Toddlers: Copy Cats By Nature

Our children are natural copycats. They display the ability to imitate and mimic the behavior of the adults around them from birth onwards. In fact, it’s being a copycat or the art of imitating that is one of their primary learning tools. They mimic our expressions. They mimic our behavior. They mimic how we say things.

How Else Do They Learn?

While there are a variety of ways your child will learn over the years, copycatting and imitating are their primary learning tools. We show them how to hold a pencil or a crayon by placing it in their hands how we hold them. We show them how to walk by demonstrating it. It’s amazing how closely they pay attention to what we are doing and what we are talking about.

When my daughter was little she used to sit in her high chair at the table while I was working on my homework for college. She would sit there and watch avidly as I wrote notes while reading my textbooks. When I gave her pieces of paper and crayons, she would start doing exactly what I was. She drew lines along the page like writing cursive. Once, she even drew a box just as I was doing to circle around some material.

Be Careful Though

Once when I was highlighting my workbook for specific problems we were given information about answering, she took a highlighter to one of her books and it’s as bad as you can imagine. The idea isn’t just to do what you are doing, it’s to do it in such a way that they communicate with you.

Their desire to communicate is so strong, that they can get frustrated and annoyed when they can’t do what they see you doing. They do their best to try and do what you are doing, but be careful not to force them to do the exact same. They are their own harshest critics. If you sit down and draw circles for them and they try and fail – don’t make a comment about it – just applaud their effort.

Refining a skill later in life is easy enough to do – for now – it’s important to give them an A for Effort and move on.

How did you help your little copycat?

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This entry was posted in 18-24 Months and tagged , , , by Heather Long. Bookmark the permalink.

About Heather Long

Heather Long is 35 years old and currently lives in Wylie, Texas. She has been a freelance writer for six years. Her husband and she met while working together at America Online over ten years ago. They have a beautiful daughter who just turned five years old. She is learning to read and preparing for kindergarten in the fall. An author of more than 300 articles and 500+ web copy pieces, Heather has also written three books as a ghostwriter. Empty Canoe Publishing accepted a novel of her own. A former horse breeder, Heather used to get most of her exercise outside. In late 2004, early 2005 Heather started studying fitness full time in order to get herself back into shape. Heather worked with a personal trainer for six months and works out regularly. She enjoys shaking up her routine and checking out new exercises. Her current favorites are the treadmill (she walks up to 90 minutes daily) and doing yoga for stretching. She also performs strength training two to three times a week. Her goals include performing in a marathon such as the Walk for Breast Cancer Awareness or Team in Training for Lymphoma research. She enjoys sharing her knowledge and experience through the fitness and marriage blogs.