My son is very much into role playing. Started when he was about 2 and a half. It can be irritating at times but useful too.
Irritating in that when he pretends to be the teacher, he will take his drum stick, pretending that it is a ruler and bang it on the floor asking us to tidy up. Which we roll our eyes and tell him that he made the mess, he tidy up. Mummy and daddy will just help you.
And when he pretends to be us, that's the worse! He will tell us "You naughty, I take the cane and beat you then you know. Want to be naughtyy some more?" For which I always end up telling him he cannot say that and blah blah blah.....
So, what we say to him when we punish him gets thrown back at us when he is angry with us. Given this circumstance, I cannot scold him with such 'meaningless' words anymore. Instead I will always have to reason with him why he cannot have this or that or do this and that.
As I say....irritating...and very tiring too.
But lately, it has become useful too. Coz of late he has been learning to read in school and frequently he would tell me that he is the teacher and I am the student. And he wants to teach me to read Peter and Jane.
And its quite comical because he would read and when he comes to a word he is not too sure about, he would ask me to read. So I go "You tell me teacher. I don't know." And I can see him struggling to remember. Sometimes he does. Sometimes I say "Is that the word 'here' teacher?" And he would say "Clever girl." and continue reading.
And I can see how the teacher (in her exasperation) teaches him coz he will say the same to (ignorant) me like "Can't you see this is the same. It's the same word. How come you don't know?"
eg : Here is Peter and here is Jane.
So anyway, I was relating this to my colleague and she told me her son does not do role playing. He doesn't ever pretend to be someone else. Which in my mind I am thinking - oh! at least then you don't have to choose your words too carefully when scolding him for fear he will use the same words in the same tone and throw it back at you.
(of course no excuse to use harsh words or simply raise your voice....you know what I mean, I hope!)
Does your child role play alot?