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June 1982

Going in Family Circles

Author Affiliations

Department of English University of Rochester Rochester, NY 14627

Am J Dis Child. 1982;136(6):563. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1982.03970420087030

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If Jean Piaget knew as much about the way children think as he pretended to, why didn't he explain the most common example of child psychology? It's something every parent has experienced and been driven crazy by, but nobody seems to have thought of a way to prevent or circumvent it.

In midafternoon, little Jason rushes in the door from school, cheerful and ravenous, to be greeted by Mother. After the customary negotiations about coats and washing hands, Jason seats himself at the kitchen table to consume cookies, an apple, and a glass of milk while Mother dutifully asks, "How was your day at school?" "OK," he replies, and after a few more efforts at maternal inquiry, the conversation drifts into a series of smacks and munchings. Mother decides all is well and Jason subsides into the routine of running around outside with selected members of his peer group and

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