that should stop."
"I'm curious is this a form of role play, which is great, and it will deepen his capacity for empathy and perspective taking."
"It will fuel that creative, flexible, adaptable mind."
"However, when we are doing roleplay and we're emersed in it, it's equally important that we know how to derole, that we know when the play ends and I enter back into reality and into my day-to-day life."
"If an accent or a persona is being carried for a month and it doesn't stop, and it's there all the time or at least more often than it's not, and I don't get to that place of 'well, I'm done with that..what's for dinner?', or that I can't talk to you as myself, then I would be curious about what is this."
"When you talk about the TV shows and the video games, maybe it's a character from a show and I'm interested in them and I'm wondering what would it be like to be them."
"I would encourage derolling at the end of it."
"I'd be curious is he maintaining these accents in school as well or is it something he's doing in the safety and sanctity of home where that play feels very permissible and possible."
Main image shows a boy watching TV. Picture by: Hero Images Inc./Alamy