Wondering why your child’s behavior makes you crazy? We all know the expression “monkey see, monkey do” but we don’t really pay attention to what it means in our lives. Well, as far as your child’s or children’s behavior is concerned pay attention. Whether we like it or not, children do what they see their parents doing. It often doesn’t matter what you tell your child, and almost always matters what you do. |
Children learn by imitation, especially during the pre-school years. Therefore, it makes sense that a child will follow the behavior of a parent or caregiver. So, if you tell your child not to say bad words but he or she hears mommy and daddy saying those words every day, the child will assume it’s really okay to say those words. Only when a child is older and capable of understanding that some things are okay for adults that are not okay for children will he or she be able to distinguish the difference.
Even if you don’t use words poorly, your children watch you constantly. They see your reactions to the driver that cuts you off, your mood when your spouse upsets you and when you ignore the rules and take a drink in the store, for instance. You will notice in the way they play with their toys, especially dolls and action figures, whether your behavior is being noticed. During play children often imitate actions that have occurred recently around them. Watching your children play will provide insight into the behaviors you need to change and often into feelings your child has but is unable to express to you.
It’s important to remember that you and your spouse are the most important people in your child’s life. You are for the most part everything to your little boy or girl. A child wants to be like mommy and daddy. Make sure that the behavior you exhibit in front of your children is behavior you want to see mimicked in them.
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